carina monique buzo tipton

Social Justice Educator & Trauma-Informed Doula

I am a third-year PhD student in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. My work focuses on feminist institutional change. Specifically, I critically engage the structures of higher education and carceral systems as sites for feminist change. I use these locations to analyze the ways that institutions on a systematic level are experienced by people on an individual level. Individuals are impacted by wide-scale violence of racist and classist policies and processes. I have shared about my work with other critical studies scholars and I have been asked, “Where’s the gender part? The feminist part?”. I use feminist critique as my foundation. I read and hold the theories of Black, Indigenous, women of color and Queer brilliances as my guidance for change. The institutions that are at the center of my work have been created with a violent attempt to silence those brilliances. I believe that whatever comes next, whatever is deconstructed and rebuilt must be in deep honor and conversation to the theory, practice, and brilliance of Black and Indigenous and Queer people of color.

As a scholar in feminist studies, I also understand the power and necessity of grounding my work in my own subjectivity. My own identities are intertwined in this work, which I (and feminist standpoint theory) argue provides me an attentiveness and care that would otherwise be impossible. As a queer woman of color, sexual assault and domestic violence survivor, my work is an expression of my own liberation. On my journey to my liberation, I witness the intertwined structures of oppression and liberation of others. Through practice, scholarship, and kinship I join the liberation of others. I do not have a clean answer for what I hope to do professionally. Sometimes that makes me insecure, but my hope is that my professional goals are unsure because I refuse to define myself within systems that I am critiquing. I am confident that what comes next professionally is committed to my larger goals. I know that I am white-knuckle committed to following a direction towards liberation and justice within institutions of oppression.