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Race, class, gender, and sexuality sometimes overlap in ways that create intentional and unintentional systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Scholars and community members will explore the intersection of these classifications and how they can lead to inequalities during a conference at UT March 23 and 24. The two-day event also will examine ways to advocate for social justice.

It is free and open to the public.

The conference, “New Horizons in Intersectionality: Research, Policy, and Activism,” kicks off at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, with a screening of the film Elementary Genocide 2 at UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, 1327 Circle Park Drive. The new award-winning documentary examines institutional factors that affect the success of children of color in school and contribute to high rates of incarceration in communities of color. Filmmaker Rahiem Shabazz will be on hand for a question-and-answer session after the showing.

On Thursday, March 24, the conference continues with a full day of UT scholars and national experts who will present cutting-edge research on how intersectionality influences many aspects of society, including the law, media, military, the economy, politics, science, and technology. In addition to three keynote addresses, the conference will include a panel, moderated by UT graduate students, in which UT faculty will discuss their research. UT undergraduate students participating in an American studies course on intersectionality this semester will also present their work in a poster session.

All Thursday sessions will be held at the UT College of Law, 1505 W. Cumberland Ave.

The UT Intersectionality Community of Scholars, an interdisciplinary network of faculty who study and teach about diversity and inequality, is hosting the conference.

Patrick Grzanka, assistant professor of psychology and one of the event’s organizers, noted that intersectionality has become an important paradigm in the social sciences and humanities. It offers insights into how systems of oppression, such as racism and sexism, are connected to one another in complex ways.

The UT conference “is about producing knowledge that makes a difference and promotes social justice,” he said. “The committee has designed the event in a way that we can share ideas and learn from each other.”

Learn more about the conference and view the complete schedule of speakers and topics online.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,

Patrick Grzanka (865-974-3788,