The Center for Social Justice is an initiative of the Women's and Gender Studies Program to promote gender justice, equality, and human rights through local and global engagement.

Spring 2016 Activists-in-Residence

The Center for Social Justice is excited to host the Spring 2016 Activists-in-Residence, Chenjerai and Saadiqa Kumanyika, from April 4th until April 8th! 

Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika is a scholar, activist, and artist who holds a creativity professorship in Clemson University’s department of Communication Studies. He is a board member for several youth mentoring programs, and a news analyst for Uprising Radio. His January 2015 article on Vocal Color in Public Radio produced for was featured on NPR, the Washington post and Buzzfeed, trending nationally on Twitter, and spawning a nationwide discussion of diversity in public media. Chenjerai is also a founding member of the hip-hop group Spooks whose first album, S.I.O.S.O.S. Vol. 1 (2000) produced singles that reached gold-selling in four countries placed highly on top ten charts around the world. You can follow him on Twitter @catchatweetdown

Saadiqa Kumanyika is an activist, educator, and a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate. She received her B.A. in African and African American Studies and ME.d. in Applied Youth Family and Community Education from The Pennsylvania State University. Her work focuses on developing curriculums and workshops that strengthen community-based problem solving, social justice efficacy, and economic empowerment. In addition, she teaches Women in Global Perspective and Women and Leadership at Clemson University. Kumanyika’s work is inspired and informed by her ongoing learning about how women overcome and negotiate challenges that they face in their personal and professional lives. She has worked overseas in both South Africa and Haiti to empower young women to exercise leadership in ways that emphasize compassion, love, and care for themselves and others.

Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika and his wife Saadiqa Kumanyika have lived in South Carolina over the past three years during an extremely heightened period of both activism and racial violence and tension. This atmosphere has become even more intense in increasingly xenophobic rhetoric of current political culture. Sharing media from their experiences, Dr. Kumanyika will discuss the importance of impactful storytelling that blurs the lines between journalism, activism, and research during his public lecture, "The Revolution Reality Show: Storytelling and Activism in the Neoliberal Era." He will also reflect on the promises and perils of becoming part of the spectacle, and losing focus on transformative political demands in a sphere of endless media utterances. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 5th from 7pm to 9pm in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.

On Wednesday, April 6th, Chenjerai and Saadiqa Kumanyika will moderate a panel discussion about organizing on college campuses and how students can be involved in changing their institutions. The panel will feature Ayanna Poole, University of Missouri alumnus and founding member of Concerned Student 1950, as well as OU student organizers. The panel discussion will be from 7pm to 9pm in Adams Hall, Room 150.

Over the past four years Black women’s activism has exploded in response to police brutality and the extrajudicial killings of African Americans, violence against women and girls, and the regressive racial atmosphere on college campuses. This work is a continuation of under-recognized but impactful work by women who find themselves at the intersections of multiple oppressive systems. Professor and activist, Saadiqa Kumanyika will describe her experience of women’s leadership in the streets of Ferguson, New York, and South Carolina during her brown bag discussion, "Women’s Leadership in Contemporary Movements for Social Justice." She will also share how local southern women activists organized in response to the wide spread coverage of Deputy Ben Fields’ assault on Spring Valley High School student Shakara Murphey, in addition to their ongoing work to address the issue of officers in schools. Ayanna Poole, University of Missouri alumnus and founding member of Concerned Student 1950, will share how her organization was formed and how they were able to create changes on their campus that led to the resignation of President Tim Wolfe. Poole will also provide updates on the racial climate since the president stepped down. The brown bag discussion will take place on Thursday, April 7th from 12:00pm to 1:30pm in Old Science Hall, Room 103.

For more information or accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact the Center for Social Justice at (405) 325-5787.

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