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On February 20, 2019, Director john a. powell was keynote speaker at the Symposium on Anti-Black State Violence in the US and Brazil held at the University of California, Berkeley. The symposium aimed to address multiple perspectives on how scholars, scholar-activists, organizers and community members could think about transnationalism, structural racism, and anti-Black state violence, as well as the possibilities and limitations of forging sustainable transnational coalitions to combat anti-Black state violence. Professor powell’s keynote argued that anti-Blackness was a constitutive feature of whiteness, and that anti-Blackness can be understood as an economy of dispossession that operates through segregation and the spatialization of violence. Thus not limited to the coercive arm of the state, Professor powell suggested that both frameworks offer useful ways to consider anti-Blackness across the Americas. The event was public and its attendees included UC community (students, faculty, staff and administrators), Afro-Brazilian and U.S. scholars, scholar-activists and organizers, and local Bay Area community members.

This event was organized by a multi-disciplinary coalition of graduate students from across campus, developed by Maria-Fátima Santos, co-directed with Jessica F. Compton, and with guidance from Professor Tianna S. Paschel. 

The sponsors of the event included the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Office of the Dean of Social Sciences, Antonio Gramsci Fund, Center for Latin American Studies, Global Black Feminisms Project, Department of Sociology, Office of the Dean of Graduate School of Education, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, Center for Study of Law and Society, Latinx Research Center, HIFIS Diversity and Democracy Cluster, Institute for Governmental Studies, Institute for International Studies, Center for Social Change (ISSI), Department of Comparative Literature, Department of African American Studies, American Cultures Center, and Center for Race & Gender.

Learn more about this event here.