Claudia Rankine, a poet, essayist and professor at Yale University. Her 2014 book Citizen: An American Lyric which explores the relentless, personal effects of microaggressions and everyday racism was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. In her latest book, Just Us:An American Conversation, Rankine sets out to have uncomfortable conversations with white people about race and how (or whether) they perceive their own whiteness.
Using funds from her 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, Rankine founded the The Racial Imaginary Institute, an interdisciplinary center for writers, artists, and scholars to examine artists' whiteness and race as social constructs. She was the 20201 year’s guest for Gonzaga University’s 4th Annual Race & Racism Lecture.