American Studies 186 (crosslisted as Anthropology 186 and Education 186)
Food Justice and the Prison Industrial Complex

Nicole Beveridge, CUNY-Kingsborough 
Jaime Del Razo, Vassar College

In this course, students will study how race, class, and gender play a role in inequities and injustices in food systems and the prison-industrial complex.  Issues related to food justice are among the most important to the well-being of oppressed people.  Race, class, and gender, for example, are related to how food is grown, how it is processed and manufactured into food products, how it is accessed and where it is sold, what type of food is available at schools, prisons, and other institutions, how food is prepared, what, where and how it is eaten and the global dimension of food production.  In another example, the prison industrial complex promotes, defends and profits from the construction of prisons and the labor of prisoners.  Its strong influence with various aspects of our society include political, corporate, and educational entities and actors.  The prison industrial complex benefits from a number of inequalities with racial inequality being one of the most prominent along with gender and class inequality.  Students will also learn about hopeful responses to these injustices in examples such as an emerging food movement and mobilizations against the school-to-prison pipeline.  Such movements challenge the dominant system to create opportunities for groups disproportionately affected by these injustices.  Students can elect to register for this course as American Studies, Anthropology or Education 186.

Sociology 188 (crosslisted as Africana Studies 188 and Women's Studies 188) 
Feminist Utopias and Afrofuturism

Red Washburn, CUNY-Kingsborough 
Kimberly Williams Brown, Vassar College

This course will examine the history of feminist and Afrofuturistic thought with a focus on intersectional and radical approaches. In particular, it will imagine a different social world and realities, for example, a utopian world in which a colonial narrative is not the basis for human existence or a world in which a carceral state that promotes the prison industrial complex is central.  We will look at Afrofuturism, specifically works by feminist writers who address this theme. It will reposition marginalized social locations (i.e., race, class, gender, ethnicity, and nationality) in relation to dominant Afrofuturist feminist theoretical frameworks, including critical race, postcolonial, queer, and transnational perspectives. It also will make connections between theory and practice in contemporary social movements. It will also examine cultural productions, including literature and film. You will learn that critical reflection is essential to social critique. You will engage in open discussion about social, political, cultural, and historical issues addressed in the works we will read. In addition, you will write analytical essays in which you interpret ideas and practices of social identity.  Students can elect to register for this course as Sociology, Africana Studies or Women's Studies 188.

Education 155
Building Inclusive Communities

Residential Life Team, Vassar College (Colette Cann, Hanna Jeong, Josean Melendez, Roydel Morris, Emmett O'Malley, Alexandria Smalls, and Taylor Veasley)

In response to tensions that arise annually in residential spaces related to both difficulty navigating conversations related to social identity and seemingly “less important” (yet almost always significant) disagreements/conflicts related to co-habitating or sharing common space, this course provides students with experiences, skills and practice that will support their efforts to live in communities in more intentional and inclusive ways. This course will provide students with opportunities and training in conflict management and resolution, communicating in ways that embrace conflict, investing in relationships and connecting with their peers, and dialogue across differences in personal and social identities about challenging topics. We will teach a number of concrete tools from traditional dialogue facilitation to engage issues related to power and identity and communal living techniques to address tensions that arise when living in a community.


Nicole Beveridge currently resides in Beacon, New York which is approximately 70 mins. away from New York City by train. She grew up in Montego Bay, Jamaica and later migrated to the United States. She has been teaching a variety of content areas, specifically English, Education, and Business.  She is a professor of English at the City University of New York- Kingsborough Community College, while also teaching a range of Business courses at St. John’s University. Nicole has a been teaching higher education for approximately two decades. She teaches fully online, blended/hybrid formats combining web-based experiential and face to face modalities to achieve learning objectives. Her main research contributions are critical pedagogy, teacher inquiry, assessment practices, food studies, language acquisition and culture.  Nicole currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Mgmt. a Master of Science Degree in Education-TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages) with concentrations in Linguistics and Literacy and a doctorate in Education- specializing in Instructional and Organizational Leadership with certifications in Curriculum development and Instructional design.

Jaime Del Razo is a proud community college transfer student who believes that community college students are both qualified and eager to transfer to four-year universities, and that they bring with them a richness of life experiences and academic rigor. He is interested in researching and writing about issues that confront the continual and accepted forms of oppression that marginalized communities endure in overt and subtle forms in the United States with the goal of changing these conditions forever. Jaime’s teaching philosophy is grounded in Critical Pedagogy and Constructivism, and he believes that all students bring a wealth of knowledge into the classroom where, together, knowledge can be co-constructed and the classroom can become transformative spaces. Jaime holds a PhD in Education from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSE&IS) and a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley. His doctoral dissertation examined the college matriculation of undocumented students using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as his primary theoretical framework and a mixed methodology using both qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Dr. Amy (Red) Washburn is Assistant Professor of English and Co-Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY). She also is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Hunter College (CUNY). She is interested in social theory, histories of social movements, and creative writing. She received a M.A. in English from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2005 and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland in 2007. She received a Ph.D. from the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland in 2010. Her articles appear in Journal for the Study of RadicalismWomen’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. Her poetry collection Crestview Tree Woman was published by Finishing Line Press. Her recent poems were published in Sinister Wisdom: A Multicultural Lesbian Literary and Art Journal, and she is the co-editor of three recent issues of it, including Celebrating the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance, and the Lesbian Herstory Archives. She is a coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives and of the Rainbow Book Fair. For more information, visit www.amyleighwashburn.com.  This is her first year in the Exploring Transfer Program at Vassar College.

Kimberly Williams Brown is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Education at Vassar College. She holds a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in Cultural Foundations of Education. Prior to transitioning to her Ph.D. program she spent eight years in higher education administration in both residence life and multicultural affairs developing selection, training and mentoring programs for students and professional staff members. She was a POSSE mentor for Students from Atlanta, GA.  Her academic areas of focus are immigration/migration studies, women’s and gender studies, and intergroup dialogue. Her dissertation titled “The transnational narratives of Afro-Caribbean women teachers in New York City school districts examined Afro-Caribbean women teachers recruited to teach in urban “failing” schools’ agency in navigating neoliberal hiring practices and a neoliberal educational environment. Her other intellectual interests include, critical feminist pedagogy particularly in decolonial feminist theories, Black feminist theories, transnational feminist theories, Indigenous feminisms and Caribbean feminist theories; critical race theory; Indigeneity and Blackness and critical methodological inquiry. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Concord University, Master’s degrees in Human Resource Management (University of Charleston) and Communication and Rhetorical Studies (Syracuse University) and certificates in Women and Gender Studies (Syracuse University) and Professionals in Human Resources. She has taught a wide variety of courses including Intergroup Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity, Introduction to Women and Gender Studies, Advanced seminar in decolonial theory, contemporary issues in Education, the adolescent in society, multidisciplinary methods in Education, and rethinking gender in Education. She has a 17-month old daughter and enjoys spending time outdoors, at the gym and with her family.