News

Westfield State University to host “We Gon’ Be Alright: Race and Resegregation in Today’s America”

Westfield State University will host author, critic, and acclaimed journalist Jeff Chang on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. on Dever Stage in Parenzo Hall. Part of the University’s Higher Ed/Higher Ground speaker series, the event is free and open to the public.

His talk, titled “We Gon’ Be Alright: Race and Segregation in Today’s America,” will emerge from his latest book, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation, which questions why discussions about diversity continue while American society is resegregating, both racially and economically.

“Jeff Chang is the perfect speaker for our event series, as his work asks us to be conscious and thoughtful of the terms and concepts we use to talk about ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ – not just to be self-critical but to push ourselves to create truly equitable spaces and practices on campus,” said Shirley Wong, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and director of Higher Ed/Higher Ground.

Chang has written extensively about the intersection of race, art, civil rights, and hip-hop. In addition to his most recent work, he has authored Who We Be and Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, which earned the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award.

The vice president of narrative, arts, and culture at Race Forward, a national organization that advances racial justice through research, media, and practice, Chang also co-founded ColorLines and CultureStr/ke magazines. He has written for The Guardian, Slate, The Nation, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Review of BookThe Believer, Foreign Policy, Mother Jones, Salon, and Buzzfeed, among many others.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Chang is a graduate of ‘Iolani School, the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA.

Since its establishment in 2016, the Higher Ed/Higher Ground speaker series aims to foster campus-wide discussions about racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression through programs with an emphasis on social justice.