April 6 | Working While Black | Tanya Wallace-Gobern and Thomas Shapiro

L to R: Tanya Wallace-Gobern and Thomas Shapiro
ACT at MIT

Tuesday, April 6
1pm EST
Virtual Event

Free event. Registration required. Sign up here.

The Spring 2021 Black Mobility and Safety in the US Lecture Series continues with the theme of Working While Black, and we welcome Tanya Wallace-Gobern and Thomas Shapiro.

Tanya Wallace-Gobern became the Executive Director of the National Black Worker Center Project in June 2016. She brings over 20 years of experience in labor and community organizing. Tanya began her career immediately following college graduation, when she trained with the Organizing Institute of the AFL-CIO.  Soon after that, her desire to organize Black workers led her to work for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU — a predecessor union of Unite HERE) and move to the Southeast where she worked as a lead organizer in that region.  Later, she created the AFL-CIO’s Historical Black College Recruitment program in order to increase the number of Blacks among union leadership and staff. Prior to joining the NBWC Tanya worked for the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and ran their national field operation.

Thomas Shapiro is the David R. Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Professor Shapiro’s primary interest is in racial inequality and public policy. He is a leader in the asset development field with a particular focus on closing the racial wealth gap. The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality (2004) was widely reviewed, including by the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and others. The book was named one of the Notable Books of 2004 by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With Dr. Melvin Oliver, he wrote the award-winning Black Wealth/ White Wealth, which received the 1997 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association. This book also won the 1995 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America named it an Outstanding Book of 1996.

Continuing from fall 2020, ACT is co-presenting the series of public guest lectures that coincide with Ekene Ijeoma’s Black Mobility and Safety in the US course. Focusing on the theme of living while Black, this semester’s topics will include: learning, voting, driving, working, and loving while Black.

In this seminar and studio, Ijeoma will guide students to listen, learn, reflect and respond to issues around mobility (physical, mental, socio-economical, political, etc) and safety for Black Americans through words, images, and sounds that reference social science and anti-racist research. Weekly meetings will be organized around public lectures from guests ranging from designers and urban planners to activists and social scientists, and private individual presentations for the group.

Part of a two-semester course, Black Mobility and Safety in the US is organized into two-week topics around living while Black. The first semester (Fall 2020) will include: birthing, breathing, sleeping, eating, and walking; the second: learning, voting, driving, working, and loving. By the end of each semester, students will have the resources and tools to actively listen and respond critically to issues of Black mobility in the context of their own fields and their purposes.

Free event. Registration required. Sign up here.