Ford School Black History Month activities cover a wide spectrum of topics

February 2, 2022

The Ford School and its research centers will be hosting a variety of events during February, Black History Month, examining a range of topics concerning the struggles for racial equity.

The Center for Racial Justice, Weiser Diplomacy Center and International Policy Center present more events, this semester with a global focus, in the ongoing Racial Foundations of Public Policy series. “America and the colonial project,” is the topic on Feb. 3, with historian Brenda Gayle Plummer, who will share insights on the ambivalent, inconsistent role the United States played in the colonial enterprise. A discussion with Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a senior strategic engagement leader at Special Operations Command who served as U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe (2016-2018), the Philippines (2010-2013) and Bangladesh (2003-2005) on Feb. 9 will look at “Race and foreign policy professions.” On Feb. 23, Kelebogile Zvobgo, an assistant professor of government at William & Mary, speaks on “Race in the development of the international relations discipline.” On March 17, the centers will host human rights advocates Gay McDougall and Jamil Dakwar, who will share insights on the global Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and how the transnational advocacy network developed.

In the political fray, the Program in Practical Policy Engagement will host Denzel McCampbell through its Young Leader in Public Service series on Feb. 8. McCampbell is the communications and political director for U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Ford School professor of practice Adrienne Harris, an advocate for financial inclusion, is on leave as she takes on the role of Superintendent of Financial Services for New York state, and will be speaking with the Brookings Institution on Feb. 14 about her role, priorities, areas of emphasis, and her views on regulation, supervision, and state and federal roles in financial regulation.

The Ford School is a co-sponsor of an event with the School for Environment and Sustainability, the annual Peter M. Wege lecture, a conversation about “Expanding the base for climate action and social justice” with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities, also on Feb. 23.

Another event in March will address racial equity, including Reginald Turner, president of the American Bar Association, on March 14, discussing the ABA’s most pressing issues, including access to legal services, judicial reform, election integrity, and the eviction crisis.

Previous events at the Ford School have looked at “Building a more equitable economy,” the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. symposium with speaker Don Graves, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce (you can see the video here).

All upcoming events are virtual and available online, except for the March 14 Policy Talk with Reginald Turner, which will be in-person at the Ford School. Please see the events page for information about attendance.