Xhercis Méndez is as an Associate Professor in Women and Gender Studies and Queer Studies and an affiliated faculty of African American Studies at California State University Fullerton. She is an organizer, activist, transdisciplinary scholar and decolonial feminist whose research focuses on developing decolonial feminist practices and methodologies for expanding our liberatory imaginations and building towards transformative justice.
During her time as an assistant professor of Philosophy and African American and African Studies at Michigan State University, she founded the Transformative Justice Speaker Series and is currently a consultant for the Transformative Justice initiative which seeks to expand the healing and accountability options available to and for survivors of gender-based violence, sexual assault and sexual misconduct within the university. Méndez is the founder of the #campusTJ Project, (www.campustj.com) a consultancy advocating for an intersectional and decolonial approach to gender-based violence and campus sexual assault.
She received her doctorate from the Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture Program at Binghamton University, along with certificates in Feminist Theory and Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies. Her research brings together the theory and political work of Women of Color, Transnational, and Decolonial Feminists, Sexuality Studies, Afro-Latinx/diasporic ritual practices and Liberation Philosophies in order to explore alternative grounds for the (re)making of power, social relations, and resistant possibilities. Her published work includes articles such as, “Notes Toward a Decolonial Feminist Methodology: Revisiting the Race/Gender Matrix,” and her forthcoming chapters, “Decolonial Feminist Movidas: A Caribeña (Re)Thinks ‘Privilege’, The Wages of Gender, and Building Complex Coalitions” for Oxford University Press and, “Not Your Papa’s Wynter: Women of Color Contributions Toward Decolonial Futures” for Fordham University Press. She is currently working on her book manuscript titled, Decolonizing Feminist Methodologies from the Dark Side.
In the classroom, Dr. Méndez is committed to diversifying not only academic spaces, but also the processes through which knowledge is produced. Her approach includes emphasizing a diversity of thought in the selection of readings, often including non-canonical texts produced by people of color. In addition, she works to create intellectual spaces where a diversity of experiences can find a voice, experiences that were largely marginalized within her own educational trajectory. Drawing upon her experiences as a former McNair scholar and Clark Fellow and the first in her family to go to college, she has mentored and created workshops designed to prepare first generation students to face the challenges and possibilities of higher education.