April 21 Event: Assaults on Academic Freedom, Curriculum, Shared Governance and Us: What Are They Afraid of and What Do We Do about it?

A talk by Charles Toombs

April 21, 2023, 1:00-2:30 PM

Open to all faculty and allies in North Carolina. Zoom link: 

From the elimination of DEI programs to the censorship of curricula and course contents to the weakening of tenure protections, academic freedom has been the target of a sustained and growing wave of attacks across the US. The UNC Board of Governors’ recent change to UNC Code Policy 300.5.1, “Political Activities of Employees,” is symptomatic of this larger process. How can faculty and our allies empower ourselves to resist these attacks and revitalize academic freedom? In this presentation, Prof. Charles Toombs will offer his insights into the current political climate surrounding academic freedom and shared governance, and help us think about ways to build faculty power and promote a more inclusive, just higher education system.

About the speaker: Charles Toombs, President, California Faculty Association, is Professor and Immediate Past Chair of Africana Studies, San Diego State University (SDSU). His areas of specialization and publications are Africana literature. He is a Vice President of SEIU California. He is in his second year as Chair of AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions. He chairs SEIU's Higher Education Council group on racial equity. He was one of six U.S. union leaders invited by the Shanghai Education Union for meetings in China, March 2018. He is an SDSU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unsung Hero, SDSU Faculty Diversity Award recipient, and African American Educator of San Diego County. He is committed to antiracism and social and cultural justice and is a national and local leader in these areas. He has presented on numerous panels and meetings addressing strategies for labor unions to prioritize anti-racism and social justice in their organizing, structures, and other work. He is currently working on a book focusing on how race, anti-racism, social justice, and dismantling systemic oppression have invigorated and are the future of the labor movement in the United States. He has published several works on African American literature and culture. He has presented papers, chaired panels, and served on panels at professional meetings and conferences, including lectures and workshops on African American Literature and Africana Studies at Gorlovka State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages, Gorlovka, Ukraine.