Research Justice:Decolonizing Knowledge, Building Power (2014)

Melanie Cervantes
Poster design and online promotion, February 2014

A Featured Convocation of the 42nd Annual Conference of the National Association for Ethnic Studies

When: Friday, April 4th, 2014, 7pm

Where: First Congregational Church, 2501 Harrison St, Oakland, CA 94612


  • Dr. Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Dr. Jason Ferreira, Director, Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco State University
  • Chief Caleen Sisk, Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe
  • Moderated by Andrew Jolivette[/pl_alertbox]

Research Justice: Decolonizing Knowledge, Building Power will explore the role of Research Justice within and across academia, tribal contexts, and grassroots organizing efforts from the local to the global. This town-hall style discussion brings together key thinkers and leaders. Active audience participation and cultural presentations are a part of this precious and crucial dialogue. We view Research Justice as a vehicle to transform the epistemic violence and structural inequality inherent in traditional research paradigms, by creating community-control of research agendas, design and dissemination.

Research Justice is achieved when communities of color, indigenous peoples, and marginalized groups are recognized as experts, and reclaim, own and wield all forms of knowledge and information. This event will reveal how communities of resistance are using research as a critical intervention and active disruption of hetero-patriarchal colonial institutional practices within and outside of academia. We will also explore the possibilities and challenges facing scholars, tribal leaders, and community-based organizations committed to working for Research Justice in the context of the academic/non-profit/prison industrial complex.


Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex.


Jason Ferreira is Associate Professor and Director of Race & Resistance Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. Before arriving at San Francisco State University, he was a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. His teaching and scholarship focus on the history of radicalism within and across communities of color. He is currently working on a social history of the multiracial struggle that culminated in the 1968/69 Third World Strike—tentatively entitled With an Undying Love for Our People—that ultimately gave birth to the first Department of Black Studies and (still) only College of Ethnic Studies in the nation.


Caleen Sisk is the Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who practice their traditional culture and ceremonies in their territory along the McCloud River watershed in Northern California. Caleen is an internationally known speaker on traditional tribal and spiritual issues, having spoken on diverse topics such as spiritual medicine ways, the spirit of water, global warming, sacred sites protection and the responsibility of tribal people to honor their tribal lifeway. Caleen is also a leading voice in raising awareness of the poor human rights conditions suffered by federally unrecognized tribes and unrepresented indigenous peoples around the world.