Amaka Okechukwu

Amaka Okechukwu

Amaka Okechukwu

Assistant Professor

Sociology: Social Movements, Race and Ethnicity, Political Sociology, Urban Sociology, Qualitative Methods, Black Politics, Ethnography, Oral History

Amaka Okechukwu is an interdisciplinary scholar engaged in research on social movements, race, community studies, and Black archives. She joined George Mason University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology in Fall 2017.  

Dr. Okechukwu is a 2020 recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship. She has also been named a 2020 African American Digital Humanities (AADHUM) Scholar at the University of Maryland-College Park. Her work has been supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Oral History Association, Imagining America, and the American Association of University Women.

Dr. Okechukwu’s research agenda concerns the intersection of collective action and racial justice, as well as urban spatial politics.

Dr. Okechukwu has served as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Advanced Social Science Research at New York University and as a Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Fellow. She received her  Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University (2015) and her undergraduate degrees in English-Creative Writing and Sociology from the University of Southern California.  

Selected Publications


Okechukwu, Amaka (2019). To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions (Columbia University Press)

  • Author Meets Critic, Association of Black Sociologists (2019)
  • Author Meets Critic, Eastern Sociological Society (2020)


Forthcoming Okechukwu, Amaka. “Confronting Scale: A Strategy of Solidarity in Urban Social Movements, New York City and Beyond” City & Community

Forthcoming Okechukwu, Amaka “Rethinking Diversity Frameworks in Higher Education” Contemporary Sociology (Book Review)

Okechukwu, Amaka (2014). “Shadows of Solidarity: Identity, Intersectionality, and Frame Resonance” Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change, 37:153-180

Okechukwu, Amaka (2014). “The Challenge of Blackness: The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s” Issues in Race and Society. 2:1 1. (104-107) (Book Review)

Okechukwu, Amaka “Urban Social Hauntings: Disappearing Gravestone Murals in Gentrifying Brooklyn” (under review at Public Culture)

Okechukwu, Amaka “The Colorblind Ballot: Why Anti-Affirmative Action Ballot Campaigns Succeeded (and Failed)” (under review at Ethnic and Racial Studies)

Okechukwu, Amaka “SOS: Black Citizen Patrols as Collective Intervention in the Urban Landscape” (in preparation for International Journal of Urban and Regional Research)