Chazz Ware has been involved in activism here at Kent State University for her entire three-year tenure as a student. She primarily focuses on two causes, Black Lives Matter and feminism. During her time here, she has discovered that a lack of inclusion has been quietly but steadily holding the causes back.
“Traditionally the feminist has been the white, young, middle-class woman. Let’s say by some miracle tomorrow they say that women are treated totally equal. What about black women? What about trans women? What about poor women? What about disabled women? If the cause isn’t being inclusive to all women now, why would it be if and when there is success?”
Intersectionality is a term coined in 1989 by civil rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw. Intersectionality is the meeting of multiple social identities of people within a group. Ware says that a lack of intersectionality exists within the black community as well.
“It feels as though the LGBT and the non-LGBT students at BUS don’t interact as much once the meeting ends,” says Ware “I am not LGBT, but I always am welcoming to them. I promote an inclusive space no matter who I am talking to. Especially at BUS, we’re all black. We’re all minorities. We are supposed to be a community. To be a minority within your minority, that isn’t right.”
Ware stats that she knows these problems do not stem from BUS, but affect the entire black community. She also felt that even though the problem does not stem from BUS, an initiative could be taken to make sure it is known that the meetings are a safe space for all people.
“It should be about the empowerment of all black people. Of all women. Unfortunately, it isn’t there yet.”
Story by Jacob Ruffo
Photos by Becky Dawidziak