Our scholar activists use their passion, education, and skills to make a positive difference in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. Scroll to learn more about many of our A&S scholar activists!
"Littisha Bates is doing the work that will build the university people want to see and experience." ~Jennifer Malat, associate dean and professor of sociology. A professor of sociology at UC, Bates was this year's keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr Day in Cincinnati, a Taft Research Center Fellow, a YWCA Rising Star, a recipient of the Dean's Award for Faculty Excellence, and a co-founder of the UC Black Faculty Association.
"[Marian Spencer] is such a civil rights legend and a great example to our students." ~ UC President Neville Pinto. Spencer joined the NAACP when she was 13. She earned a bachelor's degree at UC in English in 1942. She chaired a legal action against Cincinnati's Coney Island in the 1950's, leading to open access to all in 1955. She was instrumental in desegregating Cincinnati Public schools. In 1983, she was the first African American woman to be elected to Cincinnati City Council.
Professor Holly McGee
“You could be easily led to believe that America is not your country and not a country where you are expected to —or have opportunity to —live that good life and have that American dream,” she said. “But what you can do is have an opportunity to speak back, to fight back, to learn and to change that narrative if not for yourself, then certainly for future generations.”
Alumnus Samuel W. Black
An award winning curator, writer, editor, lecturer, and researcher Samuel W. Black has numerous publications in peer review journals, encyclopedias, books, magazines, newspapers, and has published three books, “Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era” (editor); “Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole: A Photographic History of African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio” (co-author); and “The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience” (editor).'
Professor Omotayo O. Banjo
In an age where the words fake news, alternative facts and news commentary have become household names, Banjo believe it’s more important to advocate education not censorship. “As an educator we try to get students to think critically, and engage in debate in healthy ways,” she said.
Dr. Eric Abercrumbie
In the late 1980s, Abercrumbie was instrumental in helping the university to honor its long-standing promise to open a a black cultural center, even as it faced resistance from some students, faculty and board members. Over the course of his 45-year career here, he’s experienced both inspiring victories and confidence-shaking lows.
Mario Jovan Shaw
Mario Jovan Shaw, a champion of diversity in education, graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication and Africana studies from University of Cincinnati's College of Arts and Sciences in 2012. Shaw was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 for social entrepreneurship due to the success of the education-focused nonprofit he co-founded, Profound Gentlemen.
Brown’s words crackle with a current of electricity ignited by her passion for social justice. She said many of her core beliefs about making change were sparked by classroom discussions as a political science and Africana Studies student. Brown's untiring passion for grassroots activism and social justice caught the attention of WLWT, and they named her as someone on the frontier of a “new generation” of civil rights leaders in the city.
Want to learn more about events and people featured on the timeline, check out the links below.
Learn more about the rally for better facilities at African-American Center
Learn more about the protest against racist act at university
Learn more about the Diversity Outreach Bill fails Student Senate
Learn more about black students pressuring for improvements to the AACRC