Education, Crisis, and Belonging


Education is at an inflection point. While many have argued that the American educational system has been in crisis for some time, the global pandemic and large-scale protests for racial justice have catalyzed an urgent rethinking of the purpose and practice of education. The Amherst College Education Studies Initiative, in partnership with the Amherst College Multicultural Resource Center, invites you to join the Education, Crisis, and Belonging Conversation Series to explore the challenges facing educational institutions in this moment and the possibilities for meaningful change toward educational equity and racial justice.


Education Studies Initiative



Black Student Activism and the Struggle for Institutional Change in Higher Ed

Thursday, November 5 at 7:00pm EST

November 12 marks the fifth anniversary of the Amherst Uprising, a weekend long occupation of Frost Library during which students of color, among others, gave testimony about their struggles and marginalization at Amherst.  In response to the Uprising, the College enacted several measures designed to foster a more inclusive campus environment.  Student activism continues through Black Amherst Speaks and the call to Reclaim Amherst.  This event, feature Stefan Bradley, author of Upending the Ivory Tower:  Civil Rights, Black Power and the Ivy League, in conversation with Amherst College student activists Jeremy Thomas '21 and Kyndall Ashe '18 will explore the history and impact of student activism at elite colleges. This discussion will kick-off several events commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Amherst Uprising.  More information about the Uprising Anniversary events can be found on the Amherst Bicentennial website.  

Stefan M. Bradley is currently the Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and Professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University.  Bradley received his Ph.D. in 20th Century US History with an Emphasis on the Black Experience from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Some of Bradley’s publications include his newest book, Upending the Ivory Tower:  Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League, which won the History of Education Society Outstanding Book Award as well as the Anna Julia Cooper & CLR James Book Award from the National Council of Black Studies; Harlem vs. Columbia University:  Black Student Power in the Late 1960s, which won the Phillis Wheatley Book Prize; and, Alpha Phi Alpha:  A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence.  His articles have been featured in the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Civil and Human Rights, and American Studies. 

He has received numerous honors and awards including the Don Brennan Humanitarian Award; the Better Family Life Excellence in Educational Leadership Award; the SLU Faculty Excellence Award; the Ernest A. Calloway, Jr. Teaching Excellence Award; and, the St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence Young Leaders Award.  He was selected as one of Delux Magazine’s Power 100.  In the wake of the tragic events in Ferguson and St. Louis, he engaged in discussions with representatives from the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Commission, and Department of Education.  As a voice from the community, Bradley has appeared on BET, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and in the New York Times.

Bradley Talk

Education Reform, Racism and the Future of Public Education with Dr. Eve L. Ewing

The Future of Public Education

Educational Reform, Racism, and the Future of Public Education: A Conversation with Dr. Eve L. Ewing

Thursday, October 8th at 7:00pm

Public education amidst the pandemic has undergone urgent and radical shifts. What is the future of America's public schools in the midst of this upheaval? What are the lessons for educational reform and racial justice?  Drawing on her research into Chicago's 2013 mass public school closures - the largest wave of such closures in the nation's history -  Professor Ewing will speak about the context of educational inequality that influences the conditions of public schooling in this moment of crisis. The conversation will be facilitated by Professor Kristen Luschen, Lewis Sebring Visiting Professor of Education Studies, and will include a brief question and answer session.

Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education and a writer from Chicago. She is the author of Electric Arches, which received awards from the American Library Association and the Poetry Society of America and was named one of the year's best books by NPR and the Chicago Tribune. She is also the author of Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side, 1919 (Haymarket Press, 2019), the writer of Marvel Comics' Ironheart series, and the co-author (with Nate Marshall) of No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. In 2019, she received the Chicago Public Library 21st Century Award. She is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and many other venues. Her first book for middle grade readers, Maya and the Robot, is forthcoming in 2020 via Kokila.

Register for the Conversation with Dr. Eve Ewing at