In honor of Women’s History Month, each week Culturas will be sharing five womxn of color who are noteworthy.
This week is focusing on noteworthy modern day figures everyone should know.
Laverne Cox, born May 29th, 1972 is an actress and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her work on Orange Is The New Black.
Many believe Cox’s presence in mainstream media has led to the growing conversation about transgender culture and how it intersects with race. Cox was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School for her work in the battle for gender equality.
Erika Lee is a professor, historian and author. She is one of America’s leading immigration and Asian American historians.
She is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and spent her formative years in the Bay Area. Lee graduated from Tufts University and continued her studies at the University of California, Berkeley earning a Ph.D. in 1998. She was elected into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, awarded the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and is Vice President of the Organization of American Historians.
Karen Chee, born February 22, 1995, is an American comedian and staff writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers. She graduated from Harvard in 2017. She has been published in McSweeny’s, Reductress and The New Yorker.
As a writer for Meyers, Chee appears in the segment called “What Does Karen Know?” where she and Meyers quiz each other on cultural touchstones from their age groups. Chee appeared on the show to address the recent hate crime and the mass shooting in Atlanta. She delivered a thoughtful urge to understand the systemic racism Asian Americans face in Hollywood and America.
A Dalit and transgender activist, Grace Banu is the first transgender person to be admitted to an engineering college in the state of Tamil Nadu. Banu’s activism focuses on ending inequality for transgender folks in India. She discusses intersectionality in caste privilege.
“No amount of temporary governmental and non-governmental schemes can have the transgenerational impact that reservations can have. Reservations are the only way,” Bantu said in a YouTube video posted on Dalit Camera.
Roxanne Gay is a professor, editor and writer. She is best known for her best-selling essay collection “Bad Feminist.” Gay earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Michigan Technological University in 2010.
“Bad Feminist” is only one of her various writing feats. Though short-lived, one of her notable recent works is the six-issue World of Wakanda, a spinoff of Black Panther. Gay worked on the project with poet Yona Harvey and the series received praise for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters.