I am here to decipher the language of the oppressor, deliver the truth of the oppressed, and help transform institutions of power into infrastructures of possibility. Cities are repositories for many of our most pressing struggles and my scholarship positions me to wage battle for their liberatory future.

Davarian L. Baldwin, PhD

Davarian L. Baldwin is the Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies and founding director of the Smart Cities Research Lab at Trinity College (CT). His academic and political commitments have focused on global cities and particularly the diverse and marginalized communities that struggle to maintain sustainable lives in urban locales. 

Baldwin is the author of In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering Our Cities (2021). He is currently finishing Land of Darkness: Chicago and the Making of Race in Modern America

Baldwin currently organizes with Scholars for Social Justice, AAUP, and community groups across the country. His opinions and commentaries have been featured in numerous outlets from NBC News, PBS, and The History Channel to USAToday, the Washington Post and TIME.

In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities Are Plundering Our Cities

Across America, universities have become big businesses—and our cities their company towns. But there is a cost to those who live in their shadow. Urban universities play an outsized role in America’s cities

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Chicago's New Negroes

Baldwin explores an abundant archive of cultural formations where an array of white observers, black cultural producers, critics, activists, reformers, and black migrant consumers converged in what he terms a “marketplace intellectual life.”

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Escape from New York

Feeding off the revolutionary movements and political scandals of the 1970s, Escape from New York is a story of political corruption, empire, repression, rebellion, and the dark side of modernity.

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Check out more of our Freedom Scholars

Freedom Scholar Class of 2020 link
Freedom Scholar link of 2022
View all the Freedom Scholars

What to learn more about the Freedom Scholars?
Questions about the Freedom Scholar awards can be sent to freedomscholars@caseygrants.org.