2018 Eqbal Ahmad Lecture Examines Participatory Democracy, Solidarity Economy, and the Struggle for Racial Justice in Jackson, Mississippi
In 2017, newly elected mayor Antar Lumumba pledged to make Jackson, Mississippi, “the most radical city on the planet” by instituting workers cooperatives, people’s assemblies, and other means. He promised to spur economic development by nurturing cooperative businesses and organizations, citing Ace Hardware, Land O’Lakes, the Green Bay Packers, and the FC Barcelona soccer franchise as examples. He would promote informed governance by launching people’s assemblies, opportunities for city residents to get together with their elected officials and critique and inform them as neighbors.
These models of economic democracy and Black community self-determination are the subject of a free, two-day public lecture and symposium at Hampshire College featuring a panel of Jackson city leaders, political strategists, and community organizers.
The lecture will take place on Thursday, November 8, at 4:00 p.m., in the Robert Crown Center, followed the next day by a presentation and workshop, on Friday, November 9, at Noon at Prescott Tavern.
The lecture's panelists on Thursday are:
This year’s symposium will continue the next day, Friday, November 9, with an exciting presentation followed by an activist workshop and exchange. Keynote lecturers Rukia Lumumba and Charles Taylor will join Iya’falola Omobola, former co-director of Cooperation Jackson, and Leah Penniman, cofounder and co–executive director of Soul Fire Farm, for an opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences. Participants will learn about Black-led cooperative economics, food sovereignty, and the role of environmental justice in the fight against racism and state violence. The event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. in Hampshire’s Prescott Tavern.
Both events are free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For questions or to request interpretation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE EQBAL AHMAD LECTURE SERIES
The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture Series 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 to make this lecture series a continuing celebration of his life and work. Previous Eqbal Ahmad lecturers were Kimberlé Crenshaw, Kofi Annan, Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Seymour Hersh, Tariq Ali, and Black Lives Matter founders Patrice Cullors, Opal Tometti, and Alicia Garza.
The event is sponsored by the Eqbal Ahmad Initiative, Office of the President, Ethics and the Common Good, and a grant from the Roddenberry Foundation.