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This year’s Department of African, African American, & Diaspora Studies’ Undergraduate Research Conference will open with the

Dunbar-Stone Lecture

presented by Keynote Speaker, Dr. Catharine Newbury


“Infra-Politics in Rwanda: Rural Activism Before and After the Genocide”


Friday, March 24th | 5:00 – 7:00pm

Caldwell Hall, Room 105


During the past two decades, the post-genocide government in Rwanda has introduced a series of policies designed to create a “new Rwanda.” A number of these policies focus on rural areas of the country, where the majority of Rwandans live and where food and cash crop production by smallholders is important for both the local and the national economies. The post-genocide government’s ambitious efforts at social engineering have included villagization, land reform, regional crop specialization, and the reorganization of administrative structures. Of course state-sponsored attempts to restructure rural society and production are nothing new in Rwanda; indeed they were hallmarks of the postcolonial period, in Rwanda, as elsewhere. However, to many observers Rwanda’s policies of recent years represent a dramatic change from the 1980s and the early 1990s. What have been the effects of state-sponsored policies on rural lives since 1994? And how have rural residents responded? Paradoxically, during the years leading up to 1994 in Rwanda rural initiatives from below were widespread and vociferous—with a proliferation of local NGOs and cooperatives, and lively debates on rural issues in print media and on the radio. By contrast, in the post-genocide era activism on rural concerns appears to be more muted. This lecture will explore the contexts that gave rise to these contrasting dynamics.

Dr. Newbury is a Five College Professor Emerita of Government and African Studies in the Department of Government at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Day two of the Undergraduate Research Conference will feature UNC Chapel Hill students

presenting their own research, and will take place:


Saturday, March 25th | 9:00a – 5:00p

Graham Memorial, Room 039


9:00-9:05am – Welcoming Remarks, Professor Michael Lambert


9:05-9:30am – Launch of Undergraduate Research Journal, Global Africana Review

Remarks: Jonathan Hartlyn, Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences & Global Programs; Professors David Pier and Eunice Sahle; and Global Africana Review Inaugural Issue Contributors


9:30-10:45am – Panel I – Moderator: Professor Eunice Sahle

Ryan McCord, Litigation as a Form of Advocacy for Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa: A Study of Two Landmark Constitutional Court Cases

Anna McQuillin, Inter-country Adoption and Children’s Rights: How the African Union Sets Norms and Confronts Challenges

Kenya Lee, Fees Must Fall: The Right to Higher Education in South Africa


10:45am-12:00pm – Panel II – Moderator: Professor Ron Williams

Bryant Chappell, Reproductive Justice and Eugenics in North Carolinian African-American Women

Tatyana Green, The Thorns My Crown Bears: A Policy Analysis on Black Female Hair Discrimination in the Workplace

Fabien Reitzug, Analyzing Between State Differences in US State Court Diversity


12:00-12:30pm – Luncheon Talk and Q & A with Riana Lynn, FoodTrace CEO & Founder and 2008 UNC Biology and AAAD Graduate


12:30-1:45pm – Panel III – Moderator: Professor Georges Nzongola

Emily Venturi, Obstacles and Opportunities in Africa for the Ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

Binta Ka, Postcolonial Transitional Justice in Africa: Decolonizing Our Minds in a Postcolonial World

Bradley Opere, The Role of African States in Combating Terrorism


1:45-2:40pm – Panel IV – Moderator: Professor David Pier

Cierra Baldwin, The Black GOP: A Discussion of Who Gets on the Trump Train

Emily C. Sheffield, Haitian Immigrants in Rural Maryland:  Experiences of Life and Health


2:40-3:30pm – Panel VModerator: Professor Kenneth Janken

Roundtable on Race in North America: Maddie Marshall, Monique Medina, and Mia Smith


3:30-3:35pm – Closing Remarks, Amukelani Muyanga