Black Politics After Obama

A Public Symposium

This event has passed.

Location: The Center for Civil and Human Rights (100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313)

The end of Barack Obama’s term as President of the United States raises retrospective questions about the impact of his presidency and prospective questions about the future of African American politics—both in the wake of Obama’s presidency and in light of the election of Donald Trump.  To explore these questions, the James Weldon Johnson Institute hosted, along with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the half-day symposium, “Black Politics After Obama”. This symposium featured leading academics, activists and elected officials who discussed the impact of President Obama’s tenure in office and possible paths forward for African American voters, policymakers and elected officials.

This event, held on Friday, February 24, 2017, was part of the Johnson Institute's Public Dialogues in Race and Difference Series. Special thanks to our event partner, The Center for Civil and Human Rights, and our Emory co-sponsor, The Laney Legacy Program in Moral Leadership at Candler School of Theology.

Our Event Partner:
National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Panel #1 (1:15 - 2:45 p.m.): Academics Reflect on Black Politics

This panel features leading scholars who study various aspects of race and politics. Topics discussed include neoliberal politics, public opinion and racial resentment, the impact of race neutral campaign strategies and black Republicans.

  • Lester Spence, Associate Professor of Political Science, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Michael Tesler, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California at Irvine
  • Christopher Stout, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Oregon State University
  • Tasha Philpot, Associate Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin

Panel #2 (3:15 - 4:45 p.m.): Black Politics: The View from the Grassroots

This panel features the voices of black Democratic, Republic and Progressive activists from metro Atlanta, who discuss partisan recruiting efforts, policy platforms, and the impact of Black Lives Matter on black politics.

  • Nse Ufot, Director, New Georgia Project
  • Janelle Jones, Republican activist, Interim Chairman, Georgia Black Republican Council
  • Leslie Small, Democratic activist, Outreach Coordinator for Rep. John Lewis

Panel #3 (7 - 8:30 p.m.): The Future of Black Officeholding

This panel features Democratic and Republican elected officials who discuss their role in black politics, including how they choose which issues to prioritize, how they interact with constituents, and how they address issues of concern to black voters.

  • Rep. Stacey Abrams, House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly
  • Leo Smith, State Director of Minority Engagement at Republican Party of Georgia
  • Michael Owens, Chair, Cobb County Democratic Committee