Eqbal Ahmad Annual Lecture Series

24th Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium

[Trans] Gender Politics in the U.S. Streets and the State Houses

October 19, 2023

Joining us is Representative Zooey Zephyr of Montana, who has deeply moved us by her courage and her clear-sighted articulation of the issues at stake in states’ attacks on transgender lives and transgender visibility, and in the attempt to ban her from public office.

With a trenchant political analysis and vision and that propelled her to the Montana state house, and into the national spotlight, Zephyr will speak about her political trajectories, the traditions that she derives inspiration from, as well as her analysis of the current situation in our country and the state of the movements.

23rd Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium

The State We Are In: Building an INtersectional movement for Reproductive Justice

October 13, 2022

On October 13, the 23rd annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture, “The State We Are In: Building an Intersectional Movement for Reproductive Justice,” took place at Hampshire College. In the spirit of the series, guests took on a timely topic with wide-ranging cultural implications: this time, abortion rights, especially in the context of women of color.

The lecture was offered in a hybrid format for those on campus and beyond. In Franklin Patterson Hall, some 200 attendees participated as 65 listened in over Zoom. The event was free and open to the public.

Black feminist scholar-activists Dorothy Roberts and Michele Goodwin, who were remote, addressed questions from the Black feminist reproductive-justice educator Loretta J. Ross and Amherst College Professor Jallicia Jolly, who teaches Black studies and American studies and moderated from the hall. Their conversation was about not only the immediate subject at hand—including the recent Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade—but also many related racial, economic, and social issues.

22nd Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium

Race, Empire, and State-sanctioned Violence

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 4 p.m.

We have decided to focus this year’s Eqbal Ahmad events on the links between the protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality in the US following the killing of George Floyd, and the global uprisings against war, and the racist legacy of colonialism and imperialism.
At this defining moment, it seems to us necessary that we devote the most important public event on the college calendar to international solidarity struggles demanding that resources be shifted away from policing, and from the Pentagon, both of which perpetuate dehumanizing systems of white supremacy and state violence.
Dr. Barbara Ransby is a writer, historian, and professor with a long record of community-engaged scholar activism. She holds the John D. Mac Arthur Chair at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians. Her most recent work is Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century.

Dr. Yamila Hussein-Shannan is a scholar, educator, activist and public speaker dedicated to social-economic and political justice. Her work examines matrices of oppression and liberation, particularly institutionalized and structural white supremacy, anti-black racism and settler-colonialism. She will be joining us from Palestine.

Francia Marquez is a grassroots activist internationally recognized for her work on environmental and racial justice. The winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2018, Marquez recently announced that she will be running for president of Colombia. She will be joining us from Colombia.

Raza, Imperio, y Violencia Legitimada por el Estado

Martes 16 de marzo, 2021, 4:00 pm (horario Nueva York)

Este año hemos decidido enfocar nuestro principal evento anuales del simposio Eqbal Ahmad en los vínculos entre las protestas en contra del racismo anti-negro y la violencia policial en los EEUU que se dieron después del asesinato de George Floyd, y los distintos movimientos globales en contra de la guerra y los legados racistas del colonialismo y el imperialismo.
En este momento decisivo, nos parece necesario dedicar nuestro más importante evento público a fortalecer la solidaridad internacional entre luchas que desde sus distintos lugares demandan que se retiren los recursos de la policía, el Pentágono y otras instituciones que perpetúan los deshumanizantes sistemas de supremacía blanca y violencia del estado.
Este año nuestras invitadas al simposio son:
Dra. Barbara Ransby, escritora, historiadora y profesora con un largo camino de activismo, investigación y trabajo comunitario. La Dra. Ransby es la profesora John D. MacArthur en la Universidad de Illinois, Chicago y becaria electa de la Society of American Historians. Su más reciente trabajo está titulado Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century. La Dra. Ransby nos acompañará desde los Estados Unidos.
Dra. Yamila Hussein-Shannan es académica, educadora, y activista dedicada a la justicia socioeconómica y política.  Paléstina nacida en Colombia, su trabajo examina las matrices de opresión y liberación, con un enfoque en la supremacía blanca institucionalizada y estructural, el racismo anti-negro y el colonialismo. La Dra. Yamila nos acompañará desde Palestina.
Francia Márquez es activista Afro-Colombiana reconocida internacionalmente por su trabajo por la justicia racial y ambiental. Ganadora del prestigioso premio ambiental Goldman Environmental Prize en 2018, Márquez recientemente anunció su candidatura a la presidencia de Colombia. Márquez nos acompañará desde Colombia.

21st Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium

Jackson Rising: Participatory Democracy, Solidarity Economy, and the Struggle for Racial Justice in Jackson, Mississippi

Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 4 p.m.

The 21st Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture, entitled Jackson Rising: Participatory Democracy, Solidarity Economy, and the Struggle for Racial Justice in Jackson, Mississippi took place November 8, 2018 in the Robert Crown Center on campus.

In 2017, newly elected mayor Antar Lumumba pledged to make Jackson “the most radical city on the planet,” building on decades of work toward the creation of a solidarity economy and alternative institutions such as people’s assemblies and workers cooperatives. Join our intergenerational panel of brilliant political strategists Rukia Lumumba, Dr. Safiya Omari, and Charles Taylor as they discuss the history of organizing for economic democracy, Black self-determination, and political transformation in Jackson and beyond.

The following speakers presented:

A legal professional, community organizer and daughter of the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and Nubia Lumumba, Rukia Lumumba is founder of the People’s Advocacy Institute, co-coordinator of the Electoral Justice Project and campaign manager of the Committee to Elect Chokwe Antar Lumumba for mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. She spent the past 11 years defending the human rights of those inside prison cells, working with community, advocates and system stakeholders to alter the landscape of injustice in American courts and prisons. She is currently leading the Democratic Visioning initiative in Jackson, Mississippi to create a community governance model that increases community resources and governmental power.

Dr. Safiya Omari, Ph.D. currently serves as chief of staff for Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. Dr. Omari received her Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from Northeastern University, and her research interests include mental health, effects of gender, race, and culture on health behaviors and psychological well-being, violence against women, and discriminatory stress. Dr. Omari has published and presented nationally and internationally in these areas and she has been honored on numerous occasions for excellence in scholarship and teaching, and for her work in the larger Jackson community. Dr. Omari has always identified herself as a scholar/activist and continues to work with a number of community groups to address social justice and mental health issues. She currently serves as an officer and member of several non-profit boards.

Charles Taylor is a graduate of Morehouse College (Philosophy) and member of Freedom Side, a national collective of social justice community organizers. He served as a state organizer for the Mississippi Conference NAACP 2012 “This is My Vote” campaign, which registered 29,000+ African American to vote in Mississippi. Taylor was a field director and campaign coordinator for the Better Schools, Better Jobs (Initiative 42 in MS to fully fund education). Recently, he consults for One Voice, Inc. as a data manager and a community organizer for Energy Democracy. Taylor is the principal of Peyton Strategies, LLC, a political data management firm.

On Friday, November 9 in the Prescott Tavern, an exciting presentation followed by an activist workshop and exchange took place. Keynote lecturers Rukia Lumumba and Charles Taylor joined Iya’falola Omobola, Jackson-based political strategist, and Leah Penniman, co-founder and co-executive director of Soul Fire Farm for an opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences. Participants learned about Black-lead cooperative economics, food sovereignty, and the role of environmental justice in the fight against racism and state violence.

Previous Eqbal Ahmad lecturers include Kimberlé Crenshaw, Kofi Annan, Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Seymour Hersh, and Tariq Ali, and Black Lives Matter founders Patrice Cullors, Opal Tometti, and Alicia Garza.

History of the Lecture Series

Eqbal Ahmad

The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture honors the teaching, scholarship, and activism of the late Eqbal Ahmad, who was a longtime Hampshire College professor.

Professor Ahmad's faculty colleagues, former students, family, and friends from around the globe have joined together to make this lecture series a continuing celebration of his life and work.

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