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Amilcar Shabazz to advise UMass chancellor on diversity issues

Amilcar Shabazz, a professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts, will take on a new role in promoting diversity on campus.

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has appointed Shabazz to be his representative to all campus groups, committees and councils involved in diversity issues. He will work with the Faculty Senate Council on Diversity, the Faculty Senate Council on the Status of Women and the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee.

The goal is “to develop and implement appropriate academic initiatives to advance the campus’ diversity goals,” Subbaswamy said in a statement.

Shabazz will also work with the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity on implementation of the campus’ diversity plan and prepare an annual report on its progress.

“Professor Shabazz has written and consulted extensively on issues of race and diversity,” Subbaswamy said. “We will benefit greatly from his scholarship and leadership experience.”

Shabazz was elected last spring to serve on the Amherst and Regional school committees. His new position at UMass will be half-time for three years.

A native of East Texas, he studied economics at the University of Texas and received a master’s degree in history from Lamar University and a doctorate in history from the University of Houston.

He joined the Department of Afro-American Studies in 2007 and was its chairman until last year. He taught previously at Oklahoma State University and the University of Alabama, and has taught history with an emphasis on social and cultural movements and education.

He is working on a biography of Carter Wesley, a lawyer, activist and publisher.

His research projects also include mass media, the civil rights movement and higher education for African-Americans.

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