The Politics of Racial Uplift: Friday at Temple University

I will be presenting at this symposium in Philly on Friday and I think it’ll be really interesting. If you’re in Philly or can get there, it should be hot!

Stand Up! The New Politics of Racial Uplift
A Public Philosophy Symposium

Temple University

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

9am to 5pm

Kiva Auditorium and Tuttleman Learning Center, Room 101

For information about participants, schedule, and work by participants and material relevant to symposium themes, go to our website:

Purpose of Symposium:

The Millions More Movement, Cosby’s ‘call-outs,’ and other recent trends renew an old approach to black political thought and practice. The racial uplift tradition tries to improve the conditions of black life by insisting on moral refinement and race-based organization. Uplift ideology and practice have a long and storied past, but critics of the tradition worry over its limitations. Some express concern that it is anti-democratic, intolerant, elitist, sexist, and heterosexist. Others think it focuses too much on personal morality and cultural pathology and not enough on social justice and political economy.

The participants in the ‘Stand Up!’ symposium will think through the risks and rewards of this new racial uplift politics. This interdisciplinary exercise in public philosophy will explore the implications of a social phenomenon with broad ethical significance. The new politics of racial uplift emerges from a widely shared conviction that something is deeply wrong in American society. Our public philosophy conference will take this judgment seriously, and subject this politics to searching and critical scrutiny.

Confirmed Participants:

Angela D. Dillard, Afroamerican and African Studies and Residential College, LSA, at the University of Michigan

Kenyon Farrow, essayist, organizer, media and communications specialist, and board co-chair for Queers for Economic Justice

Kevin Gaines, Afroamerican and African Studies and History at the University of Michigan

Kathryn T. Gines, African American and Diaspora Studies and Philosophy at Vanderbilt University

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University and the Jamestown Project

Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Women’s Research and Resource Center and the Women’s Studies at Spelman College

Joy James, Humanities and Political Science at Williams College and Senior Research Fellow in the Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas-Austin

Adolph Reed, Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania

Jared Sexton, African American Studies and Film & Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine

Aishah Shahidah Simmons, AfroLez® Productions and award-winning African-American feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker, international lecturer, writer, activist, and producer, writer, and director of the internationally acclaimed documentary NO!

Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard University Law School and the Jamestown Project

Paul C. Taylor, Philosophy at Temple University and the Jamestown Project


Temple University Department of Philosophy, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, the Center for Humanities at Temple, the Ira Lawrence Family Fund, and the Jamestown Project

The symposium is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Tamara K. Nopper, assistant organizer, at tnopper (at)

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