Thursday April 2: The Policy Formation Process

Image: Adinkra symbol “Sesa wo suban” — Change/transformation, via

This is our last meeting before spring break. We’ll start the class with Wilson and skip the Amsterdam News this week to do a progress report on your fieldwork assignments. We’ll meet one-on-one and be ready to discuss where you are, what you’re doing, and how the community work is going so far.

Read Chapter 9 (“The Policy Formation Process”) in Amos Wilson’s Blueprint for Black Power slowly and carefully. Only one chapter this week, as it is longer than most. This chapter lays out the process by which public policies are formed and the views of people in influential positions are shaped by various forces. Pay special attention to the following chapter sections:

  • Think Tanks
  • The Need for Afrikan centered Information and Strategy Centers
  • On the Black Hand Side: Black Power Networks and Institutions of Higher Learning
  • Study Wilson’s diagram on page 170

    Questions to think about as you read:

  • How do foundations and think tanks influence public policy?
  • How does this process aid those already in power?
  • How has corporate and private funding shaped the role of Black higher education?
  • How might Afrikan centered think tanks/policy centers intervene?
  • I think all of you got the assignments for the final paper and presentation, but they’re now on the Assignments page as PDF downloads just in case. Start looking at your fieldwork and begin taking notes. Begin reflecting on your experiences and organizing ideas.

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