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African American Women’s Unseen WorkMaster ClassVirtual

Nina Banks headshot, with a blurred fall background.

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2022Thursday, Feb 17, 2022Friday, Feb 18, 2022

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. EST

Though feminist economists have previously called attention to the invisibility of women’s unpaid work within the household, there is a vital, unrecognized history of African American women’s contributions. These women worked together to address racial disparities, including unmet community needs and community harms. African American women’s activism can be reconceived as unpaid, nonmarket collective work. This class will include a focus on the first African American economist, Sadie T. M. Alexander, and the recovery of her political-economic thought. Alexander’s life as an economist was unseen; the implications of her invisibility still reverberate through economic analysis and public policy.

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the master. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Nina Banks, Bucknell University

Nina Banks is associate professor of economics and an affiliate of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Bucknell University, the faculty director of Bucknell in Ghana, and Bucknell’s academic director of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty. She is the president of the National Economic Association (NEA), and serves on the board of directors of the Economic Policy Institute and editorial board of The Review of Black Political Economy. Previously, she served on the board of the International Association for Feminist Economics. Her research makes visible the unseen work of Black and other marginalized women by developing an economics of their unpaid work and community activism against racial and ethnic disparities. Professor Banks is the founder and organizer of the NEA’s annual Freedom and Justice conference, and the American Society of Hispanic Economists. She holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and social history from Hood College. In addition to Democracy, Race, and Justice: The Speeches and Writings of Sadie T. M. Alexander (Yale University Press, 2021), Professor Banks has three other books under contract. Her research has been featured in popular media outlets that include NPR, the Economist, and the New York Times.