Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Signatory: Lizabeth Cohen, Dean

Joined: January 2016

Contact: Dr. Kenvi Phillips, Curator for Race and Ethnicity at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Social Media

In the Schlesinger Library, the inaugural Curator for Race and Ethnicity, Kenvi Phillips, PhD was hired to promote knowledge of our collections to researchers, and also to do outreach to communities that are currently underrepresented in the collection. She began her appointment in early October 2016.

The Schlesinger Library added new collections for research on women and girls of color. They include:

  • The papers of Pat Parker, African American poet, lesbian, and activist
    Patricia Williams, attorney and journalist for The Nation, added to the multi-generational collection of her family’s papers
  • The papers of the National Institute for Women of Color
  • The papers of Gwendolyn Baker, educator and professor, known by some as the “mother of multi-culturism”
  • The papers of Linda Watters, business executive and expert in state, national, and international regulatory issues

Radcliffe programming included the Maurine Rothschild Lecture delivered by Mamphela Aletta Ramphele; the Wikipedia Edit-athon entitled “Strong Voices: Indigenous Women”; the discussion “Household Workers Unite! A Conversation between Scholars and Activists”; and lectures by Krystal Appiah, Khalil Muhammad, and Maeve Kane.

The Library established several collaborations with partner institutions in areas related to the work of the Collaborative, including History Makers and the Digital Transgender Archive. The Library provided research grants to four undergraduate students and one professor for research projects focused on the lives of women and girls of color. The Academic Ventures Program of the RIAS sponsored six events focused on the lives of women and girls of color. RIAS Fellows 2015-2016 Devah Pager and Laurence Ralph conducted research on topics related to the lives of women and girls of color.

“Our participation in the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research has meant a great deal to the Schlesinger Library and the Radcliffe Institute over the past year. We were delighted to host Professor Harris-Perry for a campus-wide conversation last March. That animated discussion between Collaborative leaders and Harvard faculty demonstrated the wonderful alignment between the reach of the Collaborative’s project and the convening power of the Radcliffe Institute. For Schlesinger Library, the framework of the Collaborative helps us to think about how the raw materials of the history of women and girls can advance the social and policy aims of researchers and activists working in a variety of disciplines and settings. We look forward to continuing the our collaboration with the Collaborative next year, with Dr. Kenvi Phillips, our inaugural Curator for Race and Ethnicity, leading Schlesinger’s efforts.”

Jane Kamensky, Pforzheimer Foundation Director, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America