Black Study, Black Struggle

Apr 6, 2021, 12:00 pm1:30 pm



Event Description

Using the Boston Review Forum, Black Study, as an object of reflection, Derecka Purnell will engage with the following questions tied to this year’s IHUM theme “Commons”:  What are the possibilities for the university as a commons? Is such an aim even desirable? As public health proscribes coming together in person and old dangers impinge on communities in new forms, we invite you to think together with us on an old question. “Is not the purpose of the university as Universitas, as liberal arts,” ask Stefano Harney and Fred Moten in a 2004 essay, “to make the commons, make the public, make the nation of democratic citizenry?"


Derecka Purnell is a human rights lawyer, writer, and organizer.  She works to end police and prison violence by providing legal assistance, research, and trainings to community based organizations through an abolitionist framework.

Derecka received her JD from Harvard Law School, her BA from the University of Missouri- Kansas City, and studied public policy and economics at the University of California- Berkeley as a Public Policy and International Affairs Law Fellow. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, The Appeal, Truthout, Slate, Boston Review, Huffington Post, Vox, and In These Times. She’s been featured on NPR, the Boston Globe, Slate’s What Next, and MSNBC, and is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy. Derecka has lectured, studied, and strategized around social movements across the United States, The Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

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