Dr. A.A. Akom is one of the most important emerging voices on anti-racism, environmental justice, and educational equity in the United States. He is a powerful speaker with a unique ability to connect with diverse audiences.
A writer, activist, and educator, he has spoken on numerous college and high school campuses including UC Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Texas, as well as in the heart of the prison industrial complex at San Quentin and in San Francisco County Jails. A Freirian teacher, an organic intellectual, and a health activist, Akom has provided anti-racism trainings and engaged in collaborative consulting projects with several large urban and suburban districts nationwide.
Greening the Globe: Creating Environmental and Racial Justice in our Schools and Communities
As one of America's leading experts on health inequality and educational equity, Akom's research examines common urban challenges including: health disparities, educational equity, affordable housing, environmental racism, and unequal access to high quality food markets, transit, and open space. His work offers comprehensive solutions and inspirational models for two of America's biggest social problems—environmental degradation and educational under-achievement. His unique way of addressing race, class, gender and other axes of social difference not only serve to rejuvenate hope, but also create new frameworks for reducing health and educational disparities in our classrooms and communities.
Akom is currently editing two books, Greening the Globe: A Critical Reader on Environmental Health, Educational Equity, and Social Justice and The Hip Hop and Critical Pedagogy Reader: Re-Imagining Race, Space, and Power in Classrooms in Communities (Peter Lang Press). He is also working on his first solo authored book, Ameritocracy: The Racing of our Nations School Children, where he explores African American and Latina/o advocacy around issues of environmental toxins, medicalized models of social unrest, and racial disparities in health and education.
In 2006, Akom founded Youth as Public Intellectuals (YPI), a youth empowerment organization committed to issues of environmental justice and educational equity. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Research Infrastructure and Minority Institutions (RIMI) fellowship for 2009-2010 and numerous other awards and recognitions. Currently he is an assistant professor of Environmental Sociology, Urban Education, and Africana Studies and the co-director of educational equity at the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University. He serves on the board or works with six national social justice organizations: the Green Social Equity Group (with the Ella Baker Center), the California Green Stimulus Coalition, Youth Speaks (educational committee), Justice Matters (Racial Justice Policy Organization), Project Rebound (re-entry program for formerly incarcerated youth) and the Oakland Black Men and Boys Initiative.
Always provocative and cutting edge, Akom is a highly sought after speaker for national and international audiences and has appeared in the national media, including the Nation and Pacifica radio (KPFA) for his political work and academic commentary on race, environmental justice, and education in the United States.
- Building Green and Orange Pathways Out of Poverty
- Health Inequality, Educational Equity, and the Role of Youth in Building the Green Economy
- Youth Empowerment and Student Activism
- Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and Creating Sustainable Communities, Cities, and Schools
If you would like to plan a speaking event with Dr. Akom, please email him at AAAkom [at] gmail.com