Feb 26 2021

Speaking/Writing/Being: Centering Black Women’s Intellectual Production

Feminisms Lunch Lectures

February 26, 2021

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



Dr. Jaira Harrington (Black Studies), Sekordri Ojo (History), Krystal Madden (Learning Sciences), and Priscila Pereira (Curriculum & Instruction) all smiling toward the camera.

Speaking/Writing/Being: Centering Black Women's Intellectual Production is a new program being developed by the Women's Leadership and Resource Center to create a supportive space for Black women graduate students to

  • share their ideas and projects,
  • engage in interdisciplinary conversations, and
  • build relationships with other Black women students and faculty across UIC.

In this first iteration, we'll be hosting a special edition of WLRC's signature Feminisms Lunch Lectures series featuring UIC PhD students Sekordri Ojo (History), Krystal Madden (Learning Sciences), and Priscila Pereira (Mathematics & Science Education). After individual short presentations of their work, our guest speakers will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Jaira Harrington (Black Studies) about what it has been like to be a Black woman graduate student in their respective fields during these unexpected times.

Speaking/Writing/Being is a celebration of Black women's intellectual traditions and experiences in diverse areas of knowledge. We look forward to seeing you there!

CART live captioning will be provided. Please send any questions or additional accommodation requests to wlrc@uic.edu.




Date posted

Feb 15, 2021

Date updated

Feb 17, 2021


Krystal Madden | PhD Student, Learning Sciences | University of Illinois at Chicago

Krystal Madden, MS is a mother, author, scholar, PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Education Program chair at Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso, IN. She has a BS in Biology from Jackson State University and a MS in Comparative Pathobiology from Purdue University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Learning Sciences with a focus on science education, race, and identity. Krystal is licensed as a secondary education science teacher, is currently an assistant professor of life sciences and education, and is a former high school science educator and laboratory scientist. Ms. Madden has a range of research experiences including design of middle school science assessments and teacher resources, equity and inclusion in classroom assessment design, presentations at national education and science conferences, publications in both laboratory-based natural sciences and education, and design and facilitation of professional development for both k-12 and college level educators. She has co-authored papers published in Prostaglandin, Leukotrienes, and Fatty Acids, Science Scope, and Breast Cancer Targets and Therapy. Most recently she co-authored a book chapter entitled “Cartographies of race, gender, and class in the white (settler) spaces of science and mathematics: navigations by Black, Afro-Brazilian, and Pakistani Women,” published in Diversifying STEM: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Race and Gender. Krystal’s research interests include equity and inclusion in classroom assessment design, intersectionality, and the persistence of underrepresented groups, specifically African American women, in the laboratory-based natural sciences. Most importantly, however, Krystal is the mother of two amazing children.

Sekordri Ojo | PhD Student, History | University of Illinois at Chicago

Sekordri Ojo is a doctoral student in the History Department. She was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and attended DePaul University, where she double majored in History and African & Black Diaspora studies. After graduating from DePaul, Sekordri joined Teach for America in 2014 where she taught reading and history on the south side of Chicago. Sekordri enjoys spending time with her family and her two fur babies. Sekordri’s current research examines the intellectual contributions of African American women teachers living and teaching in the southern United States during the late 19th and early 20th century. Specifically, she researches how African American women have historically used education as a tool to redefine what it meant to be African American. Sekordri’s research interest also includes the study of politically and socially organized forms of African American women resistance against racial power structures and institutions within the United States.

Priscila Pereira | PhD Student, Mathematics and Science Education | University of Illinois at Chicago

Priscila Pereira is a PhD student in Mathematics and Science Education with a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies. She was born and raised in Brazil and graduated from São Paulo State University with a licensure degree in mathematics. Her research interests focus on the educational experiences of Black women in higher education in Brazil and the U.S. More specifically, her doctoral work sheds light on the intersection of race, gender, class and mathematics education as well as Black women's resilience in mathematics spaces in Brazil. Priscila is a graduate assistant at the Women's Leadership Resource Center and is engaged in different academic and community-based projects focused on honoring Black women’s lives. She believes in living a holistic lifestyle, is a yoga and meditation practitioner, healthy food enthusiast, and a dog mom.

Dr. Jaira J. Harrington | Assistant Professor, Black Studies | University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Jaira J. Harrington is an Assistant Professor of Black Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago. Prior to this faculty position, Dr. Harrington served as a 2017-18 William J. Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar in Brazil. Dr. Harrington earned her doctorate in Political Science in the subfield of Comparative Politics at the University of Chicago. Her current research and writing focuses on the union organizing of domestic workers in unions in Brasília, São Paulo, and Salvador.