Barack Obama and American Democracy Conference

This Wednesday April 16 through Friday April 18, Tufts University’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) will be holding a conference on Barack Obama. The focus of the conference will be modern issues of race and democracy under the Obama administration and will feature keynote speaker Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown sociology professor, prolific author, and named by Ebony magazine as one of the hundred most influential black Americans. Dyson will be opening the conference on Wednesday night.

The conference will feature many panels and scholars including, but not limited to, Zerlina Maxwell, Jamilah King, Diane McWhorter, and Matthew C. Whitaker of Arizona State University (with whom the conference is hosted). The two other keynote speakers are Ruha Benjamin, an author and professor of sociology at Boston University, and D. Fox Harrell, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Digital Media at MIT whose “research explores the relationship between imaginative cognition and computation.” All speakers and panelists are featured on the CSRD website with full bios.

A few of the topics that the CSRD intends to cover during the conference are racial democracy, the politics that lead to social disparity, ideologies in digital media, and mass incarceration. For more information, a complete program schedule of the conference can be found on the CSRD’s website. The opening remarks will take place Wednesday April 16 at 7:00 pm in the Interfaith Center and the conference will conclude with Ruha Benjamin speaking on Friday in the CHAT House at 4:00 p.m.

Because funding for such conferences and speakers comes from the university, it’s important for future funding and scheduling that Tufts students make an appearance at such events. This shows administrators as well as guest speakers and scholars that Tufts values the funding, the speakers’ time, and the issues which will be addressed. For this reason, the CSRD welcomes any students who are able to attend any of the panels or lectures for any amount of time. Whether students arrive late, leave early, or stay all day long, their attendance will make a difference.

More information can be found at