Black Greeks Speak

Black Greeks Speak Social Justice and Human Rights Council is an education and policy studies organization that addresses issues of social justice and human rights. Although, the national headquarters is located in Houston, Texas, BGS carries out its mission to foster leadership based on enduring values to social justice and human rights in seven regional conferences across the United States. We provide a nonpartisan space for dealing with critical issues in our world by chartering chapters, groups, clusters and affiliate associations in the United States.

The Mission

  • To educate, engage, and advocate for social justice and human rights issues for our members, affiliates, and citizens across the world.
  • To promote social justice and human rights initiatives and awareness.
  • To train members and non-members in the areas of social justice and advocacy issues in order to meet the needs of oppressed and marginalized groups and communities.
  • To inspire members and communities to civic engagement, political and social justice awareness, advocacy and community service.


2016 Race, Gender, & Class Journal: Call for Proposals

RGC 2016 Conference Call for Paper …

The Race, Gender, and Class Journal (RGC) 2016 Conference will take place in  New Orleans, March 31-April 2.  Please send your proposal no later than December 1st, 2015 on the following themes:

The Radical MLK.  RGC:  For What and Whom?

Can RGC build a progressive agenda of activism if we follow MLK’s democratic socialist ideas for social justice?

Each year we are very surprised and impressed with the caliber of presenters and papers. However, presenters and researchers of RGC often ask us the provocative question: RGC for what and whom? We believe the time has arrived to think about a progressive response to this question.  As Cornell West in (2015) says, “The Radical MLK was a democratic socialist who sided with poor and working people”. We think the time has come for RGC to climb on the shoulders of MLK and remind social progressives that another America is possible based on RGC social and economic equality.

We cannot advise following MLK by simply speaking about social justice at the RGC Conference and writing articles to be published in the RGC journal. In a speech in 1966, King explained: “There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”  But as the FBI and the US government called him the most dangerous man in America, MLK was not allowed to pursue his democratic socialism project.

April 4, 1968 the most dangerous democratic socialist was killed in Memphis. Tennessee.   MLK’s call for social and economic equality remains unfulfilled as both a national and global phenomenon.   Some say the future of America and our Mother Earth depends heavily upon national and global responses to social and economic inequality.  What capacity exists for researchers, activists, nation states, municipal, civic and educational leaders to understand and heed Dr. King’s call for a more representative and socially inclusive democracy?  Keep in mind that Dr. King was neither Marxist nor communist; social humanism served as his political and moral compass.  Importantly, he understood the role of capitalism in producing and reproducing poverty destruction of our Mother Earth.

This 2016 RGC Conference will focus upon Dr. King’s pursuit of social and economic equality as a democratic reality.  The 2016 RGC Conference requests papers that address the inherent tensions and contradictions that RGC pose to models of social injustice and specifically economic injustice both nationally and internationally.  What do we know about the effects of social inequality on Housing, Education, Crime, Health Care, Employment and Income, Transportation, Religion, and the Arts.   Others RGC topic are welcome.

The 2016 Conference offers a fitting occasion to reflect on RGC for what and whom and how self-identified progressives and especially RGC progressive committed to advancing RGC social equality and justice. The conference seeks to determine if Dr. King’s dream is worth fighting for or whether his dream of social and economic equality remains but a dream.

As a RGC reminder:  Do not forget to subscribe or renew your subscription (see attachment) to keep the journal and the conference alive.

Speaking Race to Power Fellowship

A winning movement calls for leaders who are courageously addressing issues of race and power in ways that are leading to deeper collaborations and exciting innovations.

Again and again, leaders in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement have identified issues of race and power as the most significant barriers to radical collaboration, strategizing and action. There is a pressing need to have intentional and skillful ways of addressing race – ways that increase power, collaboration, and possibilities within our movement. Leadership is a process of inspiring and aligning people across difference. It is the work of leaders to engage with others around race, and encourage conversations that are brave, compassionate, and generative. At its core, radical collaboration is the ability to build relationships and take collective action across historical and contemporary divides, whether those divisions are caused by racism, power inequalities, or difference.

SR2P 1CoreAlign believes that ‘speaking race’ is an essential competency of all leaders, and is a skill we especially want to support in our network and movement. CoreAlign has developed the Speaking Race to Power Fellowship — a 6-month program that connects and supports cohorts of leaders who want to develop  innovative ways of breaking through the current bottlenecks of race and power in the reproductive movement.

Participants will apply to the fellowship with an idea that involves designing and testing activities or conversations that disrupt dominant habits of race and racism. CoreAlign seeks fellows who will conceptualize and experiment with projects that bring unlikely allies together, break through current barriers, and take on new and interesting possibilities.

Are you tired of our collective and individual inability to address issues of race and power in our movement? What is the race conversation, big or small, that you have been mulling over and wanting to explore?  How would you address an issue where race and power have been barriers to promising strategies or collaborations? If you are ready to disrupt the racial status quo, apply to be a Speaking Race to Power Fellow!

Apply to join our 3rd cohort! The deadline to apply is Monday, September 21st at 11:59pm.

ILA’s 17th Annual Conference in Barcelona

Looking for funding to attend ILA’s 17th Annual Conference in Barcelona?

If you are a student or recent graduate (within 1-year), submit your paper to the Kenneth E. Clark Student Research Award.  If your paper wins, you’ll receive a free trip to ILA’s 17th annual global conference in Barcelona (air, hotel, and conference registration) PLUS a $1,000 cash prize PLUS a guaranteed presentation slot in the program to share your research.

See complete submission details at:

The International Leadership Association (ILA) is pleased to join with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) to co-sponsor the annual Kenneth E. Clark Student Research Award to recognize outstanding unpublished papers by undergraduate and graduate students. The award is named in honor of the distinguished scholar and former Chief Executive Officer of CCL.

Looking for additional opportunities for students at ILA Barcelona?

Fredric M. Jablin Doctoral Dissertation Award (Deadline July 6) Details:

9th Annual Student Case Competition (Sign-Up by Sep. 13) Details:


P.S.  Registration for ILA Barcelona is now open.  Visit the conference home page at for details.

Dr. Ricardo Smith recent Ph.D. graduate featured in City Beat

Good news,


Dr. Ricardo Smith and his research is featured in this week’s City Beat. Although the article does not credit Union for his dissertation, it is good exposure for the important work Dr. Smith is doing. I really enjoyed meeting him and telling his story.

 In addition to the City Beat feature, he was profiled on our web and interviewed by a local radio station.

 Here is the link to City Beat


Here is the link to blog profile


Here is the link to his radio article

Spotlight on Alumnus Dr. Ricardo Y. Smith

Dr Ricardo Y Smith

What are the most critical issues facing post-prison African-American men in Hamilton and Butler counties?

Registering to vote

Alumnus Dr. Ricardo Y. Smith (Ph.D. 2014) gives voice to local men facing these issues in his 2014 doctoral dissertation, No Way Out: Giving Voice to the Post-Prison Experiences of African-American Men in Two Ohio Counties.

Dr. Ricardo Smith is a Gulf War Veteran (1990-1994), a distinguished honor graduate from the United States Army Signal School in Augusta, Georgia, and an adjunct instructor in psychology at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College. Dr. Smith spent three and a half years researching and two months interviewing 10 formerly incarcerated African American men from Hamilton and Butler counties. A critical interpretative analysis conducted through in-depth interviews that examined the post-prison lives of African American men, his study addressed the post-prison obstacles of ex-offenders as they struggled to find employment, housing, and registering to vote. Dr. Smith examined the problems and the impact of labeling prisoners and investigated the issues of prison debt and prison money-making plots. The policy restraints impacting the lives of ex-offenders (who usually come from targeted poor communities) are described as an apparatus of social control, particularly upon African-American men. He found that ex-offenders often experience a post-prison system of no way out that has become a type of social incarceration.

Dr. Smith’s research questions focused on the post-prison impact on the lived experiences of 10 African American men. His hope was to give voice to these men as they attempt to rebuild their lives after prison, particularly as it relates to two questions:

• When returning to communities where social barriers exist and persist, what barriers do the men recognize? To what extent do these barriers affect their lives post-prison?

• To what extent do the men recognize the impact of the criminal label (criminal for life) on their lives post-prison? How does this label affect them when they are seeking employment, permanent housing, and trying to vote?

Dr. Smith hopes that scholars can better understand the dynamics of what it means to (re)live life post-prison. His recommendations for future research include the necessity to examine how and why the lack of employment remains the number one problem for returning citizens after prison. The men he interviewed returned to communities where jobs and housing remain scarce. If the returning citizen does not go to a halfway house or have family housing support, there are very few housing options through public assistance. Not being able to find housing or employment has been shown to lead to significant relapse implications and high probable rates of recidivism.

Dr. Smith points out that the ethnic minority prison population continues to rise. As a people, African Americans make up less than 15 percent of the U.S. population but almost 43 percent of the U.S. prison population. Are African Americans more criminal? Dr. Smith says the answer is no, but does answer yes to the fact that black persons are convicted and sent to prison statistically more often than other ethnic groups, particularly for federal drug convictions. He sees it as a racialized mechanism of incarceration that has produced a major social problem for young black teens and men.

More research is needed to evaluate and gauge the success of reentry and reintegration. Without statistics and stories to measure work and housing efficacy of ex-offenders, how can reintegration or rehabilitation be effective in terms of successful reentry? Without a permanent address, being registered to vote becomes another barrier of reintegration. Dr. Smith explains that ex-offenders need a second chance to redeem themselves and become contributing citizens in society. First steps of viable employment, housing, and the opportunity to vote will give the returning citizen a chance of true reintegration into the community. Reinvestment in people will increase public safety and reduce recidivism for the collective betterment of society and all communities.

In addition to his 2014 Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Union Institute & University, Dr. Smith holds a master’s degree in Human Relations (Applied Psychology) from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Smith’s dissertation about post-prison experiences of African Americans was featured on WVXU radio in Cincinnati in April 2015.

Learn more about Union’s Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program.


Philosophy Born of Struggle 2015 Call for Papers

PHILOSOPHY  Born To Struggle XXII 2015 Annual Meeting

November 6-7, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Embodied Philosophy and Epistemologies of Liberation could refer to any number of strategies or conceptualizations imagined by oppressed peoples to deal with the various manifestations of (neo) colonial, (neo) liberal, sexual, and psychic oppression. Questions emerging from this year’s theme include: Do embodied philosophies challenge the notion of philosophy itself? Can embodied philosophy aim to be universalizable? If philosophies are necessarily situated, products of time and place, what are the theoretical benefits and limitations of Black, feminist, working class, or queer consciousness? Are there epistemic consequences of both oppression and the cultivation of ignorance that effect liberation? What would epistemic independence or epistemic liberation look like? Is anywhere or anyone free of epistemic ignorance? In a world full of epistemic obstructions and dehumanization, how can the oppressed construct livable futures? How do the oppressed gain clarity through the concepts of new slaves and a reinvented Jim Crow? What are the values of ideal and non-ideal theories of justice in the face of fragmented epistemologies? PBS welcomes any papers inspired by or creatively engaging this year’s theme. The

Philosophy Born of Struggle (PBS)conference was first organized in 1993 by J. Everet Green at Rockland Community College, and officially took on the name Philosophy Born of Struggle several years later to continue the study and traditions announced by Leonard Harris’s anthology Philosophy Born of Struggle: Anthology of Afro- American Philosophy from 1917.
Every year PBS enjoys being hosted by universities, colleges, and community colleges throughout the country. For over two decades, PBS has remained a traveling conference dedicated to bringing Africana philosophy to various communities, be they academic or not, in the United States. PBS is an interdisciplinary and open philosophical community. We welcome interlocutors from all traditions, including but not limited to Afrocentrism, womanism, feminism, queer/quare/trans theory, Marxism, Pan-Africanism, pragmatism, and existentialism. We also welcome participants regardless of discipline and professional affiliation.
More information on Philosophy Born of Struggle including interviews of African American philosophers, past keynote speakers, and various literatures can be found at:
Submission Guidelines:
Please email a Microsoft Word document including the title, abstract, institutional affiliation, rank or occupation, and email address of the presenters or panelists to: by July 1st, 2015. Please use “PBOS 2015 Submission” as the subject of the email.
Registration, along with information about conference rates at the hotel, our keynote speakers and directions to the conference, has already been made available for your convenience at:

Penumbra, Issue 2 Now Live!


I am happy to announce the publication of the second issue of Penumbra, the journal of the PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies program at the Union Institute & University. Visit to read critical and creative works aligned with our mission to publish socially engaged innovative, creative, and critical scholarship, with a focus on ethical, political, and aesthetic issues in the humanities, public policy, and leadership.


Penumbra is currently accepting Reviewers and Submitters of scholarly and creative works. If you are interested in getting involved, please register yourself with the journal’s management system located here:


Our regards,


Gariot P. Louima (Cohort 12)


Penumbra: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Critical and Creative Inquiry