The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the California state University, Northridge and its Institute for Feminist Studies and Social Action strive to achieve social justice, deepen democracy, and create world peace and to develop new generations of compassionate and critical thinkers that can recognize and interrogate the persisting injustices and inequalities based on gender, race, class, sexuality, nation, geography, ability, ethnicity, and religion that plague our planet. We are thus gravely concerned about the increasing pressure to silence protected speech including the historization of the current Israeli war in Gaza; the call to end the weeks long bombardment of Palestinian children, civilians, hospitals, and homes by Israeli military forces; the defense for access to water, food, and fuel to the people of Gaza; and the plea to stop yet another massive refugee crisis. Palestinian faculty and students as well as anyone speaking out against this tragedy unfolding in Gaza are being harassed, doxed, fired, and sent death threats. In other words, we are being asked to suspend moral judgement in the face of gross human rights violations, which as a field we endeavor to end.
This past week, our friend and colleague, Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a Palestinian feminist and the Lawrence D. Biele Chair in Law at the Faculty of Law-Institute of Criminology and the School of Social Work and Public Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been asked to step down from her position for voicing her concern for Palestinian life and asking for a cease fire. We cannot standby with such a decision because it not only is a violation of free speech and academic freedom, but because it hurts our moral fiber. We therefore call on and in fact implore the authorities of the Hebrew University to reconsider their decision to let go of such a renowned feminist and humanist scholar like Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian.
Let us not return to the dark ages. Give humanity one more chance to see the light. We, as you, mourn all the lives lost, including that of our Jewish brothers and sisters. Please do not deny Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian or any one’s right to mourn that of our Palestinian brothers and sisters.
LAUNCH OF THE INSTITUTE FOR FEMINIST STUDIES AND SOCIAL ACTION
On April 26th, 2023, the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies launched the Institute of Feminist Studies and Social Action. We opened with the world-renowned Palestinian feminist scholar, Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian from the Hebrew University. Her keynote speech was entitled “Feminist Geopolitics. The Cunning of Gender Violence.” The inauguration was a grand success demonstrating the interest that exists on our campus on issues that revolve around women and gender oppression. The IFSSA responds to a growing need to have a think-tank at CSUN that addresses the problems raised by the current political climate in the US and their impact on women and the LGBTQ+ communities. More events will be announced soon.