Those of you who attended the 19th Annual Eqbal Ahmad Symposium at Hampshire College this past October got to hear Khalil Gibran Muhammad speak as part of a panel entitled Life in a Penal Democracy: Race, Policing, and the Limits of Liberal Reform. Muhammad is Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He was joined at the Hampshire College symposium by Naomi Murakawa, Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.
And you may have then noticed this article by Muhammad in the New York Times over this past Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend. It’s worth reading, as Muhammad makes the case that we need to address structural racism in our institutions and infrastructures. His final sentence sums it up, “The future is no longer about “firsts.” It is instead about the content of the character of the institutions our new leaders will help us rebuild.” As Hampshire strives to become an actively anti-racist institution, take a few minutes to read this in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and in the spirit of beginning a new year with renewed strength in community and resolve for action.