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Presumed Incompetent: Race, Gender and Class in Academia
Guest Expert Workshop | Facilitator: Carmen Gonzalez
  • How do race and gender stereotypes affect perceptions of competence in the academic workplace?
  • Why do academics from the working class feel pressure to "pass" as middle or upper class?
  • Why should the growing corporatization of academia be of particular concern to women of color?

What can be done to increase the hiring, tenure, promotion, retention and inclusion of women of color and other underrepresented groups?


Despite academia's professed commitment to meritocracy and diversity, female faculty of color continue to be underrepresented in the nation's colleges and universities. The problem is particularly glaring because thirty percent of the nation's students are of color, and the next generation will be majority minority. This workshop examines the obstacles that female faculty of color encounter on the road to tenure and beyond, and provides strategies that can be used by women of color, by allies, and by academic leaders to address institutionalized bias and to create a more equitable and inclusive campus environment.

Available Downloads:

About the Facilitator:

Carmen Gonzalez is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law, who writes in the areas of international environmental law, environmental justice, trade and the environment, and food security. After graduating from Yale University and Harvard Law School, she clerked for Judge Thelton E. Henderson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and practiced law at Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro, where she specialized in environmental litigation. She later served as an attorney at Pacific Gas and Electric Company and as Assistant Regional Counsel in the San Francisco office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Professor Gonzalez was a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina, a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow, and a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. She is the co-editor (with Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, and Angela P. Harris) of Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia.


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