Kitty Kelly Epstein

Kitty Kelly Epstein is an academic, an author, the host of a radio show, and an urban activist. She taught high school; earned a doctorate at U.C. Berkeley; then taught teachers and graduate students. Kitty led a thousand-person participatory action process for the incoming mayoral administration of Ron Dellums, and then served on his Oakland policy staff. She has worked on successful efforts to diversify the teaching force, prevent the takeover of the Oakland school district, and construct innovative educational programs. She was the winner of the Urban Affairs Association-SAGE Marilyn Gittell Activist Scholar Lecture Series and Award. Kitty has written two books and presented academic papers and workshops in Norway, South Africa, Nicaragua, Jordan, Ethiopia, China, Poland, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere.

Books by Kitty Kelly Epstein:

Changing Academia Forever
Black Student Leaders Analyze the Movement They Led
The most effective and long-lasting student strike in U.S. History took place at San Francisco State College in 1968. The first Black Student Union, the first Black Studies Department, the only College of Ethnic Studies, and the admission of thousands of students of color resulted from this four-and-a-half-month strike which shut down 80% of the campus. It has been called the movement which “changed academia forever.”

Black students were only a small percentage of those on campus, but they managed to engage thousands of white, Latino, Asian, and indigenous students; SDS and the Third World Liberation Front; the faculty union; and a huge portion of the San Francisco Community. In the end, they were able to win most of their 15 demands.

The book is written by two participants in the strike, one a member of the BSU leadership. Oral histories of strike leaders are integrated with discussion of the events and significance of this movement. What were the politics and strategies? Why was the strike successful and what are the insights for today’s mass movements?
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