The Pigment of Your Imagination: Life Between Black and White

Event info: Sunday 10 April 2011 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Joy Zarembka is executive director of the Institute for Policy Studies and author of The Pigment of Your Imagination: Mixed Race in a Global Society (Madera Press).

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Does society or the individual determine racial classification? By combining vivid anecdotes of her travels, historical background, and oral histories from mixed-race families, Joy Zarembka examines the notion of race and identity to better understand the vastly different interpretations of racial identity in different parts of the world.

Born to a Black mother and a White father in the U.S., Joy reflects on crossing borders of race and nationality in different countries including England, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, and the U.S.  She’ll discuss the experience of being treated as white, brown, colored and different castes.

About the Speaker:

Joy Zarembka is the interim director for the Institute. She was formerly director of the Break the Chain Campaign, a coalition of legal and social service agencies, ethnically based organizations, social action groups and individuals devoted to protecting the rights of the migrant domestic working community. The Campaign has primarily focused on domestic workers who have entered the United States through a special visa program that grants international bureaucrats and diplomats the privilege of bringing hired help in from overseas. Most of these domestic workers are poor women from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America who enter the United States on temporary A-3 or G-5 visas.

Joy M. Zarembka was “born, bred and buttered” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree from Haverford College and Master’s degree from Yale University in International Relations. As a Student Professor at Haverford, she designed and taught the advanced-level course, “Sociology of Knowledge.” Before coming to the Campaign, Joy had traveled to Burundi – a small country in Central Africa currently experiencing civil war – to conduct conflict resolution workshops between different ethnic groups there, while participating in a project to reconstruct a destroyed guesthouse. Joy has traveled widely throughout Eastern and Southern Africa.

In February 2002, Joy was named one of the Women’s Information Networks’s Young Women of Achievement for the year.

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