Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has appointed Amilcar Shabazz, professor of Afro-American Studies, to serve as his faculty advisor for diversity and excellence.
“Professor Shabazz has written and consulted extensively on issues of race and diversity,” said Subbaswamy. “We will benefit greatly from his scholarship and leadership experience on this campus and in his previous appointments, and I look forward to having his invaluable perspective on our work in this critical area.”
In his new role, Shabazz will serve on the Campus Leadership Council and be the chancellor’s representative to all campus groups, committees and councils involved in advancing diversity. He will be responsible for working with various groups, such as the Faculty Senate Council on Diversity, Faculty Senate Council on the Status of Women and the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee, as well as members of the senior administration, staff, faculty and students, “to develop and implement appropriate academic initiatives to advance the campus’s diversity goals,” said Subbaswamy.
Shabazz will also work with the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity to oversee the implementation of the campus’s diversity plan and assess both its progress and outcomes. Shabazz will also prepare an annual report on the state of campus diversity and inclusion and recommend steps to improve the campus climate to the chancellor.
The new post is a half-time position with a three-year term, said Subbaswamy.
In 2007, Shabazz joined the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, serving as chair until 2012. He taught previously at Oklahoma State University and the University of Alabama. He teaches in the area of historical studies with an emphasis on the political economy of social and cultural movements, education, and public history.
Shabazz earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in history from Lamar University, and a doctorate in history from the University of Houston.
His book Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity in Higher Education in Texas (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), received numerous honors including the T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award. His newest book, co-edited with Celia R. Daileader and Rhoda E. Johnson, is Women & Others: Perspective on Race, Gender, and Empire (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2007). Shabazz has also published The Forty Acres Documents, a sourcebook on reparations, along with journal articles, book chapters and reviews.
An international scholar, he is a Fulbright senior specialist and has done work in Brazil, Ghana, Japan, Cuba, Mali, France, Nicaragua and Jamaica. He is currently completing an historical biography of lawyer-activist-publisher Carter Wesley, volumes on the mass media and the civil rights and black power movements, and a book of the future of the higher education for African-Americans in the wake of anti-affirmative action litigation from Bakke and Hopwood to Fisher v. University of Texas.
He is a member of the Amherst School Committee and vice-chair of the Amherst Regional School Committee. He also serves on the Northwestern District Attorney’s Citizens Advisory Board. On campus, he is a member of the Faculty Senate and an at-large member of its Rules Committee. He also co-chaired the senate’s Ad Hoc Committee on Strategic Oversight.