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Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells-Barnett Collaborative

The purpose of the Collaborative is to advance the institutionalization of interdisciplinarity at Spelman College through the planning and implementation of workshops, discussion groups, lecture series and other activities. 

The Ida B. Wells-Barnett Collaborative, representing the ties that bound the three Mellon Fellows groups of the "Transforming Learning and Connected Learning in General Education at Spelman College” Project (2008-2011), is named for the well-known Black woman intellectual of the late 19th and early 20th century who made persuasive use of quantitative data in both national and international social justice movements.  Extraordinarily, her passionate use of multiple analytical languages provides an excellent model for both Spelman College faculty and students as we work to transform the curriculum for the 21st century.  

Who Is Ida B. Wells-Barnett?

Born a slave on July 16 1862, Ida B. Wells-Barnett became an educator, journalist, newspaper editor and owner, a suffragist, anti-lynching crusader, and civil rights activist. She was skilled in the use of rhetoric, and in the use of argument and evidence in support of her crusades. Wells- Barnett died in 1931 at the age of 68.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett made persuasive use of both quantitative and qualitative data in both national and international social justice movements. She was unafraid to document and theorize lynching as a method of imposing fear as well as a sex, race, and social class hierarchy. Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s work provides a model for the transformative powers of interdisciplinarity, a cornerstone of the College’s general education curriculum.

There is a core Collaborative membership that also functions as an advisory group for the TRRC. In the spirit of intellectual generosity, the Collaborative's boundaries often expand as new projects are imagined and implemented.