Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

On Movement Theory, Institutional Activism and Cultural Change

Academic journal article Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy

On Movement Theory, Institutional Activism and Cultural Change

Article excerpt

On behalf of HJAAP, Professors Justin Hansford and Stephan Bradley held a candid conversation to discuss their thoughts on student demands sweeping the nation. Though the two have organized together in the past as faculty members on the frontlines of Ferguson protests, this was their first conversation, together, on the issue.

Justin Hansford

As an assistant professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, Justin Hansford's research incorporates legal history, legal ethics, critical race theory, human rights, and the global justice movement in a broader attempt to interrogate injustice in society. He has a BA from Howard University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a founder of The Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives. He joined the law faculty after clerking for Judge Damon Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and he has received a prestigious Fulbright award to study the legal career of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Living ten minutes from Ferguson, Hansford has been at the forefront of legal organizing and advocacy in the aftermath of Mike Brown's murder. He co-authored the Ferguson to Geneva human rights shadow report (, and accompanied the Ferguson protesters and Mike Brown's family to Geneva, Switzerland, to testify before the United Nations. Hansford has served as a policy advisor for proposed post-Ferguson reforms at the local, state, and federal level, testifying before the Ferguson Commission, the Missouri Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission, and the President's Task Force on Twenty-First Century Policing.

As a result of his work in Ferguson, Hansford has been featured in USA Today, The Washington Post, Time magazine, Ebony, and Th e Globe and Mail, and he has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, among other national and local news outlets. He was honored by the National Bar Association as one of the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40, selected as an Aspen Ideas Festival scholar by the Aspen Institute, and recently was named by Revolt TV as one of the 25 New Leaders of Social Justice.

As a professor at Saint Louis University's College of Arts and Sciences, Stephan Bradley's research primarily focuses on recent US history with an emphasis on the African American experience. He is interested in the role youth have played in shaping post-WWII American society. More specifically, he is fascinated with the efforts and abilities of Black college students to change not only their scholastic environments, but also the communities that have surrounded their institutions of higher learning. Amazingly, young people, by way of protests and demands, have been able to influence college curricula, as well as the policies of their schools. Bradley's interest in protest movements of young people has led him to study Black student activism at Ivy League universities, as well as author numerous publications including Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s, which discusses how Black students risked their educations (and potentially their lives) during the famous controversy that took place at Columbia University in 1968 and 1969. Bradley has also co-edited Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence, which covers the creation and evolution of the nation's first Black collegiate fraternity. Bradley is currently contracted with New York University Press to write a book potentially titled Blackened Ivy: Civil Rights, Black Power, and Ivy League Universities in the Postwar Era. Recently, his work on student and youth activism has been discussed in media outlets such as The Harvard Law Review, History News Network, NPR, C-Span2 BookTV, MSNBC, BBC, and BET. Research.

BRADLEY:Students calling for institutional change is a certain kind of privilege. I can appreciate it because stuff doesn't change without those privileged people acting. …

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