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<h2 class="nci-h2-featured"> Mab Segrest is the 20th Zale-Kimmerling Writer-In-Residence (Fall 2004)


Mab Segrest is a lesbian feminist writer, academic, and activist, best known for her efforts to combat sexism, homophobia, racism, and classism.

Segrest was born in Alabama in 1949. She graduated from Huntington College in 1971 and received a PhD in English literature from Duke University in 1979. She taught at Campbell University shortly afterward, but then took a break from academia to devote a decade to social movements.

She helped found North Carolinians Against Racist and Religious Violence, which was instrumental in raising awareness about and putting a stop to the Neo-Nazi and Klu Klux Klan related violence during the eighties. Segrest's, Memoir of a Race Traitor (1995), tells about her experiences with the NCARRV and is considered by many to be a key text in the field of anti-racist studies. It won two awards: Outstanding Book on Human Rights in North America and was Editor’s Choice for the Lambda Literary Awards.

She has also been involved with many other social justice organizations. She was the Coordinator of the US Contact Group of the World Council of Churches' Urban-Rural Mission, which helps bring together community organizers and religious-based activists. She co-authored the Center for Democratic Renewal manual, When Hate Groups Come to Town, and has spoken at many national and international conferences and at many universities.

Segrest currently serves as the head of the Gender and Women's Studies Department at Connecticut College.

During her time at Tulane, Segrest was a Distinguished Tulane Mellon Professor of the Humanities as well as the 20th Zale Writer. She convened the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Zale Program, "Shake Loose Our Skin," which featured readings and performances from past Zale writers Linda Hogan, Joanna Scott, and Sonia Sanchez as well as students from New Orleans high schools McMain, Frederick Douglass, Karr, and McDonough 35.

During her Zale residency, Segrest taught a seminar based on select writings of past Zale Writers, and invited Sonia Sanchez, Linda Hogan, and Joanna Scott back to campus for a joint reading and performance in November 2004.

Mab Segrest remained a great friend to NCCROW during and after Hurricane Katrina and the flood. She returned to campus in March 2006 to deliver an address at International Women's Day. She traveled to New Orleans twice in Spring 2007: to participate in the Newcomb College Institute Summit on Educating Women for a World in Crisis in February, then in March with her Gender Studies capstone students from Connecticut College. In 2007-2008 she took part in NCCROW collaborations with the Feminist Majority Foundation and V-Day.

by Michelle Sands

edited by Crystal Kile


Born to Belonging: Writings on Spirit and Justice (2004)

Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray: Feminist Strategies for a Just World (2003) - coeditor with Jacqui Alexander, Lisa Albrecht and Sharon Day

Memoir of a Race Traitor (1994)

My Mama's Dead Squirrel: Lesbian Essays on Southern Culture (1985)

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