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Eqbal Ahmad Annual Lecture Series

21st Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium

Save the Date

Jackson Rising: Participatory Democracy, Solidarity Economy, and the Struggle for Racial Justice in Jackson, Mississippi
Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 4 p.m.


Please mark your calendars for Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 4 p.m. in the Robert Crown Center for the 21st Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture, entitled Jackson Rising: Participatory Democracy, Solidarity Economy, and the Struggle for Racial Justice in Jackson, Mississippi.

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.

We are pleased to announce the following speakers:

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.

Then on Friday, November 9 from 12-3 p.m. in the Prescott Tavern, please join us for an exciting presentation followed by an activist workshop and exchange. Keynote lecturers Rukia Lumumba and Charles Taylor will join 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 will learn about Black-lead cooperative economics, food sovereignty, and the role of environmental justice in the fight against racism and state violence. Register for the workshop here! Registration is greatly appreciated, but not required.

These events are free, open to the public, and wheelchair-accessible.

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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