For three decades, Dr. IRMA McCLAURIN, PhD, has helped transform the lives of adults and children through her work as a scholar and a top educational leader on the national scene. She’s also a poet, award-winning columnist, and creator of the newly established Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
No stranger to winds of change, she gained national attention for her leadership skills as President of Shaw University when a tornado ripped through the campus, tearing the roof off the student union. Miraculously, no one was killed. But thousands were devastated – all dependent upon her guidance through the storm. Here, in the midst of raging political storms, we asked: how can upheaval can be a catalyst for creativity?
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Irma McClaurin: "On Being a Black Woman in America Today":
...Thinking a lot about what it means to be a Black woman and a leader. Usually, people don't even think to put these three words together. When people reference "Black", more often than not, the examples are Black men. When they say "woman", too often images of white and non-Black women fill the screen. And when leadership is described, the case studies, the images, look nothing like us. Why is that? ...
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The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive
To preserve the profound contributions to scholarship and activism made by Black Feminists, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), and the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at the UMass Amherst Libraries have joined with Distinguished Alumna Dr. Irma McClaurin PhD ’93 in establishing this long-awaited Archive.