Honoring Michael Omi

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Symposium in Honor of Michael Omi on the Occasion of His Retirement

Friday, October 1, Noon-7pm

Michael Omi retired in June 2021 after 35 years as a beloved and inspirational faculty member at UC Berkeley. This symposium will feature his colleagues and former students discussing his work and its implications in the academy and community. Professor Omi is best known as the co-author of Racial Formation in the United States, a groundbreaking work that transformed how we understand the social and historical forces that give race its changing meaning over time and place. The 3rd edition of the book was released in 2015. At Berkeley, he is known as an outstanding instructor and thoughtful leader who has served the campus in numerous positions, including as Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change (now the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues), as Associate Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (now the Othering and Belonging Institute), and as founding chair of the Asian American Research Center. Professor Omi's primary appointment was in the Department of Ethnic Studies with affiliations in Sociology and Gender & Women's Studies. Students in these departments and many more had the pleasure of taking his classes; Michael Omi is a recipient of UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Fortunately, Professor Omi will continue to be active on campus and beyond; this symposium acknowledges the milestone of his retirement and provides an opportunity to appreciate his many contributions.



Panel 1: Virtual - 12:10p-1pm Pacific Time. Honoring Michael Omi: Racial Formations

Homecoming logoThis event is part of Homecoming 2021! Link will be posted when available

Welcome: Carol Christ, Chancellor, UC Berkeley

Moderator: Stephen Small, Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues; Professor, African American Studies, UC Berkeley


  • Victor Rios, Professor, Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
  • Lisa Lowe, Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies and Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration
  • Troy Duster, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
  • Michael Omi, Associate Professor Emeritus, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley



Panel 2: In-person: 1:30-3pm. 

Location TBA

Moderator: Lok Siu, Associate Professor, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley


  • Tomás Almaguer, Professor Emeritus, Latina/Latino Studies, San Francisco State University
  • Nadia Y. Kim, Professor, Sociology and Asian & Asian American Studies, Loyola Marymount University
  • Gary Okihiro, Visiting Professor, American Studies, Yale University
  • john a. powell, Director, Othering & Belonging Institute, and Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion, UC Berkeley


Panel 3: In-person: 3:15-4:45pm. 

Location TBA

Moderator: Khatharya Um, Associate Professor, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley


  • Edward Park, Professor and Chair of Asian and Asian American Studies, Loyola Marymount University
  • Jessica Vasquez-Tokos, Professor, Sociology, University of Oregon
  • Linda Trinh Vo, Professor, Asian American Studies, UC Irvine
  • Daniel Woo, American Culture Studies Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethnic Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

Concluding remarks: Howard Winant, Professor, Sociology, UC Santa Barbara 


Reception: 5-7pm

Location TBD

  • Featuring live music and remarks by Philip Kan Gotanda, Professor of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley



Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, Asian American Research Center, Ethnic Studies, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Othering & Belonging Institute, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice


This event is free and open to the public. Event is ADA accessible. For disability accommodation requests and information, please contact issi@berkeley.edu 510 642-0813

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
Copyright UC Regents and UC Berkeley
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