What is Justice?: Contemporary Perspectives on Global Feminisms

(Illustration by Bea Vaquero)

Join the Pitt Global Hub for a special panel discussion in honor of International Womxn's Day 2021. Our panelists will speak about the topic of "justice" in the current socio-political climate, covering issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Blackness, fascism, socio-political unrest, and more from an intersectional feminist perspective. Panelists will speak from their personal experiences in addition to their research expertise in regions around the world.

Anna Carastathis, PhD, Co-director of the Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research
Jessi Hanson-DeFusco, PhD, Adjunct Professor & Visiting Scholar, GSPIA, University of Pittsburgh
Luana Reis, PhD Student, Department ofHispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh
Vivetha Thambinathan, Doctoral candidate, Health Professional Education, Western University

Kari Kokka, EdD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh

WHEN: Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 from 12:30-2PMET via Zoom

Please read the bios for our panelists and moderator below:


Anna Carastathis

Anna Carastathis is a political theorist and co-director of the Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research (feministresearch.org). She is co-investigator on the TRANSCITY project researching “Space, Gender, and Transitions in Athens,” based in the Department of Social Anthropology at Panteion University. Anna is the author of two books: Intersectionality: Origins, Contestations, Horizons (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) and Reproducing Refugees: Photographia of a Crisis (with Myrto Tsilimpoounidi, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2020). She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from McGill University.

Jessi Hanson-DeFusco

Jessi Hanson-DeFusco is an adjunct professor and visiting scholar at The Ford Institute for Human Security at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. DeFusco has worked in international development and policy for nearly 20 years, including in research, health, gender, education, and human security/development. Much of her research focuses on international development policies related to equitable public service provision such as quality education, public health, gender rights, and social welfare. She holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ed.M. from Harvard. 

Luana Reis

Luana Reis is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Her research interests are Black Women’s Studies, BlackFeminist Theory/Thought, Comparative Literature, Latin American Literature, African Literature in Portuguese, and Black/African Diaspora. She is also dedicated to studies on the pluricentric aspect of the Portuguese language and the linguistic and cultural contexts in which Portuguese is a language of communication and interaction. She worked at the University of Pittsburgh as a Portuguese Teaching Assistant (Fulbright FLTA Program) (2013-2014) and as a Lecturer from 2016 to 2018. She is a member of the organizing committee of Mulherio das Letras - USA chapter, a collective of researchers and creative writers whose goal is to unite the voices of women from the Lusophone world who live in the United States. She is the founder of the collective “ADDverse+Poesia”, a transnational poetry group to celebrate Black/Indigenous/ LGBTQI writers and to develop collaborative artistic, cultural and intellectual projects.

Vivetha Thambinathan

Vivetha Thambinathan is an Eelam Tamil activist, community-engaged researcher, and public health professional. Vivetha is a doctoral candidate in Health Professional Education at Western University, where her research is centred around refugee health justice and historical trauma, specifically within a post-2009-genocide Tamil diaspora context. Vivetha is also a part of the Health Equity Action Research team, which focuses on achieving health equity for Indigenous and migrant populations through participatory research, inter-sectoral partnerships, and policy analysis. She holds a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Medical Sciences. Vivetha feels most inspired working at the intersections of community healing, creative storytelling, & justice.


Kari Kokka

Dr. Kari Kokka (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She studies Social Justice Mathematics and STEM teacher activism. Prior to academia, she was a mathematics teacher-organizer and mathematics coach at Vanguard High School, a NYC Title I public school (2001-2011). She is co-founder of the Creating Balance in an Unjust World Conference on STEAMM Education and Social Justice, former co-chair of the Critical Educators for Social Justice SIG, and has been part of the Radical STEMM Educators of the Bay Area and People’s Education Movement. Dr. Kokka completed her Ed.D. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2017), principal certification with the NYC Leadership Academy (2011), M.A. in Education (2001) and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University (1999). She is a proud product of East San Jose, CA K-12 public schools. She can be reached at kokka@pitt.edu, via Twitter @karikokka, or www.karikokka.com.