Antiracist Feminist Activism in Women’s Social Service Organizations: A Review of the Literature


  • Sobia Shaheen Shaikh Memorial University of Newfoundland



antiracism, feminism, activism, social movement, organizational change


Drawing from the historical successes of the antiracist and feminist movements of the 1980s and 1990s, antiracist feminists of colour continue to challenge inequitable practices within women’s organizations. In this paper, I review five strands of interrelated literature that help us to understand the contexts through which social justice activism is negotiated. I argue that in order to understand more fully women’s experience of ‘doing’ antiracist feminism within women’s organizations we need to understand intersecting arenas of activism. The literature points to several interconnected layers of social relations that need to be unpacked and examined, namely: restructuring of funding and accountability regimes within the non-profit sector broadly; unique challenges found within women’s movement organizations; politics of racism and antiracism in the feminist movement; everyday antiracist action within women’s organizations; and the relationships among politicized action, identity, subjectivity, and personal relationships.

Author Biography

Sobia Shaheen Shaikh, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Sobia Shaheen Shaikh is an Assistant Professor with Memorial's School of Social Work. Sobia's doctoral work is through Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto. She also has a Master's of Social Work degree in Social Welfare Policy and Bachelor's degrees in Social Work and in Economics from McMaster University.