Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Walker was born in Jackson, Mississippi to Mel Leventhal , a Jewish lawyer, and Alice Walker, the African-American civil rights activist and author of The Color Purple. After her parents divorced when she spent her childhood alternating every two years between her father's largely Jewish area in New York City and her mother's largely African-American area in San Francisco. At the age of fourteen, she became pregnant, but had an abortion. When she was eighteen, she decided to change her surname from Leventhal to Walker, her mother's maiden name.
After graduating from Yale University in 1992, she founded Third Wave Direct Action Corporation , a non-profit organization aiming to encourage young women to get involved in activism and leadership roles. In their first year, the organization initiated a campaign that registered over twenty thousand new voters across the United States. The organization now gives grants to young women who want to start their own business or go to school.
Walker has been a contributing editor to Ms. magazine since 1989. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, including the New York Daily News, Essence and Mademoiselle magazines. She has been featured on CNN and MTV, and has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Times, Esquire, among other publications. She also had a role in the film Primary Colors.
Walker has received several awards for her work, including the "Feminist of the Year" award from the Fund for the Feminist Majority , the "Paz Y Justicia" award from the Vanguard Foundation , the "Champion of Choice" award from the California Abortion Rights Action League and the "Women Who Could Be President Award" from the League of Women Voters.
She currently lives with her partner, singer Me'shell Ndegeocello, dividing their time between California and New York City, and spends much of her time speaking about third-wave feminism and activism at universities and conferences. Walker considers herself bisexual, and has stated that she is "attracted to people irrespective of their anatomy and gender socialization."
She is currently working on a second memoir about her travels in Africa.
- To be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism (1996) (anthology)
- Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self (2000)
- Putting Down the Gun: New Masculinity (2003) (anthology)
- What Makes A Man: 22 Writers Imagine The Future (2004) (Editor)
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