Hooks Fellow Named Director of Social Justice Institute

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change Academic Research Fellow Dr. Michael Brandon McCormack has been named the new Director of the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research at the University of Louisville. Inspired by the work of longtime racial justice organizer, educator, and journalist Anne Braden, the Institute focuses on the “modern African American freedom movement, other modern peace and social justice movements, and the intersections among racial, economic, gender, and wider social justice.”

Dr. McCormack is also an Associate Professor of Pan-African Studies and Comparative Humanities (Religious Studies) at the University of Louisville. He earned his Ph.D. in 2013 from the Vanderbilt University Graduate Department of Religion, where he was also a Fellow in the Program in Theology and Practice. His research explores the intersections between Black religion, popular culture, the arts, and activism. He teaches courses in African American religion, religions of the African diaspora, and religion and hip-hop culture. He is a member of the Black Interfaith Project, a national network of academics, artists, and activists engaged in research and action around the role of Black religious and spiritual practices in movements for social justice.

In his new role, Dr. McCormack will lead the Institute in its mission “to bridge the gap between academic research and community activism for racial and social justice.” He and his team will do this by stimulating and supporting “initiatives and programs that cultivate dialogue and cooperation between scholarship and activism” that would lead to “scholarship and activism informing and strengthening each other to “sustain social justice locally, regionally, nationally and globally.”

We here at the Hooks Institute congratulate Dr. McCormack on his new position and we look forward to our continued partnership.

Read the announcement from the Institute here.