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Past 2021 Events

First Fridays at ARPC

October 8, 2021, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Dismantling Empires of Knowledge: The Transnational Black Womxn Scholars of African Politics Research Network Ethnographies of Empire series

Garrett Graddy-Lovelace and Jordanna Matlon
Monday, October 4, 1-2:30 p.m.

Theory, Method, and Praxis from the Afro-Caribbean
Recentering Black Radical Traditions

3/31/21, 3 p.m. EST

Not a Nation of Immigrants
Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

4/6/21, 1 p.m. EST

Antiracism and Environmental Justice
Latinx Imperatives, a Conversation with Ramón Cruz

4/8/21, 3 p.m. EST

Asian-American Solidarities in a "Post-" Pandemic World

9/9/2021, 6 p.m. ET

On Asian America and Coalitional World-Building
A Conversation with Grace Kyungwon Hong Description

4/21/2021, 4-5:15 p.m. ET

Thinking Freedom from the Global South Series 

Learn more about the "Thinking Freedom" series as a whole and each of these events and speakers.

Past Event Videos

Browse our recent event videos below.

Asian American Solidarities in a "Post-" Pandemic World


September 9, 2021: For Asian Americans, the surge in anti-Asian violence during the pandemic has forced many of us to question how we are truly viewed, who will stand with us, and how we stand with others. What does racial solidarity mean right now? The practice of showing up—of making our presence meaningful—is no simple matter. Beyond statements and hashtags, how do we actively and creatively practice solidarity—through our activism, our art, redirecting material resources, and the narratives we shape? This panel of artists, performers, writers and scholars thought through the (re)making of Asian American presence and solidarity in this crucial moment in US history.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on Nishnaabeg Resistance Stories


March 24, 2021: Using Nishnaabe storytelling, theory and aesthetics, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson explored the themes of relationality, reciprocity, resistance and resurgence. With excerpt from her books, "As We Have Always Done, The Gift is In the Making, and This Accident of Being Lost," Simpson used the practice of making Maple Syrup to immerse audiences in a contemporary Nishnaabe world that rejects colonialism, white supremacy and heteropatriarchy and collectively works towards building an alternative. The presentation ended with a screening of the short stop motion animated film Biidaaban, a collaborative work between Simpson and Métis filmmaker Amanda Strong.

Françoise Vergès on the Politics of Extraction & Suffocation


March 3, 2021: Racial capitalism and the armed branches of the State use the weapons of extraction, suffocation and exhaustion to pacify, neutralize dissent and revolt and to exploit and dispossess. Suffocation is accomplished either through murder by kneeling on a black or brown neck, by hindering or cutting breath, by attacking lungs with tear gas, polluting fumes, bad housing, polluted water and air, and by destroying forests (the “lungs” of the planet) and creating forests for profit. Exhaustion is obtained by fabricating crippling and debilitating conditions of transportation, work, and feeding oneself. Love is impeded. This constitutes an assemblage that states use to control populations.

Françoise Vergès proposed a decolonial feminist analysis of this economy and explore what kinds of decolonized praxis are deployed and what planetary practices are imagined to counter a politics of devastation. Vergès was joined by Professor Janine Jones, Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNC-Greensboro.

S’bu Zikode on The Living Politics of Abahlali


February 17, 2021: "The power of Abahlali and the living politic has been paid in blood" with founding President of the South African Abahlali baseMjondolo Shack Dweller’s Movement and an introduction by Nigel Gibson.

Frantz Fanon discovered what we have discovered in our generation: if you are serious about victory, about succeeding to humanise the world, even a little bit, then your struggle must be a living politics. It must be owned and shaped in thought and in action by ordinary people. If every gogo (grandmother) does not understand your politics then you are on the road to another top-down system. Abahlali’s founding president will discuss the democratic power of the poor within post-Apartheid South Africa through the birth of the Shack Dwellers movement and what it means to build and sustain a living politic from the ground up, as the politics of the poor is met with violent state repression, including assassinations. The event will begin with an introduction from Nigel Gibson, author of Fanonian Practices in South Africa: From Steve Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo, and a noted leading thinker on Frantz Fanon.

Walter Rodney and the Struggle for Global Justice


February 2, 2021: Dr. Persaud examined Walter Rodney’s contribution to subaltern critical political economy, and to the general politics of decolonization. Specific attention was given to the transnational character of Rodney’s work and praxis, and to the central role of violent racism in the emergence and reproduction of global capitalism. The presentation also examined the overdetermined complexity of racism in the configuration of the social, as well as a comparison of Rodney’s work with that of Fanon.

Dr. Persaud was joined by Dr. Patricia Rodney, the widow of the late Walter Rodney, and Dr. Robbie Shilliam of Johns Hopkins University.

Why Higher Education Must Join the Fight for Reparations


Jan 27, 2021: Dr. Earl Lewis is the Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afro-American and African Studies, and Public Policy and director of the Center for Social Solutions. From March 2013-2018, he served as President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. An author and esteemed social historian, he is past President of the Organization of American Historians.

SIS Global to Local: Climate Justice


October 22, 2020: Prof. Malini Ranganathan moderated a session on climate justice with four noted activists and advocates of environmental justice:

  • Dr. Adrienne Hollis, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
  • Ms. Jacqui Patterson, Senior Director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Program of the NAACP.
  • Ms. Vernice Miller-Travis, Executive Vice-President for Environment and Sustainability of the Metropolitan Group and is also co-founder of WEACT for Environmental Justice, West Harlem.
  • Ms. Rhonda Hamilton, Ward 6 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the District of Columbia.

Nourishing Black Futures


September 30, 2020: What does food justice have to do with achieving maternal health equity in the US? Why are food justice and maternal health justice both necessary to help Black mothers and families thrive? The AU Antiracist Research & Policy Center hosted a panel discussion with scholars and activists on how we nourish Black futures through food and maternal health justice. Panelists discussed the state of Black maternal health in the US, the role of food systems and environments in shaping Black maternal health, and what an antiracist approach to food justice would need to look like to sustain Black mothers and families.

Panelists were

  • Dr. Michele Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law at University of California,Irvine
  • Ebony Marcelle, Director of Midwifery at Community of Hope
  • Dr. Ashanté Reese, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. Beverley Wheeler, Director, D.C. Hunger Solutions

Moderated by Dr. Jessica Owens-Young, Assistant Professor, American University

Naming a Transnational Black Feminist Framework


September 23 , 2020: In collaboration with the Ethnographies of Empire Faculty Cluster at the School of International Service (SIS), the SIS Office of Research, and the SIS PhD program, the ARPC hosted Dr. K. Melchor Quick Hall for a talk on her recent book "Writing in Darkness: Naming a Transnational Black Feminist Framework."

Joined by

  • SIS Dean Christine Chin
  • Professor Rachel Watkins
  • Professor Randolph Persaud
  • Prrofessor Garrett Graddy-Lovelace
  • Professor Jordana Matlon

A Convening on Racial Equity in Education


August 19, 2020: American University's Antiracist Research and Policy Center is proud to present Empowering Educators: A Convening on Racial Equity in Education, sponsored by First Book and Pizza Hut.

The live event took place via Zoom Webinar, serving over 7,000 educators across the globe. The recording has been made available for free, to continue to support educators and teaching professionals in having effective, courageous conversations about race and social justice.

Time stamps:
00:00:00 | Opening Remarks
00:14:00 | Session One: Practical & Actionable Guidance for Educators
01:12:55 | Keynote: Teaching Humanity with Jason Reynolds
02:29:33 | 5-Minute Break
02:33:24 | Session Two: The Importance of Antiracist Teaching
03:46:26 | Closing Remarks

Download the Guidebook

The Empowering Educators Website and Guidebook

Resources Mentioned During the Webinar

Book Recommendations:

  • “Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing our Realities” Edited by Edward C. Valandra, Waŋbli Wapȟáha Hokšíla
  • “Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools” by Amanda E. Lewis, John B. Diamond

Antiracism and Decoloniality in Humanities


July 22, 2020: Faculty panelists discuss antiracist and decolonial imperatives in the humanities; how these imperatives intersect with other critical frameworks; and how to build such a program across the arts, literature, history, and critical social sciences at AU.

Panelists included:

  • Lily Wong, CAS
  • Marcelo Bohrt, SIS
  • Eileen Findlay, CAS
  • Jordanna Matlon, SIS
  • Sarah Trembath, CAS
  • Theresa Runstedtler, CAS
  • Sybil Williams, CAS
Day of Service in Rendville, Ohio, with the Rendville Historic Preservation Society and the Southeast Ohio History Center. Mia Owens works with a Rendville resident to digitize documents and photographs. Credit: Ohio History Service Corps.

Fellowship Created for Studying History of Slavery in Washington, D.C.

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illustration of pregnant women

AU’s Antiracism Center Hosts “Nourishing Black Futures” Event

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