What are Teach-Ins?
The Ubuntu Center on Racism, Global Movements & Population Health Equity aims to achieve a just future, free from systems of oppression, full of new possibilities through bold, collective action, and an equitable world in which all individuals and communities are healthy and thrive.
We believe that teach-ins provide the opportunity to foster relationships between organizers, community groups, and researchers to discuss and explore how to fulfill a shared mission.
The overall goal of the Ubuntu Center teach-ins are to create a co-learning space for scholars, organizers, activists, and community residents to build critical consciousness about entrenched inequities created by racism and other systems of oppression and find ways to collaborate on community-led and community-centered research and solutions.
The sessions will help to:
- Socialize ‘Ubuntu’ and the importance of collective action
- Build relationships, trust, and a sense of community both within the Ubuntu Center and with our external partners
- Provide an introduction about historical social movements across Philadelphia during the 20th and 21st century
Each teach-in will focus on a theme related to racism and population health equity and will invite both scholars and movement builders. Teach-ins will occur over two days (one Thursday evening hybrid session and one Saturday in-person session) to give sufficient time for both internal and external learning and conversation.
Read about our 2022 Teach-in Series here.
Learn more about our 2023 Teach-in Series below.
2023 Spring Teach-in Series
Topic: Housing and Displacement in Philly
- April 13th, 5:30 PM & April 15th, 10 AM
Topic: Land and Urban Agriculture in Philly
- May 11th, 5:30 PM & May 13th, 10 AM
Topic: The Carceral System in Philly
- June 8th, 5:30 PM & June 10th, 10 AM
Akira Drake Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design. Her research examines the ways that disenfranchised groups re-appropriate their marginalized spaces in the city to gain access to and sustain urban political power. She is the author of Diverging Space for Deviants: The Politics of Atlanta’s Public Housing, which explores how the politics of public housing planning and race in Atlanta created a politics of resistance within its public housing developments. She is also the lead author of A Green New Deal for K-12 Schools, through her work with the climate + community project. She has received funding from the Spencer Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Innovation Initiative and Projects for Progress funds to support her work around school facilities planning in Philadelphia public schools. Dr. Rodriguez has also consulted or lead engagement processes for several local, state, and federal projects including the Philadelphia Authorized Depositories Study for Fair Lending, the Disparity Study for Philadelphia’s Office of Economic Opportunity, and the 2021 Cleveland Housing Plan.
*Details on our May guests below.
Lan Dinh (she/her) is the Co-Executive Director and Farm and Food Sovereignty Projects Director for VietLEAD. She is responsible for developing and delivering youth curriculum and program activities and building the existing community garden into a community food project. Lan has over eight years of experience in teaching healthy cooking, nutrition, gardening, and food justice for youth, adults, and communities. Previously, she was an Assistant Farm Manager and Instructor at the University of California Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and a Youth Organizer for the Urban Nutrition Initiative in Philadelphia. Ms. Dinh received her Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Societies with a Concentration in International Health & Nutrition from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems in October of 2013.
*Details on our June guests below.
Nikki Grant is Amistad Law Project’s Policy Director and co-founder. She is the proud daughter of Jamaican immigrants and grew up in a tightly-knit, working class West Indian community in Orlando, Florida. As a young person, she witnessed poverty, racial segregation and inequitable schools in her community, as well as her father’s disabling chronic illness. She was inspired by the demonstration of care by primarily Black women neighbors and church family to work towards social equity through a Black feminist lens. Nikki is a movement lawyer and a founding member of the Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration. She is also a board member of the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania, where she serves on the Community Organizing committee.