Michael Omi retired in June 2021 after 35 years as a beloved and inspirational faculty member at UC Berkeley. This symposium featured 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 2021 symposium acknowledged the milestone of his retirement and provided an opportunity to appreciate his many contributions.
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