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GSA Conference 2018 Keynote Speakers

Rose M. Brewer is a professor of Afro American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She has been a leader in the movement to create a multicultural curriculum in sociology and beyond. Her scholarship in this regard was showcased in the 2007 publication of The Critical Classroom: Education for Liberation and Movement Building (with Walda Katz-Fishman and Lisa Albrecht). Her current book projects, including an introductory text on race theory and one on the sociology of African Americans will continue her efforts toward a more inclusive social science. Brewer has also published dozens of articles and book chapters on intersectional analysis and its applications to teaching and learning. In addition, she has generously shared her insights in over thirty workshops on curriculum transformation and multicultural education. Her impact was first observed at the University of Minnesota, but over the past 25 years, Brewer’s influence on the teaching and learning of sociology has reached far beyond the local level. Read more >>
Oscar A. Chacón is a co-founder and executive director of Alianza Americas (formerly known as National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities­NALACC), an umbrella of immigrant-led and immigrant serving organizations based in the United States of America, dedicated to improving the quality of life of Latino immigrant communities in the US, as well as of peoples throughout the Americas. Prior to his designation in 2007 in his current role, Oscar served in leadership positions at the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Boston- based Centro Presente, and several other community based and international development organizations. Oscar has also served in multiple advisory committees to national and international processes including the Civil Society Consultation process associated to the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the World Social Forum on Migration. Read more >>

Bill Fletcher Jr. is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice; and the author of ‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions. Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web. Read more >>

José La Luz is a labor activist and intellectual who organizes, promotes, and advocates for worker rights in Puerto Rico and the United States. Under the leadership of labor leader Gerald McEntee, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) who assigned La Luz to lead the fight to achieve collective bargaining rights for public workers in Puerto Rico, La Luz is credited as the architect of the grassroots campaign that resulted in the passage of Law 45 in 1998. This law granted bargaining rights and allowed for the unionization of over 120,000 public employees in Puerto Rico. La Luz is currently the Associate Director of the AFSCME, Leadership Academy. Read more >>
Valentine Moghadam is Professor of Sociology and International Affairs and Director of the Middle East Studies Program at Northeastern University. Born in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Moghadam received her higher education in Canada and the U.S. In addition to her academic career, she has been a senior research fellow at UNU/WIDER in Helsinki, Finland (1990-95), and a section chief at UNESCO in Paris (2004-06). Dr. Moghadam’s areas of research are globalization; revolutions and social movements; transnational feminist networks; and gender, development, and democratization in the Middle East and North Africa. Among her many publications are Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (1993, 2003, 2013), Globalizing Women: Transnational Feminist Networks (2005, winner of the American Political Science Association’s Victoria Schuck Award), and Globalization and Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism, and the Global Justice Movement (2009, 2013). Her current research is on prospects for a women-friendly democratization after the Arab Spring. Read more >>
Adolph Reed Jr. is a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in race and American politics. He has taught at Yale, Northwestern, and the New School for Social Research and he has written on racial and economic inequality. He is a founding member of the U.S. Labor Party and a frequent contributor to The Progressive and The Nation. Adolph Reed's work on American politics is notable for its critique of identity politics and antiracism, particularly of their role in Black politics. Among his many publications are Without Justice for All: The New Liberalism and Our Retreat from Racial Equality (2001); Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene (2000); and Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era (1999). Read more >>

William I. Robinson is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also affiliated with the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program, and with the Global and International Studies Program at UCSB. His scholarly research focuses on: macro and comparative sociology, globalization and transnationalism, political economy, political sociology, development and social change, immigration, Latin America and the Third World, and Latina/o studies. As a scholar-activist he attempts to link his academic work to struggles in the United States, in the Americas, and around the world for social justice, popular empowerment, participatory democracy, and people-centered development. Among his many publications is the most recent Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Read more >>

Jamala Rogers is the author of Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion (2015). She came into her political awakening in the late 1960s, a period of massive civil unrest, when hundreds of cities engaged in open rebellion, leading to significant political and cultural shifts nationwide. In 1998, she, along with Angela Davis, Danny Glover and many others, hosted thousands at the founding convening of the Black Radical Congress (BRC) in Chicago, IL. Prior to the BRC Jamala co-founded the St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) in 1980 and 37 years later continues to provide the organization with leadership and mentoring. Jamala's deep insight, experience, and continued activism help us navigate critical questions of race, justice, hope, and political struggle for ourselves and our country. Read more >>
Mary Romero is President-elect of the American Sociological Association, Professor of Justice Studies and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University and Affiliate of Women and Gender Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies and African and African American Studies. She received the American Sociology American Section on Race and Ethnicity Minorities 2009 Founder's Award. In 2004, she received the Society for the Study of Social Problems' Lee Founders Award 2004, the highest award made by the Society for the Study of Social Problems for a career of activist scholarship. She is the author of The Maid’s Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream (NYU Press, 2011) and Maid in the U.S.A. (Routledge, 1992, Tenth Anniversary Edition 2002 ) and co-editor of Blackwell Companion to Social Inequalities (Blackwell 2005), Latino/a Popular Culture (NYU Press 2002), Women’s Untold Stories: Breaking Silence, Talking Back, Voicing Complexity (Routledge, 1999), Challenging Fronteras: Structuring Latina and Latina Lives in the U.S. (Routledge, 1997), and Women and Work: Exploring Race, Ethnicity and Class (Sage, 1997). Read more >>
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired till 2015. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables running though her work. Born in the Netherlands, she grew up in Argentina and Italy, studied in France, was raised in five languages, and began her professional life in the United States. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Together, her authored books are translated in over twenty languages. She has received many awards and honors, among them multiple doctor honoris causa, the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize in the Social Sciences, election to the Royal Academy of the Sciences of the Netherlands, and made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government. Read more >>
Beverly J. Silver is a scholar of labor and development whose work has been translated into over twelve languages. She is a professor of sociology at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Silver grew up in Detroit during a period of intense working-class struggle. She was active in the United Farm Workers Union and the solidarity campaigns for Chile, and received her BA in economics from Barnard College and her PhD from SUNY Binghamton, where she was part of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations. During this time she collaborated with a number of scholars including Giovanni Arrighi, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Terence Hopkins, and contributed to the development of the school of world-systems analysis. For many years she was a member of the World Labor Research Group at the Fernand Braudel Center at Binghamton. Read more >>
R.L. Stephens is an organizer in Chicago, founding editor of Orchestrated Pulse, and the A. Philip Randolph Fellow at Jacobin. He is the author of "The Birthmark of Damnation: Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Black Body" (Viewpoint Magazine, 2017); "What Is the Left?" (Jacobin, 2017); and "Serving the People" (Jacobin, 2017). Read more >>
Hilbourne A. Watson was a professor in the Department of International Relations at Bucknell University. He taught at Bucknell from 1994 until retiring in 2013. He taught the Modern World System (Foundation Seminar), Theories of International Relations, Seminar in International Relations: Global Restructuring (Capstone), Race, Nation-State & International Relations, and International Relations, Caribbean. He specialized in areas within international political economy, international relations, and political theory. Among his recent publications are W. Arthur Lewis and the New World Group: Variations within the Analytic Framework of Neoclassical Economics (Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 2008); and Alienation and Fetishization: A Critical Analysis of 'Radicalism and Innovation' in the New World Group's Approach to and Rejection of Metropolitan Intellectual and Political Hegemony (Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2008). Read more >>

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