Eastern experts to discuss issues that could undermine President Obama's next four years or propel the president to greatness

by Pamela Young, Published February 05, 2013

YPSILANTI - Why was Barack Obama re-elected president and what are the issues that could either undermine his presidency, or propel him to greatness during his second term in office?

President Barack Obama

Several Eastern Michigan University experts and guests will explore these issues and more during a panel discussion, "President Barack Obama's Re-election: Demography, Race Relations and Emerging Political Issues," Thursday, Feb. 7, 1-4 p.m. in room 310, Student Center at Eastern Michigan University. The event is free and open to the public.

The event opens with keynote speaker Ravi Perry, assistant professor of political science and Stennis Scholar for Municipal Governance at Mississippi State University. Perry is an expert on African-American politics, ethnic studies and public policy.

A panel discussion will follow. In addition to Ravi Perry, panelists include:

  • Joe Engwenyu, instructor of history at Eastern Michigan;
  • Barbara Patrick, assistant professor of political science at Eastern Michigan;
  • Eric Brown, a political blogger and radio talk show host, and EMU alumnus;
  • Gregg Barak, professor of sociology, anthropology and criminology at Eastern Michigan, and an expert in criminal justice, criminology, media and cultural studies;
  • Robert L. Perry, professor of African American Studies at Eastern, and a pioneer in Black and Ethnic Studies; and
  • Victor Okafor, head of the Department of Africology and African American Studies at Eastern, who will moderate the discussion.

"This expert panel will provide a non-partisan, learned and robust discussion on the political, economic and socio-cultural factors that accounted for Obama's winning a second term in office," said Victor Okafor. "Panelists will also weigh in on the real politics that President Obama has to deal with in order to transform his second term agenda into actual policies."

Winners of a student essay contest, "Barack Obama: A Critical Appraisal of the Journey of the First African American President of the United States," will also be announced.

For more information, contact Victor Okafor at 734-487-3460 or by email at vokafor@emich.edu


Pamela Young

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