Thursday April 6: The Policy Formation Process

Image: Adinkra symbol “Sesa wo suban” — Change/transformation, via
First, thanks to Lehman alum, sis. Benu Ma’at for calling in to talk to the class about her community work at Lehman College where she founded the Class Action student club, then with the Universal Zulu Nation (where she founded the first women’s chapter) and continuing work in Northern VA, where she now lives!

This is our last meeting before spring break. We’ll start the class with the Amsterdam News as usual and then go to Amos Wilson.

Review the last few pages of Chapter 8 that we already read, then 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 170Questions 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?


Remember that we have an assignment due next week. It’s on the Assignments page if you need another copy. Remember to keep taking notes your fieldwork. Begin reflecting on your experiences and organizing ideas.

Save the dates: The International African Arts Festival   is July 4th weekend and the Tribute to the Ancestors of the Middle Passage is June 10 at Coney Island.

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