Scholar-Activist Childs to Deliver Diversity Summit Keynote

Dennis Childs

Dennis Childs, Ph.D. (Image provided)

Dennis Childs, associate professor of African American literature at the University of California, San Diego, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Diversity Summit. The summit, a full-day event, takes place takes on Friday, March 1. Childs’ talk, “Creating a Social Justice Centered Approach to Diversity,” will be held in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom, 2:30–3:45 p.m. A Q&A session will follow Childs’ keynote. The talk is free and open to the public.

Childs is the author of Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration from the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), which deals with the connections between chattel slavery and prison slavery from the late nineteenth century through the prison industrial complex. Childs received his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.A. in African American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

"We are fortunate to have Dennis Childs delivering the keynote for the Diversity Summit this year," said robbie routenberg, chief diversity officer at the College. "His focus on a social justice-approach to diversity is relevant for all members of the campus community and will help us to continue growing in our approach to diversity here at Geneseo."

As a scholar-activist, Childs has worked with a number of social justice organizations including the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, All of Us or None, and the  Chicano Mexicano Prison Project. He currently serves as faculty advisor for Students Against Mass Incarceration — a student-run prison abolitionist organization. He is also a community advisory board member for Critical Resistance, a national organization that works to abolish the prison industrial complex.

The theme of this year’s Diversity Summit is “Unspoken Narratives.” The event is organized by the President’s Commission on Diversity and Community, the Diversity Committee of the Student Senate, and the Office of Diversity and Equity.


Monique Patenaude, PhD
Director of Media Relations
(585) 245-5056