SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: JEMADARI KAMARA
Jemadari Kamara is the founding director of the Center for African, Caribbean and Community Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB). Currently, he is also serving as the acting chairman of the Africana Studies Department. Dr. Kamara served as dean of the College of Public and Community Service (1988-1993) and chairman of the Africana Studies Department (1996-2001, 2007-2008, 2011) at the UMB. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Universite Nationale du Benin (UNB 1985-1987). He has taught at several other universities including the University of Michigan, Brandeis and Dillard Universities.
During the 1990’s he helped to found and continues to coordinate the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr./ Amilcar Cabral Commemorative Program. In 2013 he participated in the first commemoration in Cabo Verde focused on “Pathways to Democracy and Social Justice”. A volume entitled, Leadership and Legacy: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Amilcar Cabral, based upon this work will be released for the 20th anniversary edition of this program in January, 2017.
Also, Professor Kamara collaborated in developing the Community Action Information Network (CAIN). Funded by Kellogg and Boston Foundation grants, this project assisted community based organizations in applying technology and data-based information to community defined purposes for development. A monograph series, Race, Space and Policy Issues, has documented the work of this project.
Dr. Kamara has been involved in educational, environmental, youth leadership and economic development projects both in the United States and West Africa. He serves as an international coordinator for the Youth, Education and Sports (YES) with Africa Program which has served nearly 5,000 African youth with branches in Senegal, Togo, Nigeria and Benin. From 2001-2002 he was a Fulbright Professor at the Universite Gaston Berger in St.Louis, Senegal. Of particular interest has been his ongoing work using photovoltaic (solar) systems for electrification and economic development.
Among his numerous publications are the State of the Race –Creating Our 21st Century (2004) co-editor and contributor which received the Charshee McIntrye Award from the African Heritage Studies Association as the Outstanding Book of the Year. The 2nd edition of this volume will be released later in 2016. He also edited, Socially Responsible Investment and Economic Development (1987).
Professor Kamara earned the Ph.D. in the Urban, Technological and Environmental Planning Program at the University of Michigan. He also attended Tufts University and Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He is the father of two adult children.
Active in many national and community activities, Dr. Kamara has served on the board of directors of the Freedom House and the Black Community Information Center (BCIC). He currently serves as a senior advisor to the Boston Pan-African Forum, Encuentro Diaspora Afro and on the board of directors of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century.