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Rebecca Walker (born November 17, 1969, as Rebecca Leventhal) is an American writer, feminist, and activist. Walker has been regarded as one of the prominent voices of Third Wave Feminism, and the coiner of the term "third wave", since publishing a 1992 article on feminism in Ms. magazine called "Becoming the Third Wave", in which she proclaimed: "I am the Third Wave."Walker's writing, teaching, and speeches focus on race, gender, politics, power, and culture. In her activism work, she helped co-found the Third Wave Fund that morphed into the Third Wave Foundation, an organization that supports young women of color, queer, intersex, and trans individuals by providing tools and resources they need to be leaders in their communities through activism and philanthropy.Walker does extensive writing and speaking about gender, racial, economic, and social justice at universities around the United States and internationally.In 1994, Time named Walker as one of the 50 future leaders of America. Her work has appeared in publications including The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Salon, Glamour, and Essence and has been featured on CNN and MTV.
Walker identifies as bisexual. She had a relationship with neo-soul musician Meshell Ndegeocello, whose son she has helped raise even after the adults had separated.At the age of 37, she became pregnant during her relationship with her partner Glen, a Buddhist teacher. They had a son together named Tenzin Walker, born in 2004.Once estranged from her mother Alice Walker, she has reconciled with her, and the two have since appeared at literary events together.
Born Rebecca Leventhal in 1969 in Jackson, Mississippi, she is the daughter of Alice Walker, an African-American writer whose work includes The Color Purple, and Melvyn R. Leventhal, a Jewish American civil rights lawyer. Her parents married in New York before going to Mississippi to work in civil rights. After her parents divorced in 1976, Walker spent her childhood alternating every two years between her father's home in the largely Jewish Riverdale section of the Bronx in New York City and her mother's largely African-American environment in San Francisco. Walker attended The Urban School of San Francisco. When she was 15, she decided to change her surname from Leventhal to Walker, her mother's surname. After high school, she studied at Yale University, where she graduated cum laude in 1992. Walker identifies as Jewish and Black; her 2000 memoir is titled Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self.
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