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.  

Central questions that animate her research agenda include, how do social movements emerge in relationship to changing ideas and practices of racial justice? How has social policy developed in response to the demands of social movements? How do identities like race, class, and gender function in the development of social movement collective identity and strategy? Her research offers insight into the ways that changing understandings and practices of racial politics and community shape mobilization, public policy, and institution building.

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. Dr. Okechukwu received her  Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University in 2015 and her undergraduate degrees in English-Creative Writing and Sociology from the University of Southern California.  

She is currently completing a book manuscript on grassroots and elite mobilization over affirmative action and open admissions in public universities, titled To Fulfill These Rights: Political Contention Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions in Public Universities (Columbia University Press).  

Dr. Okechukwu's work has been supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council and Andrew Mellon Foundation, Oral History Association, Imagining America, and most recently from the American Association of University Women. 

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

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

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 Social Problems)

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