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Angela Davis

The Toni Cade Bambara Conference

Toni Cade BambaraThe Scholar-Activism Conference happens biennially in March during Women’s History Month on or near Bambara’s birthday. It is both a celebration of her audacious body of work on behalf of Black people and gives students the opportunity to set the conference agenda, take charge of conference logistics, present scholarly work, and hear from scholar-activists in and outside of the Atlanta University Center.

Conceived in the year 2000 by M. Bahati Kuumba, Ph.D., comparative women's studies professor and associate director of the Women's Research and Resource Center, it was to be a culmination of the existing Toni Cade Bambara Scholars/Writers/Activists Program. This pre-existing year-long program engaged students from a range of majors with Black feminist scholar-activists on national and international levels.

The execution of the conference was the brainchild of comparative women’s studies major Malika Redmond, C’2002, to ensure both content and logistic are managed by students. The first event was in 2001, and now more than a decade later, the conference opens with a celebration of the life of Toni Cade Bambara with words from friends and colleagues, and Spelman students perform and give words of appreciation for Bambara's Black feminist legacy.

Schedule of Events


“Year after year we’ve been able to motivate students to engage in creative ways to celebrate the life and legacy of one of our most important sheroes,” said Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., founding director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center. “No one else remembers Toni Cade Bambara annually in the ways we do, and for that, I am sure the people she impacted for so many years, including me, are very grateful.”

The two-day conference also features paper presentations, workshops and performance pieces that delve into dimensions of Black/African women’s lives, scholarship and social change activism.

"The conference brings awareness to issues related to women of African descent and women of color who have been actively engaged in using their knowledge and organizational skills to forward social justice," said Dr. Kuumba.