On March 28th, The African American Policy Forum kicked off our first episode of our new series, “Under the Blacklight,” titled “Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare.”
This series lifts up thinking that addresses the current crises through a fully intersectional lens. We curate real-time conversations that are both rigorous and accessible to a wide and diverse audience. Our point of departure for Under the Blacklight in this pandemic is our recognition that we are bearing witness to an unwriting of our story even as we were experiencing it. We know that without a concerted attempt to uncover the intersectional vulnerabilities that COVID lays bare, that conventional news and policy talk will overlook the devastating impact of this crisis on Black people and other people of color.
AAPF Executive Director Kimblerlé Crenshaw is joined on this inaugural episode by:
V (Formerly Eve Ensler), a Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, feminist, activist and author of 7 books and over a dozen plays, including The Vagina Monologues, and has been dubbed “the most important piece of political theater of the last decade” by the New York Times.
Laura Flanders, a New York Times best-selling author of BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians and hosts the weekly broadcast show The Laura Flanders Show
Eddie S. Glaude Jr., the chair of the Department of African American Studies and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University. Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University
Ai-Jen Poo, a labor activist, plus the co-founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; Dorothy Roberts, a leading scholar on race, gender, bioethics, and the law. She holds appointments in the Africana Studies, Law & Sociology departments at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the founding director of the UPenn Program on Race, Science, and Society
Alvin Starks, a progressive racial justice thinker, writer, and strategist that works in the fields of philanthropy and racial justice advocacy to address issues of systemic inequality.
Together, they dive into conversation on how COVID-19 reveals the preexisting conditions of intersectional and structural inequality. They begin by centering vivid descriptions and evocative pictures of sites of trauma, discussing the vulnerability of domestic workers and care workers, the disposability of nurses, health care workers and other essential personnel, the pervasive and damaging nature of a pandemic, and the prism of vulnerability entrapping African American women.
In this episode, we hear from those who will talk to us about what’s happening on the ground--with workers and other vulnerable populations. Our lens is then broadened to capture the historical and political environment that this pathogen now inhabits. We talk about the what, the why and the how of this moment, but also how people are rising to meet this moment, find inspiration and even humor in it, and how each of you can get involved.