Register Now: Illumining and Strengthening the Work of Bahá’í Writers (Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Weekend Seminar, May 21 & 22)
Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and Building a Unified Society

Social Transformation
11 weeks
Weekly Study
Jun 9-Aug 24
Register By
June 16, 2022
Fee: $73.50 for first-time students; $63/person for study groups; $50/person for US Baha'i Institutions
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This course will examine anti-Black racism and racial prejudice in North American society in some of its most serious manifestations, explore the content and significance of relevant Bahá'í authoritative texts, and consider how Bahá'ís can initiate meaningful conversations and public discourse in a variety of contexts. It will begin with an exploration of definitions of race, racism, and prejudice. It will then turn to such subjects as understanding colonialism and slavery; the prison/industrial complex; Black Lives Matter and policing issues; white privilege and bias/stereotyping; housing and education segregation; violence against black women; Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement; and "one human family"—the experience of the Bahá'í community.

Note: This course features weekly Zoom sessions on Sundays at 4:00 pm Eastern Time (1:00 pm Pacific, 3:00 pm Central Time), starting the first weekend of the course. The Summer program has been extended by 2 weeks due to holidays and Holy Days on July 4th (U.S. Independence) and July 10th (Martyrdom of the Báb).

Important Dates

Details forthcoming

Lead Faculty: June Manning Thomas

June Manning ThomasJune Manning Thomas, Professor in Urban and Regional Planning, was named Mary Frances Berry Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan, in 2016.  Thomas writes articles and books about race relations and social justice issues related to urban planning in U. S. cities.  These are the themes in J. M. Thomas and Marsha Ritzdorf, eds., Urban Planning and the African American Community: In the Shadows (Sage Press, 1996), and in Thomas’s Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit (Wayne State Univ. Press, 1997, 2nd ed. 2013), winner of the 1999 Paul Davidoff Award (Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning).  Her writing also focuses upon strategies for distressed communities in cities such as Detroit, as in the above books plus Margaret Dewar and J. M. Thomas, ed.s, The City after Abandonment (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), and J. M. Thomas and Henco Bekkering, ed.s, Mapping Detroit: Evolving Land Use Patterns and Connections (Wayne State Univ. Press, 2015).  Her book Planning Progress: Lessons from Shoghi Effendi (Association for Baha'i Studies, 1999), which received an award from that association, explored the planning and leadership styles exemplified by the Head of the Baha’i Faith during a series of global plans.  Recent research for an anticipated book-length manuscript considers racial oppression and black community resilience during the civil rights era in South Carolina. She currently serves on the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Ann Arbor, MI, and has served in several other volunteer capacities for the Baha’i Faith.  A native of South Carolina, she has lived in Michigan for most of her adult life, with her husband, Richard W. Thomas; they have two adult children.  She formerly taught at Michigan State University, where she created programs that assisted neighborhoods and community organizations in several distressed Michigan cities. 

Meet Your Faculty
Carol Mansour, BA

Carol Mansour learned about the Bahá’í Faith while working as a reporter and anchor in local television news. Having grown up in a Pentecostal congregation that was all Black, she was intrigued that a religion considered the elimination of racial prejudice as a spiritual imperative.  She has taken to heart... See Faculty Bio

Elizabeth (Liz) Allen, PhD Candidate
Educator, Motherscholar

I was born and largely raised in Port-Gentil Gabon and attended middle school at New Era High School in Panchgani India. I have a Bachelor’s in Mathematics Education, Master’s in Special Education and have taught in higher education (KU and UNC-CH) and in various K-12 settings, my last being the... See Faculty Bio

Ding-Jo H. Currie, PhD
Distinguished Faculty of Higher Education Leadership; Director, Leadership Institute for Tomorrow California State University, Fullerton

My career includes over forty years in the California’s higher education systems. I spent the first 30+ years in the community colleges and retired as Chancellor of Coast Colleges overseeing three wonderful community colleges in Orange County, California. Having had presidential and chancellor level roles, I was immediately invited to... See Faculty Bio

Nicola Daniels, MSc
WI Registrar & Student Services Specialist

I was born in Kingston, Jamaica. My interest in music, theatre, and the literary arts led me to abandon my academic degrees and a career in the Forensic Sciences, to take up a position with the British Council Caribbean as Arts & Education Officer. I worked for several years as... See Faculty Bio

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