Abolition Democracy Initiative

Abolition Democracy Initiative

2) The Vèvè Clark Institute for Engaged Scholars of African American Studies prepares a small cadre of undergraduate students majoring in the discipline of African American Studies to meet the rigor and intellectual demands of top research university graduate programs, professional schools and postgraduate careers. Clark Institute scholars attend monthly seminar meetings and weekly workshops and gain access to a variety of resources to support their academic development, including working closely with African American Studies faculty and graduate students. More information HERE.
3) Research for Reimagining Community Safety provides research-based recommendations to organizers who are on the frontlines of building community-led visions of safety, well-being, and justice in the Bay Area. The project is led Nikki Jones and James Burch, Anti Police-Terror Project Policy Director and inaugural member of the City of Oakland’s “Reimagining Public Safety Task Force,” and supported by the Spencer Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation, in addition to the ADI. At Berkeley, Professor Jones leads an interdisciplinary group of graduate and undergraduate students working to generate research-based recommendations on alternative responses to community safety and programs that address the root causes of violence in the Bay Area and across the country.
4) The Black Panther Party Elders Project, led by Professor Ula Taylor, will interview former members of the Black Panther Party and activist elders living in the Bay Area. Undergraduates will be trained to conduct interviews and create an archive of completed interviews, housed at Doe library. Professor Taylor, along with History Professor Waldo Martin, will also lead The Black at CAL Student, Faculty, and Staff Project, which will bring together the historical artifacts of Black life and culture at Berkeley. Contributing to the Chancellor’s commitment to researching the history of slavery and settler-colonialism at Cal, undergrad and graduate students will produce a pamphlet documenting and detailing the complexity of these histories and experiences.
5) The Abolition Democracy Reading Group brings together an interdisciplinary group of graduate students to discuss recent and canonical texts in the area of abolition democracy, led by Professors Nikki Jones and Tianna Paschel and supported by the Social Sciences Division’s Advancing Faculty Diversity Initiative. The group’s focus on abolition democracy stems from the canonical work of W.E.B. Du Bois, who identified the failure of Reconstruction as a failure of the nation to provide the types of social institutions post-emancipation that could actually guarantee equality, safety and security for all in a multi-racial democracy. More recent work from emerging scholars and activists helps us to identify the ways that Du Bois’ early critique of white supremacy connects with emerging scholarship on abolition, anti-blackness, and the afterlives of slavery.

Featured Events

Black Graduation 2024

May 17, 2024, 9:00 am , Zellerbach Auditorium , Berkeley, CA

Registration TBA

Cross-Border Cosmopolitans: The Making of a Pan-African North America


Speaker: Dr. Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey

20th-century Black history cannot be understood without accounting for the influence of Pan-African thought. In his new book CrossBorder Cosmopolitans: The Making of a Pan-African North America, Dr. Wendell Adjetey explores how global Black liberation movements began within the U.S.-Canadian borderlands as cross-border, continental struggles. As revolutionaries from Oakland to Toronto dreamed of an “African world”, the prospect of coalitions among the Black Power, Red Power, and Quebecois Power movements inspired U.S. and Canadian intelligence services to infiltrate and sabotage Black organizations across North America. This work reveals the revolutionary legacies of the Underground Railroad and America’s Great Migration, and the hemispheric and transatlantic dimensions of this history.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER Dr. Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey is assistant professor of post-Reconstruction U.S. and African Diaspora history at McGill University, where he holds the William Dawson Chair. A first-generation high-school graduate, he earned a Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.A. from Yale University in History and African American Studies. He completed his B.A. in history and political science from the University of Toronto (University of St. Michael’s College), from which he also holds an M.A. in political science and ethnic, immigration, and pluralism studies. This event will be held in person and streamed live online. Please RSVP below if you plan to attend. Questions may be directed to canada@berkeley.edu.

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco & Silicon Valley, and is co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies, the Center for Race and Gender, and the Department of African American Studies & African Diaspora Studies.



400 Years of African American History Symposium

This day-long symposium will kick off a year of events at UC Berkeley to mark the 400 year anniversary of the beginning of slavery in North America. The events are being co-organized by the Haas Institute, the African American studies and history departments, the African American Student Development Center, and the Black Staff & Faculty Organization.

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