About the Speaker
Amaka Okechukwu is an interdisciplinary scholar engaged in research on social movements, race, community studies, and Black archives. She joined George Mason University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology in Fall 2017.
Central questions that animate her research agenda include, how do social movements emerge in relationship to changing ideas and practices of racial justice? How has social policy developed in response to the demands of social movements? How do identities like race, class, and gender function in the development of social movement collective identity and strategy? Her research offers insight into the ways that changing understandings and practices of racial politics and community shape mobilization, public policy, and institution building.
Dr. Okechukwu has served as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Advanced Social Science Research at New York University and as a Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Fellow. Dr. Okechukwu received her Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University in 2015 and her undergraduate degrees in English-Creative Writing and Sociology from the University of Southern California.
She is currently completing a book manuscript on grassroots and elite mobilization over affirmative action and open admissions in public universities, titled To Fulfill These Rights: Political Contention Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions in Public Universities (Columbia University Press).
Dr. Okechukwu's work has been supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council and Andrew Mellon Foundation, Oral History Association, Imagining America, and most recently from the American Association of University Women.