Awakening our Democracy: Ferguson, Charleston & Beyond - SUGGESTED READINGS

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Office of University Life hosted the second installment of its ongoing conversation series, AWAKENING OUR DEMOCRACY, Thurs. Nov. 5, with panelists who represent a range of perspectives and viewpoints on race, violence, policing and community safety. You can watch the livestream here. Their suggested readings and topical music selections follow.

From Columbia Law Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw (@sandylocks)

From President Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik)

From The Nation contributing writer Mychal Denzel Smith (@mychalsmith)

A sampling of questions from our guests:

  • In what ways can we protest inequalities effectively?
  • Do you believe that the conventional language of news reporting underscores racial divides over what is considered a 'riot' versus a 'protest?'
  • How can I have a level-headed conversation on police brutality with a family member who does not support the black lives matter movement?
  • Although race issue is not black and white anymore, why hasn't our society gone beyond this discrimination, hatred and disrespect?
  • Is there enough attention to this subject in academia, in terms of programs, courses and research? (for instance, is the fact that Criminology programs/ studies are taught mostly outside of big mainstream universities such as Columbia conducive/ harmful to the cause?)
  • How does the university factor into this?
  • Can you please talk a little bit about the implications and effects of the backlashes embodied by #alllivesmatter and, more recently, #bluelivesmatter, to the #blacklivesmatter movement?

Do you have ideas and questions for panelists? Send them to - and include your name, UNI, school and year.