2019 Teach-In: Friday, October 18

Keynote Speaker

Headshot of Ruha BenjaminRuha Benjamin is a professor of African American studies at Princeton University and author of People's Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press). She has studied the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine for over 15 years and speaks widely on issues of innovation, equity, health, and justice in the U.S. and globally. Benjamin is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 2017 President's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton.

Her forthcoming second book, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, examines the relationship between machine bias and systemic racism, analyzing specific cases of "discriminatory design" and offering tools for a socially conscious approach to tech development.

Her work is published in numerous journals including Science, Technology, and Human Values; Policy & Society; Ethnicity & Health; and the Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Science and reported on in national and international news outlets including the Guardian, National Geographic, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Nature.

Teach-in on Race 2019 Recordings

The recordings from the 2019 Teach-in on Race may be viewed here.

Schedule of Events

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | Keynote

Race to the Future: Rethinking Innovation, Inequity, and Imagination in Everyday Life

Keynote address by Ruha Benjamin

Doors open at 9:15 a.m.; SkinTones performance at 9:45 a.m.

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. | Sessions

Option 1: Change Artists

Location: Semel Theatre


  • Daniel Callahan, filmmaker, MassQ project
  • Lina Maria Giraldo, Journalist-in-Residence, Journalism
  • Cannupa Hanska Luger, Multi-disciplinary artist
  • Moderator: Davante Jackson, Flawless Brown Stage

Option 2: Business of Race

Location: Walker Building, Room 202


  • Kristin Lieb, Associate Professor, Marketing Communication
  • Wes Jackson, Executive-in-Residence, Marketing Communication; Director of Business of Creative Enterprises (BCE)
  • Bithiah Carter, President of New England Blacks in Philanthropy

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Sessions

Option 1: The POWER You Hold

Location: 172 Tremont, Owens Multipurpose Room

A student-led panel discussing different methods of collective organizing and accountability. Followed by an open audience forum detailing what people want to see from us and the school.  

Organized by Student Advocacy Group POWER

Option #2: Ciera Burch Reading

Location: Walker Building, Iwasaki Library

Join the Iwasaki Library and MFA candidate Ciera Burch for a reading from her short story Yvonne, this year’s One City One Story selection (part of the Boston Book Festival), followed by a question and answer session with the author. Now in its 10th year, the OneCity OneStory program is designed to foster a culture of literature and idea-sharing in the City of Boston. The Boston Book Festival is held every fall in Copley Square. Pick up a free copy of Yvonne at the Library Service Desk or online.

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. | Sessions

Option #1: Disrupting Mass Incarceration

Location: Semel Theatre


  • Arthur Bembury, Executive Director, Partakers
  • Michael Cox, National Director, Black and Pink
  • Kaneesha Johnson, Petey Greene
  • Moderator: Mneesha Gellman, Emerson Prison Initiative and Associate Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies

Option #2: Building Communication Through Art

Location: Walker Building, Room 202


  • Johnette Ellis, Mother Mercy
  • Rashin Fahandej, Assistant Professor, Visual and Media Arts
  • Alex Charalambides, Managing Director of Mass Leap (Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance)
  • Moderator: Jae Williams, filmmaker and affiliated faculty, Visual and Media Arts

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. | Sessions

Option #1: Creating Theater and Film to Advocate for the Rights of immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Location: 148 Boylston Street, Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research

A conversation with members of the Massachusetts TPS Committee; the Boston Experimental Theater  and actors from "The Last Dream," a theater production and documentary film about U.S. children (ages 9-17) whose parents risk deportation if TPS (Temporary Protected Status) is ended. They created and performed a play to fight for their parents and to educate and inspire people to support their cause and act in their defense.


  • Moderator: Tamera Marko, Executive Director, Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research

Option #2: In Their Shoes

Location: Semel Theatre


  • Cheryl Buchanan
  • Mathematics from Writers Without Margins