Working Groups



To support the sustained growth of our intellectual community Alumni of IRAAS have established several working groups.

  • Outreach
  • Mentorship (Pre-College, College, Graduate Students)
  • Professional Development (Academic and Non-Academic)
  • Travel

Contact us if you are interested in supporting a Working Group


Homecoming 2017 – Columbia University Black Alumni Council

Black Alumni Council Board

WHEN   October 14, 2017 at 7:30pm – 10pm

WHERE 48 Lounge 1221 6th Ave Ny, NY 10020

Black Alumni Council of Columbia University (BAC) and Columbia Alumni Association (CAA), invite you to join alumni from all Columbia schools and generations for the 2017 Black Alumni Homecoming!
This festive evening held at 48 Lounge in midtown Manhattan, is an opportunity for the #BlackLion family to come together to celebrate our community, learn how to get involved, and have a great time with new and old Columbia friends.
The evening includes hors d’ouvres, premium open bar, music, and dancing.
Early Bird Tickets:
– Undergraduate Students: $30
– Alumni & Graduate Students: $60
– Non-Alumni Guests: $65
– Sponsor a Student: $60
After October 1st:
– Undergraduate Students: $60
– Alumni & Graduate Students: $70
– Non-Alumni Guests: $75
– Walk-In: $80
*Note: Due to Columbia’s alcohol policy, only those 21 and over may attend.
For information on BAC Homecoming sponsorship opportunities, contact Genna Farley ( Assistant Director, Alumni Relations.
We look forward to seeing you.


Stay Woke: The Inaugural National Black Male Educators Convening with David Johns ’04

Fellowship Event PA

Stay Woke: The Inaugural National Black Male Educators Convening

  • Sheraton Hotel 201 North 17th Street Philadelphia, PA, 19103


Teacher diversity works.

Increasing the number of Black male educators in our nation’s teacher corps will improve education for all our students, especially African-American boys.

Today Black men represent only two percent of teachers nationwide. This is a national problem that demands a national response.

Join us in the fight for education equity as we meet to advance policy, hear from experts and amplify the voices of Black male educators from the classroom to the community. All are welcome.

Special Guests

Derrell Bradford Executive Vice President, 50CAN Executive Director, NYCAN

Derrell Bradford

Executive Vice President, 50CAN

Executive Director, NYCAN

David Johns Former Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

David Johns

Former Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Camika Royal, Ph. D. Assistant Professor of Urban Education & Co-Director, Center for Innovation in Urban Education, Loyola University of Maryland

Camika Royal, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor of Urban Education & Co-Director, Center for Innovation in Urban Education, Loyola University of Maryland

Robert Simmons VP of Strategy & Innovation, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Robert Simmons

VP of Strategy & Innovation, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Chris Stewart President & CEO, Wayfinder Foundation

Chris Stewart

President & CEO, Wayfinder Foundation

John B. King, Jr.   CEO, The Education Trust Former U.S. Secretary of Education

John B. King, Jr.


CEO, The Education Trust

Former U.S. Secretary of Education


Please Join Us for a Panel about our Past, Present, & Future – July 12 at 6:30 pm

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Please join us for a panel to consider what has changed in the past century, to think about the c...

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Dante Barry – Currently at the helm of the country’s leading Black and Brown led national racial justice network to end mass criminalization and gun violence, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice.

Afua Atta-Mensah – Executive Director of Community Voices Heard (CVH) a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure social, economic and racial justice for all.

Crystal Feimster – An associate professor in the Department of African American Studies, the American Studies Program and History Department at Yale University. Her manuscript, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching, examines the roles of both black and white women in the politics of racial and sexual violence in the American South.

Rujeko Hockley – Co-organizer of We Wanted A Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965–85, currently on view at The Brooklyn Museum. Hockley is the former Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Brooklyn Museum and now Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.


The panel will be moderated by Samuel K. Roberts, STSI Director; Associate Professor of History (Columbia Univ. Sch. of Arts & Sciences); Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Columbia Univ. Mailman School of Public Health).

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This panel is part of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS) 2017 Summer Teachers and Scholars Institute (STSI). This portion of the STSI is free and open to the public. To  learn more about the STIS please visit or email .
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5/28/17 Deadline: IRAAS Summer Institute

The application deadline for our 2017 Summer Teachers and Scholars Institute (STS), themed “Black Activist New York,” is thisSunday, May 28.
IRAAS’s STSI provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about historical trajectory of Black Activism in New York City to the current moment and movement for Black Lives. Please know that New York will serve as a case study and we will speak more broadly about how it sets the stage for subsequent movements in other areas and cities throughout the STSI. Fellowships are available. We encourage you to apply today!

Learn More and Hear from Cheryl Fields,  University of Georgia, Educational Theory and Practice, Faculty Member and  2016 STSI Participant.

· Cheryl Fields Talks About Her Experience at The Many Worlds of Black New York
Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS) | 1200 Amsterdam Avenue, 758 Schermerhorn Ext, MC 5512,
New York, NY 10027

IRAAS Alumni Council Mixer 5/5/17

Dear IAC members 

To culminate the start of summer, end of the semester and graduation off IRAAS MA and undergraduates we want to celebrate with IAC Spring Mixer. 

Date Friday, May 5, 2016 

Time: 6:30 pm 

Place: Chocolat Restaurant &Bar 

2223 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

Come join us for food, drinks and good times!!! 

The mixer will occur directly after IRAAS Conversations that will take place from at 4:00 pm in 754 Schemerhorn. 

In order to prepare for food / drinks RSVP before 5/4/17

Kindly RSVP to

2/23/17 IRAAS Undergraduate Open House



12:00PM TO 2:00PM

African-American Studies Undergraduate Program
Room 760 Schermerhorn Extension
12 Noon – 2:00 PM
Refreshments will be served

For additional information contact or (212) 854-7080

Alumni help us fill-in the blank with your brief note via e-mail “IRAAS taught me…”

Open house

Columbia Law School Paul Robeson Conference February 24, 2017


The Columbia Law School Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and Columbia Journal of Race and Law (CJRL) are proud to host the 23rd Annual Paul Robeson ’23 Conference, which will be held on Friday, February 24, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Columbia Law School, located at 435 W. 116th St. New York, NY 10027.

Our theme for the 2017 Paul Robeson Conference is Reclaiming the Narrative. In our current legal, political, and social climate, people of color still struggle to dictate their narrative. We aim to highlight the work of legal practitioners, policymakers, social entrepreneurs, and activists to pursue racial justice, uproot structural inequalities, and disrupt stereotypes about people of color.

Please RSVP to this free and exciting event at


Angela T. Rye, Esq. will give the keynote address during lunchtime. Rye is the Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a CNN commentator and NPR political analyst, and former Executive Director and General Counsel for the Congressional Black Caucus.

Khalil Cumberbatch will give the opening keynote address. Cumberbatch is a lecturer at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Manager of Trainings for JustLeadershipUSA, and a formerly incarcerated advocate for social justice movements.


The Conference will also feature three panels throughout the day, including:

A Path Forward for Democracy and Voting Rights After 2016, featuring:

  • Myrna Pérez ’03, Deputy Director, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice
  • Stuart Naifeh ’04, Senior Counsel, Demos 
  • Joanna Cuevas Ingram, Associate Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Building Wealth and Seeking Economic Justice, featuring:

  • Coss Marte, CEO/Founder, Coss Athletics
  • Jennifer Jones Austin, Esq., CEO and Executive Director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
  • Ifeoma Ike, Esq., Deputy Executive Director, NYC Young Men’s Initiative, Office of Mayor Bill deBlasio
  • JoAnne Page, President and CEO, The Fortune Society
  • Khary Lazarre, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol

Revolutionary Art, Activism, and the Law, featuring:

  • Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director, Alliance of Families for Justice 
  • Ronald Hampton, Immediate Past Executive Director, National Black Police Association 
  • Britton Smith, Actor and Director, Broadway for Black Lives Matter


Breakfast and lunch will be served, and a reception will follow the Conference.

Please RSVP to this free and exciting event at

Full schedule is available here. Feel free to attend as much or as little as you can.

Questions? Please contact Shane Grannum ’18 at

Shane Grannum

J.D. Candidate | Columbia Law School ’18

A.B. Public Policy; Latin American/Caribbean Studies | Brown University ’15

2/23 – 2/25/17 Pratt Institute – Unity & Struggle Workshop with Tongo Eisen Martin


Hosted as a part of Pratt Institute’s BlackLivesMatter Teach-In:

Led by Tongo Eisen Martin, the Unity and Struggle workshop will cover realities of late stage imperialism and organizing against it. We will especially focus on consciousness; how do people accept the illusion of a permanent empire or oppressor, what does that counterrevolutionary acceptance look like, and conversely, what is revolutionary consciousness (at least in practice). We will begin to answer for ourselves how do we relate to each other now, and how do we need to relate to each other to win liberation.

RSVP here:

For a full list of workshops and events visit

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2/18/17 Imani Uzuri In Transit: Love Story – Songs of Laughter, Loss, and Resilience

Joe’s Pub

Advance Price: $15
Door Price: $20

Doors at 6PM
Show at 7:30PM

Joe’s Pub at The Public and The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit present Imani Uzuri’s Love Story: Songs of Laughter, Loss and Resilience, a concert of the composer’s original music, both her own independent material and work composed for the latter program’s fall 2016 production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The Mobile Unit continues The Public’s commitment to bring free Shakespeare to communities with limited or no access to the arts by taking plays on tour to correctional facilities, homeless shelters, social service organizations and more. Part of the Mobile Unit and Joe’s Pub’s collaborative series, In Transit, Uzuri’s show will tour, Monday-Friday, February 6-10, to community venues, and culminate with a show at Joe’s Pub on Saturday, February 18 at 7:30PM.

Recently praised in The New York Times for her “stirring” music and her “gorgeously chesty ruminations,” Uzuri is a composer, musician and vocalist known for her multi-faceted, earthy and enveloping compositions. For the Mobile Unit’s production of Hamlet, director Patricia McGregor worked with Uzuri to use music to give texture and depth to the characters and scenes in the play. This collaboration was particularly poignant to Uzuri, who was a Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence in 2015-2016, and maintains a close relationship with Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a women’s mental health shelter located at the Armory.

Imani Uzuri is a vocalist, composer and cultural worker who has been called “a post modernist Bessie Smith” by The Village Voice. She composes music that celebrate her rural North Carolina roots where she grew up singing Spirituals and line-singing hymns with her grandmother and extended family. Time Out New York said, “[Imani Uzuri] never fails to mesmerize audiences with her narcotic blend of…ethereal sounds.”

Called “stunning” by New York Magazine, her compositions for bands, choral ensembles, chamber orchestra, musical theater, theater and solo voice include influences from her travels around the world. Uzuri’s most recent album, The Gypsy Diaries, draws on her roots as well as influences ranging from Sufi devotionals to Romany laments. The Village Voice said, “With a voice that would sound equally at home on an opera stage or a disco 12-inch, Imani Uzuri is a constant surprise…seamlessly combining jazz, classical, country and blues motifs into highly personalized compositions.”

Uzuri composed and co-wrote lyrics for her new musical GIRL Shakes Loose, which was selected for the 2016 O’Neill National Music Theater Conference. She was a Park Avenue Armory Artist-In-Residence in 2015-2016 and was recently awarded a Map Fund to begin composing her contemporary opera Hush Arbor. In 2016, Uzuri made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut as well as being a featured performer on BET for Black Girls Rock. Recently, she was composer for two Public Theater productions: Public Works’s Troy and the Mobile Unit’s Hamlet. She is currently a 2016-17 Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow.

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