Cyra Akila Choudhury, associate professor at the Florida International University College of Law, recently presented at a symposium about a book called Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. The symposium, sponsored by the the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice, was held at the University of California Berkeley School of Law on March 8.
The symposium brought together nationally recognized scholars from the legal academy to discuss the experiences of discrimination faced by women and particularly women of color in the academy.
Professor Choudhury gave a talk entitled “Diversity and Its Discontents” which explored the issue of discrimination and the use of differing standards of evaluation in a diverse context.
“As the academy becomes more diverse and faculty diversity is a matter of pride and widely reported, it is important to think about how issues of discrimination particularly at the intersections of race, orientation, religion and gender play out,” said Choudhury.
Her talk also raised the question of whether structural biases and hostility against women of color in the academy would dissipate with the increase in diversity.
Professor Choudhury argued that this “was not necessarily so unless members of the academy of all identity groups were committed to fair treatment of all its members and willing to work on these issues honestly by confronting the ways in which differing standards and use of unpublished criteria are used discreetly against some minorities.”
You can read about Presumed Incompetent on the publisher’s web page: http://www.usu.edu/usupress/books/index.cfm?isbn=8695