Wednesday, February 10, 2021 @ 3p Eastern
A Conversation with Tehama Lopez Bunyasi
Tehama Lopez Bunyasi is Assistant Professor at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. A political scientist by training, her scholarship is broadly concerned with matters of race, racism and antiracism in the United States, with specializations in structural inequality, racial attitudes and ideologies, racial marginalization, and the politics of whiteness. A committed public scholar, Dr. Lopez Bunyasi engages broader audiences on matters of American politics, racial disparities and racial violence by contributing commentary to a variety of national and international media outlets, including The New York Times, PBS, C-SPAN, NBC News, Voice of America, and the Scene on Radio podcast distributed by PRX.
In Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter (NYU Press, 2019), she and co-author Candis Watts Smith illuminate lessons from the current Movement for Black Lives to equip people to become effective racial justice advocates and antiracists. Blending together a wealth of scholarly work with critical reflections from popular culture, Stay Woke sheds light on the precarious nature of Black lives in the United States by unmasking structural racism and explaining how even well-meaning people can reproduce racial inequality. Created as a toolkit and written in accessible language, Stay Woke empowers its readers to become more knowledgeable participants in public dialogue, activism, and American politics.
Lopez Bunyasi’s current book project, Breaking the Racial Contract: Conscious Egalitarianism and the Politics of Whiteness (under contract with NYU Press), utilizes nationwide survey data and in-depth interviews with antiracist activists to explore the relationship between whites’ perceptions of racial privilege and support for racially egalitarian policies and practices. In redirecting the study of racial attitudes to address the under-articulated side of racial inequality—racial advantage—this book maps out a constellation of critical resistance to the hierarchical racial order and brings attention to the not-fully-realized potential of privilege-cognizant politics.