Meet Chardonnay Madkins, our newest team member! Chardonnay is coming on board as EROCs Project Manager. We sat down with Chardonnay to get a better sense of who she is as an activist and as a person.
End Rape on Campus (EROC): Chardonnay, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Chardonnay (C): I’m Chardonnay Madkins. I’m a black woman, an activist, and a womanist. I graduated from Occidental College in 2014 with a double major in psychology and urban and environmental policy. While on campus I cofounded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition (OSAC) and became a liaison between this anti-rape group and the Black Student Alliance cultural club. After I graduated I moved to France to teach English for a couple years and in my spare time filed a couple Title IX complaints against a few historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). For the past few years I’ve been advocating for campus survivors and I especially focus my attention on black survivors because they are more susceptible to physical and sexual violence.
EROC: Can you tell us more about your work examining intersectionality?
C: As I said before, I address structural inequalities that incorporates race, gender, class, and other marginalized identities. Because most people don’t have single axis issues it is important that we are not only inclusive, but center the most marginalized communities when we take on bringing equality and justice to campus, or larger society. I primarily do this by providing direct support to black students and survivors at HBCUs. However, now that I’m joining EROC I can expand my reach to a wider audience, work with more student activists, and have more resources available. Additionally, I can participate in speaking engagements to better educate people on intersectional issues; and reform policies to influence stakeholders to have culturally competent and comprehensive policies.
EROC: Speaking of, tell us, what brought you to EROC?
C: A couple of the faculty members, Danielle Dirks and Caroline Heldman, I cofounded OSAC with worked closely with EROC and its founders when it first began. So from the start of the organization I had a good idea of what EROC did for campus survivors and admired their work. While I worked on Title IX complaints against HBCUs, I received a bunch of help from EROC in helping myself and other HBCU survivors. After helping me help others and seeing me work so many hours for survivors, EROC asked me to join them in order to better serve survivors of color and HBCU students, and of course I gladly accepted.
EROC: What do you hope to accomplish in your position at EROC?
C: I hope to educate survivors, advocates, activists, and every person who searches EROC’s website about the intersectionality of gender, race, and class in relation to campus sexual violence. I also hope to be a viable resource to HBCU students so that whenever a student is assaulted on campus they know about EROC and their Title IX rights.
EROC: What motivates you to do this work?
C: It is my belief in the inherent value of black women’s lives and the love I have for my people, my culture, and black women that motivates me to ending systems of oppression.
EROC: Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
C: I speak a few languages. I speak English, French, and Italian. I consider African American Vernacular English (AAVE) a language so I’ll add that too. And I’m attempting to teach myself Spanish, Portuguese, and German.
EROC: Go to karaoke song?
C: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, but I’m also great with R-E-S-P-E-C-T and any Disney song.
EROC: Disney Songs? Yes please. What are your favorite Disney Movies?
C: I loved Mulan and Aladdin growing up. Now, that I’m older I like The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen movies, but I do think Tangled is the best one yet.