President’s Diversity Lecture Series on May 15 to Feature Scholar and Activist Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams on ‘Pluriversal Thriving’

Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, EdD

The President’s Diversity Lecture at William Paterson University will take place Wednesday, May 15 at 5 p.m. in the University Ballrooms on campus. The lecture series, launched in 2021, brings WP faculty, students, and staff together to hear from a distinguished scholar on topics related to equity and inclusion.

This year’s guest speaker will be Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, EdD, the director and inaugural Daria and Eric Wallach professor of peace and justice studies at Gettysburg College, who also serves as an associate professor of Africana studies there and a faculty affiliate in the departments of education, international and global studies, and public policy. 

In his talk, titled “Disorientation, Healing, and Freedom Dreaming: The Long Journey to Pluriversal Thriving,” Williams will discuss the multiple and simultaneous interventions we must pursue, as a society, to unravel deeply entrenched systems of oppression.

“William Paterson University is ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse college campuses in the nation, a place where minority students—those from historically underrepresented backgrounds—are our campus majority,” says WP President Richard J. Helldobler. “The Diversity Lecture provides our dynamic community the opportunity to collectively expand our thinking, understanding, and ability to support one another.”

“Dr. Williams lends his powerful voice to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on his own campus and around the world,” says William Paterson University Chief Diversity Officer Jeanne Arnold. “I know that his insights on what is truly required to decolonize a university will be invaluable.”

Williams’s research centers on structural violence in schools, educational inequities, youth and community empowerment, and cross-national solidarity building. He was a 2022 recipient of a Fulbright Global Scholar Award and a Spencer Foundation grant that took him to Jamaica, Ghana and Brazil to study globalized anti-blackness and decolonial peace and justice education.

Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Williams completed his doctorate in international educational development and peace education at Teachers College, Columbia University.