Greene County News Report
YELLOW SPRINGS — Dr. Philomena Essed, a professor in Antioch University’s Ph.D in Leadership and Change program, was awarded an honorary degree in the Social Sciences Oct. 17 from Umeå University in Sweden.
Her second honorary degree, Essed was recognized for her work advancing gender studies and education at a formal ceremony attended by the country’s king, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, and 600 attendees.
Essed, who was born in The Netherlands, is a professor of critical race, gender and leadership studies at Antioch University. She also has an affiliate appoint with The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. Essed’s teaching, research and practice focuses on social justice, ethics and the elimination of all forms of discrimination so that people can live with dignity.
Known for introducing the concepts of “everyday racism” and “gendered racism” in the Netherlands and internationally, her work has been adopted and applied in a range of countries, including the United States, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Australia.
“Receiving this honorary degree makes me feel enormously grateful for the fact that I have been able, throughout my life, to pursue knowledge for a just cause,” said Essed, who is also an affiliated researcher for Utrecht University’s Graduate Gender program. “It is a wonderful recognition of the larger purposes I have always stood for social justice, creating a world free from racism and other forms of discrimination, and above all confirmation of the dignity of women.”
Essed holds a Ph.D from the University of Amsterdam, demonstrating a lifelong commitment to social justice unbounded by discipline, geography, politics or culture. As a witness, she has testified at The European Parliament, the UN Economic and Social Council and the Helsinki Commission among others.
She has published in her field, with contributions including Dutch Racism (2014); Clones, Fakes and Posthumans: Cultures of Replication (2012); A Companion to Gender Studies, which is recognized as a 2015 Outstanding Academic Title from the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Choice Magazine.
“It is the celebration of family, friends, colleagues and all social justice scholars who, like me, persist, against the odds, for a better world. And sometimes, there is the reward of others recognizing the special value of critical and transformative leadership as scholars,” Essed said. “I thank Antioch University and in particular the Ph.D Program for Leadership and Change – a great example of how to do learning differently – for providing me on an everyday basis the inspiration and positive environment to embrace care, ethics, social and environmental justice as values at the heart of what universities should be about.”
To learn more about Antioch University’s Ph.D in Leadership and Change program, visit antioch.edu/phd.
Story courtesy of Antioch University Midwest.