Panel of CSU faculty to discuss intersectional feminism

Piper Davis

A monthly series hosted by the Diversity Committee within the School of Social Work will take place on Monday to discuss intersectional feminism in today’s climate.

Dialogues Around Difference is a monthly event focusing on topics of social justice and inclusion. The event will include a panel discussion followed by questions and an interactive dialogue with panel members.


The panel discussion will feature staff members of Colorado State University who have experience with intersectional feminism, including:

  • Angelica Murray, from the Women and Gender Advocacy Center
  • Charlotte Salinas, from the office of Orientation and Transition Programs
  • Cori Wong, Assistant Professor in the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research
  • Jovan Rivera, a founder of the Student Feminist Fight Club

Paula Yuma, an associate professor for the School of Social Work, is responsible for organizing this semester’s series.

“The Dialogue series continues to be an important part of my own education,” Yuma said. “It has been exceedingly useful as a teaching opportunity for my class on human behavior in the social environment.”

According to Yuma, the Diversity and Human Rights Committee at the School of Social Work organized the series in 2015 and continued to hold the event every month throughout the school year.

“The leadership of CSU made it clear that our campus needed to take seriously the work of social justice and inclusion,” Yuma said. “To respond to their call, we realized we needed more skills and education in order to go about the work of changing our campus and ourselves.”

The Committee conducted a survey asking what topics should be discussed and how they should be discussed.  With a response from two-thirds of the student body, the results indicated that students would prefer discussions based on current, relevant topics.

The upcoming seminar will focus on intersectional feminism, a term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Intersectional feminism is founded on the theory that psychical and genetic characteristics, like being a woman, cannot on their own be studied. Rather, it is more important to look at interactions and experiences.

“This semester we have tried to choose topics in current national and international conversations so that our community has an opportunity to engage meaningfully with emerging issues,” Yuma said.

Topics throughout the semester include the complexity of life for immigrants and refugees, the ethics of consumption in a global economy and racism within the criminal justice system.

According to the Committee’s website, their mission statement is to “promotes social justice and social change by engaging scholarship, teaching, and community service that seek to understand, celebrate, and embrace diversity.”


Yuma believes the expansion of knowledge in diversity, cultural sensitivity, identity and social justice is essential for not only future social workers, but for people within the community as well.

“The series helps our students to discover new areas where they want to do more research, expand their horizons or even launch their careers,” Yuma said. “The events expose our students, faculty and guests to new points of view, and offer an opportunity for dialogue and connection around topics that may be new or otherwise intimidating.”

The series will be held the first Monday of every month for the entirety of the academic year and is open to all members of the CSU and Fort Collins community who wish to expand their knowledge of diversity topics.