Black Mayors & Leadership in the U.S., 2021

Poster with info on the Black Mayors series. The same text is on the website


Three mayors    Three voices    Three visions

Three sessions exploring lessons learned and equity challenges these mayors faced in building unity during a worldwide pandemic and sharp economic contraction.

The Honorable Lori E. Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago

Image of Lori LightfootCriminal Justice Reform

Thursday, March 4, 2021 

“We can and will make [every U.S. city] a place where your ZIP code doesn't determine your destiny.”

 Introduction by:Teresa Córdova, Director, Great Cities Institute, and Professor, Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Panel discussion moderated by Cheryl CorleyNPR national correspondent 


Nikki Jones, Professor, African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Cid Martinez, Associate Professor, Sociology, University of San Diego 

Read speaker bios for the March 4th panel here.                               Watch the March 4th panel on YouTube here.

The Honorable Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark

photo of Ras BarakaThe Wealth Gap

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 

“The only thing that affects race relations is fair treatment" 

Introduction by: Stephen Small, Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and Professor, Department of African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Panel discussion moderated by Tracy Jan, Reporter, The Washington Post


Elsie Harper-Anderson, Associate Professor, Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University

Paul Ong, Research Professor and Director, Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

Read speaker bios for the March 10th panel here.                                     The March 10th event is available for viewing on YouTube.

The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston

Photo of Sylvester TurnerDiversity & Inclusion

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 

“To be an African-American mayor leading a city in the 21st century is not about 'power' but about 'possibilities.'”

Introduction by: Ula Y. Taylor, Professor & H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Department Chair, Department of African American Studies & African Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley

Panel discussion moderated by Natasha Korecki, Politico National Correspondent


Dr. Gail Christopher, Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity

Pedro Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

Kathleen Yang-Clayton, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago

Read speaker bios from the March 16th event here.                                           The video of the March 16th panel is available here


The series was sponsored by: the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley, as well as the Great Cities Institute at the University of Chicago at Illinois.
The series was co-sponsored by: Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, African American Mayors Association, National Urban League, California Association of Black Lawyers, Charles Houston Bar Association, Litigation Division of the California Bar Association, Equal Justice Society, City Club of Chicago, Executives’ Club of Chicago, the Chicago Community Trust, Metropolitan Family Services of Chicago, Communities Partnering 4 Peace, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, Strides for Peace, and WBGO-FM (Newark).