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Panel Discussion, Confrontation? Doing Feminist and Anti-Racist Work in Institutions

  • Mill Lane Lecture Theatre 1 Mill Lane Cambridge, England, CB2 1RX United Kingdom (map)

How can we confront institutions about their role in perpetuating violence and work to make institutions more open and inclusive spaces? 

In this panel we explore some of the paradoxes and difficulties of doing feminist and anti-racist work within institutions. Even when institutions claim to be committed to equality they are often deeply unequal and hierarchical spaces. A feminist and anti-racist project is to transform the institutions in which we work. The aim of transforming institutions is still however an institutional project: we often have to work through the structures we seek to dismantle. When our political work is resourced or supported by an institution does it become more difficult to confront the institution? Does following procedures or working in house constrain the kinds of work we can do? If for strategic reasons we try to avoid confrontation what else are we avoiding? And how and why are some of us perceived as being confrontational however we are doing the work?

The panel will be a chance to talk from as well as about our experiences of doing feminist and anti-racist work. We will consider who does (and does not) do the work of trying to transform institutions and how these distributions of labour can reproduce inequalities. We will discuss the costs of doing (and not doing) this labour and reflect on how institutions can exhaust us and wear us out. The panel will open up a discussion of how we can confront problems of institutional racism, institutional sexism (including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct) as well as institutional bullying. 

Sara Ahmed, Heidi Mirza, Monica Moreno Figueroa, Lola Olufemi, Tiffany Page and Leila Whitley

Event is free and you just turn up. Information is also posted here:

This is a launch event for a new feminist counter-institutional initiative FFF

FFF Fighting For Feminism
FFF When feminism is what we stand for