Celebrating Intersectionality and Black History Month

In the United States, Black History Month is observed during the month of February. This month often serves as a time of education, reflection, remembrance, and action. As we honor this month-long event, we can recognize the importance of acknowledging and honoring intersectional identities within Black communities.

Center for Social Inclusion Image Black History Month

Intersectionality is a term originally coined by scholar and theorist Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989. As a concept, intersectionality considers the identities we hold (such as our gender identity, race, nationality, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, body size, religion, and other identity markers) and the ways these “intersect”. It addresses how our identities are embedded within interlocking systems of power, such as racism and sexism, that can lead to complex experiences of prejudice, discrimination, and cumulative disadvantages.


To celebrate diversity and intersectionality within Black communities, our Black History Month centers women and LGBTQ+ icons, trailblazers, and activists. We hope you join us for our speaking engagements with Dr. Shameka Stanford and Dr. Pat Sanders and visit our Intersectional Black History Month Exhibit in Collier Library.

The Confluence of Language, Behavior, and Youth Justice with Dr. Shameka Stanford

webinar Dr. Shameka Stanford
Flyer for Zoom Webinar featuring Dr. Shameka Stanford - February 9th - Register Here

Dr. Shameka Stanford is an Associate Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at Howard University and the Juvenile Forensic Speech-Language Pathologist. Dr. Stanford is also a special education advocate trained by Wright's Law training center. Dr. Stanford’s clinical and scholarly work specializes in juvenile forensics, law enforcement interaction with youth with CD, child language disorders, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Her primary research focuses on the confluence and impact of cognitive and communication disorders on the school-to-confinement pipeline, status offenses, involvement with the criminal justice system, law enforcement interaction, and criminal recidivism in youth placed at-risk for delinquency and crime (especially Black and Brown youth from under-resourced areas). Dr. Stanford is also a clinically certified and licensed speech-language pathologist and is licensed to practice in Maryland, Washington, D.C, Florida, and multiple other states.

Through her work, Dr. Stanford has created cutting edge social justice and juvenile justice specialty courses for graduate CSD students, nationally known training programs for law enforcement and legal counsel, and national and international CE workshops and training for licensed SLP clinicians, students, and families of children with special needs.

Women of Action with Dr. Pat Sanders

Dr. Pat Sanders Flyer
Flyer for Webinar featuring Dr. Pat Sanders - February 9th, 6 pm - Register Here

Women of Action is a speaker series that invites inspirational women from our community to share with us their story, community impact, and life journey. In February, we are excited to welcome Dr. Pat Sanders to share with us.

Dr. Pat Sanders, is a Professor and Chair for the Department of Communication at the University of North Alabama, where her teaching specialty is Journalism and Digital Media Production. She joined the faculty at UNA in 1999. Before joining academia, she worked in broadcast media, primarily as a radio journalist in the commercial and public sectors, as a public speaker, and professional voice-over artist. She launched a podcast that is performing well and was awarded “Best of Competition” by the internationally known Broadcast Education Association. It is entitled This Prof Life: Women of Color in Higher Education and shares the personal stories and experiences of women of color working in the academy. She is a dynamic educator and inspirational speaker in the classroom and for professional and religious organizations.

Dr. Sanders has been fortunate enough to win numerous awards for her journalism work, and has received numerous recognitions on campus and in the community for her work inside and outside the classroom, including the Outstanding Service Award by the UNA Student Government Association, a Faculty Alumni Award at UNA and Advisor of the Year from the National Broadcasting Society, as well as an Excellence in Teaching Award from the UNA Chapter of the National Honor Society for Leadership. Most recently, she served as an Administrative Fellow with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Office. She is also the District 2 Representative for the National Broadcast Education Association. In relation to and outside her faculty role at UNA, she enjoys interacting with and providing mentorship to students and leading them on national and international experiential learning travel experiences.

In addition, the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence presented her with a State Media Award for coverage of services for victims of domestic violence. She also was part of a team that produced pieces that won Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for various radio stories for Alabama Public Radio. And, she has won numerous Alabama Associated Press Awards.

Dr. Sanders has served on numerous campus committees and community boards and is a graduate of Leadership Alabama, Class IVX, an elite group of individuals from across the state who are chosen as leaders in the State of Alabama. She is a past board member for the Society for Professional Journalists National Education Committee. Dr. Sanders currently serves as the district 2 Representative for the National Broadcast Education Association where she also makes scholarly presentations each spring. As part of that professional group, she serves on the Multicultural and Religion and Media Boards. She is a member of the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA). Dr. Sanders holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of North Alabama and a Ph.D. in Communication from Regent University.

Her research interests center on audio, social and digital media, and women in leadership roles. Her research has also evolved to include women’s diversity issues in society and the workplace, particularly in higher education. She has presented papers on the topic at BEA, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also has published scholarly work on the aforementioned topics.

Her personal interests include spending quality time with family, experiencing new foods, traveling internationally, meeting people from diverse backgrounds, reading, writing, listening to podcasts, church involvement and a good cup of coffee. She is married to Lin Sanders, a Corporate Health, Environmental and Safety Director and ordained minister; they have two adult children, Erica and Patrick, who own their hearts.

An Intersectional Exhibit: Black History Month

image of Harry Smith Commons

Our Intersectional Black History Month Exhibit is now displayed in Collier Library celebrating and uplifting Black queer communities.This exhibition was curated to spotlight Black LGBTQ+ icons, activists, and trailblazers.

Among those honored in the exhibit, you’ll find: 

  • Gladys Bentley
  • Bayard Rustin
  • Stormé DeLarverie
  • James Baldwin
  • Alvin Ailey
  • Audre Lorde
  • Laverne Cox
  • Ernestine Eckstein
  • Barbara Jordan
  • Marsha P. Johnson
  • Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
  • Ron Oden
  • Phill Wilson
  • RuPaul
  • Andrea Jenkins
  • Willi Ninja
  • Lori Lightfoot
  • Alphonso David
  • E. Denise Simmons
  • Kylar Broadus

Black History Month Exhibit

We hope you can stop by the Library to check it out. Be sure to visit UNA.edu/bhm to find the full calendar of events for Black History Month at the University of North Alabama.