In From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Princeton Professor of African-American Studies and 2020 Freedom Scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor examines the historical and modern moments and movements that expose how structural inequities contribute to police violence and larger systems of mass incarceration. #BlackLivesMatter nurtured a new generation of activists, and in the wake of the 2020 racial justice uprisings, that organizing work has infused abolition into mainstream conversations. Taylor’s book reflects on the movement and its potential to advance Black liberation. Our event will continue that conversation: what have we learned from the BLM movement and what do we have to learn in 2021 after last year’s protests against police violence across the country? How can these new freedom movements lead to larger progress toward Black liberation?
In celebration of the release of the second edition of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, which features a new chapter and a foreword by legendary activist Angela Y. Davis, Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, activist and creative Nikkita Oliver, and Marguerite Casey Foundation President & CEO Carmen Rojas will discuss what this new wave of activism can teach us as organizers and as funders, as well as the importance of prioritizing Black liberation in our work and how the field of philanthropy needs to step up and stand against police violence. In doing so, we draw on Dr. Taylor’s knowledge of social movements, racial capitalism, and carceral violence to inform questions about how local activism can change the politics of this country.
Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She is a scholar of racism and inequality in U.S. housing policies in addition to studying radical politics and Black social movements in the 20th and 21st centuries. She is the author of three books, including the award-winning From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation and Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. She is a contributing writer for The New Yorker.
Dr. Carmen Rojas is the President and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation, and co-founder and former CEO of The Workers Lab. For more than 20 years, she has worked with foundations, financial institutions, and nonprofits to improve the lives of working people across the United States. Dr. Rojas holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007.
Nikkita Oliver (they/them) is a Seattle-based creative, community organizer, abolitionist, educator, and attorney. Working at the intersections of arts, law, education, and community organizing Nikkita strives to create experiences which draw us closer to our humanity and invites us to imagine what we hope to see in the future. Nikkita is the executive director of Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration and a healing engaged youth-led community-based program. Nikkita speaks and performs for events at universities and conferences, and facilitates trainings on equity, law and justice, education, and arts activism all over the United States.