Social transformation is at the core of our mission.

As a discipline, we examine constructions of gender and sexuality as they intersect with other categories of identity such as race and class. We work toward social justice and collective liberation. We engage in rigorous interdisciplinary academic study, as well as community engagement, activism and creative production.

In all that we do, we strive to put our students first.

Learn more about what you can expect to gain as a student in our department.


Kim Case, Ph.D., and Heather Jones, Ph.D., professors in the Department of Psychology, have each been recognized by national academic societies for their contributions to diversity. (Photos provided by Kim Case and Heather Jones)

May 13, 2024

Two VCU psychology professors earn national awards for dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion

Kim Case and Heather Jones are recognized by American Psychological Association divisions for their career-long commitment.

A planned Richmond Freedom School being developed by two VCU professors will share community-based conversations about Richmond-specific topics ranging from politics, history and civics to ecology, arts and science. (File photo)

May 2, 2024

Mellon Foundation grants will help VCU professors launch Richmond Freedom School

Elizabeth Canfield, Ph.D., with the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and Mignonne Guy, Ph.D., with the Department of African American Studies, are developing a new program for the Richmond community.

At the 2024 PACME ceremony: (from left to right) Faye Z. Belgrave, Ph.D., vice president and chief diversity officer; Austin Ezzard, a social work student; Kim Case, Ph.D., professor of psychology and affiliate professor of gender, sexuality and women’s studies; KáLyn "Kay" Coghill, a media, art and text student; Christina Davis, advisor and instructor in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program; Shawn Utsey, Ph.D., professor of psychology and acting chair of the Department of African American Studies; Brooke Berry, interim associate vice president for strategic initiatives, inclusion & belonging; and VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. (Thomas Kojcsich, Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

April 18, 2024

‘We are diversity’: Five VCU community members honored at the 2024 PACME ceremony

Shawn Utsey, recipient of the Riese-Melton Award, notes ‘how much work we still have to do. We cannot afford to become complacent in the face of injustice.’

GSWS Spotlight