Africana Studies Announces Dr. Sharmaine Jackson as the New Director

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Sharmaine Jackson, PhD, JD, as the new director of the Africana Studies Program as of Fall 2020. Dr. Jackson succeeds Susan Peppers-Bates, PhD, who resumed directorship of the program in 2019. We thank Dr. Peppers-Bates for stepping in as director for the 2019/2020 school year and also recognize her for her previous multi-years of service from 2010-2012. Moreover, we acknowledge Dr. Peppers-Bates’ contributions to the program in invigorating student involvement and spearheading renewed administrative interest in the program.

In transitioning the Africana Studies Program to the new directorship, Drs. Peppers-Bates and Jackson look forward to seeing the program grow and respond to the changing climate of the 21st century in addressing contemporary challenges that are developing for peoples of the African diaspora on both a domestic and international scale.

As an Assistant Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department, Dr. Jackson has been active in educating and mentoring Stetson students on themes central to Black lives in our local, national and global communities. Some examples of the courses she has taught at Stetson include: Race & Ethnicity; Race, Class & Education; Youth Gangs & Subcultures; and Social Inequality.

After obtaining her BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dr. Jackson completed her law degree at Rutgers School of Law in 2002. With a focus on public interest law, she has worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights – Rocky Mountain Region; the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado; the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – New York District Office; and the New Jersey Law Revision Commission.

In 2014, Dr. Jackson earned her PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Irvine. During her PhD program, Dr. Jackson was a Fellow of the Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy and held a William F. Podlich Fellowship on Democracy. Her dissertation and book project entitled, The Unmaking of a Gangbanger, examines the role of krump dancing in creating moral solidarity for at-risk youth in the U.S. and in Australia.

As an urban ethnographer, Dr. Jackson’s work centers on Black lives and the intersection of power in claiming space and recognition in healing their communities from violence. Prior to joining Stetson in 2016, Dr. Jackson was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Sociology Department at Yale University. As a Postdoctoral Associate, Dr. Jackson worked in the Yale Urban Ethnography Project where she currently remains a Fellow.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Jackson on becoming the next Director of the Africana Studies Program, which surely will advance and expand the essential work on Black lives at Stetson.

Susan Peppers-Bates, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Sharmaine Jackson, PhD, JD
Assistant Professor of Sociology