ESU Student Represents the University at Interdisciplinary Conference
Amy Okale Majani, a junior majoring in political science at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) represented the university at the 13th annual Frederick Douglass Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference at Bloomsburg University May 2-3. Majani served on the faculty and student panel on “Post-Racial America: Dream or Reality?” Picture # 1 from left—the panel moderator, David Hanley-Tejeda, an adjunct instructor in the Department of Communication Studies at Bloomsburg University, and Majani.
Amy Okale Majani, a junior majoring in political science, represented East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) at the 13th annual Frederick Douglass Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference at Bloomsburg University earlier this month. Majani served on the faculty and student panel on “Post-Racial America: Dream or Reality?” at this event that explored issues of race and racial issues in America.
In theory, Post-Racial America is a place of racial equality and where racial discrimination no longer exists. After the election in 2008 of Barack Obama, the first Black president of the United States, some suggested the nation had entered this post-racial environment and that this was confirmed when he was elected for a second term. According to this view, it signified the realization of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of racial equality and that racial barriers in the U.S. no longer exist, which gives Americans more equal opportunities to pursue individual freedom.
Others contest the existence of post-racism, believing Obama’s election has not led to social equity and has not erased the disparities between people of color, particularly African-Americans, and whites in terms of income, employment and education opportunities, and health benefits. Still others view post-racism as the end of white domination in the U.S. and, thus, a form of reverse racism.
Majani’s presentation and comments focused on the state of national discourse with regard to post-racial America.
“It may no longer be prevalent just in traditional areas such as classrooms, universities or homes, but it is now splintered all over,” said Majani. “I argued that discourse has not been lost but is now present in non-traditional areas such as the internet. My research focused on the internet as a non-traditional sphere and particularly online communities such as reddit, imgur, or general forums and blogs whose discussions amount to discourse.”
Kimberly S. Adams, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science at ESU, recruited Majani for the conference and supervised her research. Dr. Adams had asked students who participated in The Washington Center Inauguration Seminar to think of ways to tie their experiences in Washington D.C. into the conference theme of “Constitutional Freedoms.” She had originally envisioned organizing a student panel to make a presentation at the conference. Although that idea never took flight, Dr. Adams said that Majani showed great interest in the conference and began diligently researching the topic. Both submitted abstracts to join the Post-Racial America student/faculty panel and both were accepted. Adams had a scheduling conflict with the time of the panel so Majani represented ESU alone.
“Working with Amy to prepare for the Post-Racial America panel was one of the major highlights of my spring semester,” said Adams. The topic is very timely and has received quite a bit of attention since the historic election of President Obama in 2008.”
“Amy was a joy to work with because she is a self-starter who is very smart and yearns for a deeper understanding of the American political process. She has been a student in several of my classes and has always gone the extra mile. Amy’s participation and representation of ESU on the faculty/staff panel at BU is a testament of her hard work and devotion to her academic endeavors. I’m so proud of her!”
Majani was among six panelists who made a presentation during the two day conference.
For more information about the conference, please contact Adams via email at 570-422-3924 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.