A Tool for Healthy Critique: Community Spaces for the Development of Non-Tenured Women of Color in Political Science
By Nura A. Sediqe, Michigan State University, and Sherice Nelson, Southern University and A&M College
The freedom to be, and to be creative, is a critical requisite for all scholars. For women of color who are early-career scholars, community spaces that foster relationships among women are one of the most meaningful ways that they can unearth their creativity. As Audre Lorde (1979/1984) said, “Without community there is no liberation.” Accessing our creativity as political scientists seeking to uncover new theories and findings is an opportunity that all academics should be offered when venturing into a career as a junior scholar. However, higher education is not an inherently neutral space; this reality often precludes the research environment as a place where women of color can comfortably engage their intellectual creativity. Most often, autonomous political science departments across the country have additional paths of resistance, which serve as a hurdle for women of color scholars early in their career. Given this reality, community spaces are an important component necessary for the growth of women of color as junior scholars.