Thank you to our diversity, equity, and inclusion consultants for your work and guidance on the content of this exhibit.
Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?
The RMSC is committed to achieving institutional equity and making educational resources accessible to all through greater diversity and inclusion in all of its exhibitions, programming, staff, and community partnerships. The RMSC and more than 50 community curators and 11 partner organizations who co-curated The Changemakers exhibition recognized the vital importance of featuring women from all backgrounds, and particularly women from communities whose stories have often remained untold in mainstream museums. It is critical that all visitors to the exhibit encounter people who are like them through dimensions of identity including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, socioeconomic background, profession, and disability. The RMSC also recognized that with a relatively small staff, outside assistance and expertise was needed to present the stories of women from underrepresented communities with an authentic voice.
Dr. Irma McClaurin
Dr. Irma McClaurin is a woman of many talents. She believes profoundly that you must “change minds, change hearts, change behavior to achieve transformation.” A past president of Shaw University, McClaurin is President and Senior Consultant of Irma McClaurin Solutions (dba McClaurin Solutions), a consulting business that specializes in leadership and organizational development, executive coaching, diversity and change strategies, research and evaluations, and writing-editorial services. She is an activist biocultural anthropologist who studies the social construction of inequality by examining the culture of gender, racialization, cultural representations, and the impact of culture on biology through an intersectional lens.
Called an “academic entrepreneur,” she has held leadership roles across multiple sectors that include Deputy Provost at Fisk University; Associate Vice President and founding Executive Director of the first Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center at the University of Minnesota; tenured Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida and University of Minnesota; and Program Officer at the Ford Foundation where she managed a $10.8M portfolio. In the policy arena, McClaurin is a past Senior Faculty at the Federal Executive Institute where she taught leadership education to senior federal executives; an American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) Diplomacy Fellow at USAID; drafted the first National Plan on Family Violence for Belize, Central America; has taught policy writing workshops; and currently writes Expert Witness Declarations for immigrant asylum cases.
A prolific and award-winning writer, McClaurin’s poetry is published in over 16 magazines and anthologies and in 2015 the Black Press of America named her “Best Columnist in the Nation.” In 2016, her ethnography Women of Belize: Gender and Change in Central America celebrated 20 years in print. McClaurin considers Black Feminist Anthropology: Theory, Politics, Praxis and Poetics (2001) her most significant contribution to Black feminism and anthropology; Choice Magazine selected it as an “Outstanding Academic Title” in 2002. With Black Feminist Anthropology, McClaurin established a new genre and legitimized the study of Black women as a key component of feminist studies and feminist anthropology. She is a former Editor of Transforming Anthropology and currently an editorial board member of Ms. Magazine’s Committee of Scholars and Fire: A Multi-Media Journal for Black Studies, an OpEd Writer-Mentor, board member of the Afrolatin@ Project and Hip-Hop Association. In 2016, she founded the “Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive” at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A motivational speaker, she completed a speaking tour in 2018 in Taiwan and was a Fulbright Specialist in Kerala, India.
(Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan)
Laticia McNaughton is enrolled Six Nations Mohawk, a member of the Wolf Clan, and was raised in the Tuscarora Nation community in Western New York. She is a Ph.D. candidate in (Native) American Studies at the University at Buffalo. She holds an MA in Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in English and Anthropology from Buffalo State College. She has been the recipient of grants and fellowships including the Humanities New York Public Humanities Fellowship, the American Philosophical Society Phillips Grant for Native American Research, and the Arthur C. Schomburg Fellowship.
Ms. McNaughton has worked with several local community organizations over her career in various capacities for public outreach and education. Working with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, she has collaborated on Native American cancer prevention and public health research projects resulting in journal publication. She actively works with the Indigenous Women’s Initiatives-The Seed Institute to organize cooking classes, traditional agriculture projects and the annual “World On Your Plate” food and sustainability conference. She has instructed courses at UB in Native American Studies and coordinates events for the Haudenosaunee Native American Studies Research Group. She also currently serves on the Friends of Ganondagan board overseeing the Ganondagan State Historic Site.
Her dissertation, “Tetewatskan:hons ne Sewatokwa:tshera’t (We Eat From the ‘Dish with One Spoon’): Haudenosaunee Food, Health, and Wellness Traditions Recovery,” is nearing completion in Spring 2020. Her research project examines Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) food history through the lens of gender, hospitality, Indigenous ecological knowledge, language and settlement, and contemporary food sovereignty practices. She proposes that the revitalization of Haudenosaunee food sovereignty practices can have a tremendous impact on Indigenous health and wellness.
Her personal wellness journey dealing with diabetes and chronic illness informs her research and inspired her to create a blog website. The “Indigenous Food Revolutionary” blog promotes indigenous wellness, recipes, cooking workshops, foods, and language. She is also an active photographer with work featured in publications such as USA Today, Cowboys and Indians magazine, Heirloom Gardener, and other media.
Facebook: Indigenous Food Revolutionary
Carolina Osorio Gil
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, to a family of historically agrarian people, Carolina Osorio Gil is an artist, activist, and academic based in Ithaca, NY, where she is pursuing a MS/PhD in the Development Sociology department at Cornell University. She is a theater artist, spending much of her life acting and directing, and her current artistic focus is on developing story-based transnational interdisciplinary arts collaborations that revolve around social justice issues. In order to support and further these artistic collaborations, she is developing a theater methodology based in Freirian Education for Liberation praxis as well as Roadside Theater’s Story Circle Methodology (learn more about Roadside Theater Story Circles here: roadside.org/asset/story-circle-guidelines). Her current academic project utilizes these theater methodologies with a group of women from 46 villages in the state of Chiapas, Southern Mexico, around water knowledges, gender, and governance.
Before re-entering academia, Osorio Gil’s roots as a formerly undocumented Colombian living in the US led her to a career as a Latinx community organizer in the Ithaca area where she founded the CULTURA Ithaca program that strives to share and foster Latin American and Latinx cultures through free and low-cost arts and cultural events. She has also owned and been the head chef of BiciCocina Bicycle Food Cart and catering company and she has a strong interest in ancestral foods, particularly corn. She has collaborated extensively and on an on-going basis with Ganondagan Seneca Cultural Center in Victor, NY. As a Latinx community organizer, she has consulted and served on the board of the Tompkins County Latino Civic Association, the Ithaca Festival, and numerous organizations on topics ranging from food entrepreneurship to “permaculture” and inclusion.
Osorio Gil holds a MA in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, where her focus was on gifted education and community-based education; and a BA in Cognitive Psychology from Cornell University, where her focus was on language acquisition and development in early childhood and infancy. In addition to her academic and social pursuits, she also spent 15 years working at a robotics company, where she developed an interest in information management and systems design. Her future work will connect her research interests in technology and humanity to develop people-centered social science data tools.