One Illinois professor makes a compelling case….for eliminating Gender and Women’s Studies from the field of serious academic endeavors entirely.

Capitalism and white supremacy both played roles in the killing of Trayvon Martin, a public university professor said last Thursday.

Dr. Erica R. Meiners, a professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University, made the remarks while speaking on a panel of self-described “queer feminist scholars.”

“[T]he web of interconnected histories and contexts that made it possible for George Zimmerman to shoot Trayvon Martin and walk away cannot be separated from white supremacy, colonialism, heteromasculinity, and capitalism,” said Meiners.

“These killing threads shape the world we inhabit,” she added.

An article published in the Windy City Times, titled “Event looks at Trayvon Martin case through queer, feminist eyes,” pointed out that all of the panelists were “queer and feminist scholars.”

But event organizer and founding director of Project NIA, Mariame Kaba , told Campus Reform on Wednesday that the fact that all the panelists were queer feminist scholars was a coincidence.

The panel titled “Transformative Justice and The Trayvon Martin Case: A Consideration,” was held at Jane Adams Hull-House in Chicago and was intended to discuss “whether the criminal legal system is the ‘best’ way to seek accountability for harm has been ongoing for several years,” according to an event invitation published on

The other panelists were Traci Schlesinger, associate professor of sociology at DePaul University, and Beth Richie, a professor of criminal justice and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kaba told Campus Reform that a diverse crowd attended the event, including professionals and young people.

Meiners did not respond to requests for comment from Campus Reform.

Given her Saul Alinksy inspired background, her conclusions are not all that surprising:She has written about her ongoing labor and learning in anti-militarization campaigns, educational justice struggles, prison abolition and reform movements, and queer and immigrant rights organizing, in Flaunt It! Queers organizing for public education and justice (2009 (with Therese Quinn), Right to be hostile: schools, prisons and the making of public enemies (2007) and articles in Radical Teacher, Meridians, AREA Chicago and Social Justice.