Marc Robinson, assistant professor of history at Cal State San Bernardino, has been named as one of two scholars selected for the University of Oregon’s Visiting Fellowship in Equity, Justice and Inclusion for its Clark Honors College (CHC) – said to be the first such fellowship in the nation.
The theme for the inaugural cycle of the fellowship is Black experiences in the United States. Robinson will serve in fall 2022, teaching on “Black Panthers in the Pacific Northwest.” Robinson – who will follow spring 2022 fellow, Erin Bradley, assistant professor of public health at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Ga. – will teach remote upper-level colloquia in his area of specialization and facilitate a one-session interdisciplinary Clark Honors College seminar for the college’s faculty and staff to deepen understandings of the topics beyond student experiences in classrooms.
“It is truly an honor to be one of the first visiting fellows, and I am proud to represent the excellent teaching and research at CSUSB,” Robinson said. “As the visiting fellow, I aim to deepen understandings of how issues of racial injustice connect to the local level, and foster greater awareness of the historical context of recent anti-racist protests in Portland and elsewhere.”
The course he will teach on the Black Panthers will highlight its activities in Oregon and Washington state. “I believe deeply in the power of local histories and local analyses,” Robinson said. “Often, with discussions of social inequity, the focus is on the national or systemic level. These studies are valuable of course, but what is often missing is content that helps students (and all of us) connect these big issues to the places where we live, work, and go to school.
“Helping students to make those connections can be truly inspiring and empowering,” he explained. “Identifying how issues like housing discrimination, health disparities, and racial profiling manifest on the local level can illuminate strategies for resistance, mutual support, and activism.”
The visiting fellowship came about in the aftermath of 100 days of protests across the nation against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis, Minn., police officer, and against police violence in Portland, Ore., according to the Clark Honors College website. The college “began to think about how to provide courses that would help CHC students deepen their engagement with the histories and contemporary manifestations of anti-Black racism,” among other considerations, and the fellowship emerged from that.
Robinson specializes in areas of U.S. and African American history. His research focuses on Black student activism, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Power Movement in the Pacific Northwest.
Robinson’s forthcoming monograph, “Evergreen Ungawa: The Black Student Union of Seattle, the University of Washington, and Washington State University, 1968 to 1970,” will be published as part of the Black Power Series of New York University Press (expected fall 2022). The text re-positions debates about the Civil Rights movements, placing the Pacific Northwest within that framework.
His previous publications include “The Black Campus Movement in the Evergreen State: The Black Student Union at the University of Washington and Washington State University, 1967-1969,” in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly 103:2 (spring 2012):, and “Black Student Unions to the Gang of Four: Interracial Alliances and Community Organizing from San Francisco to Seattle,” in California History, Vol. 98, No. 2 (summer 2021).
He has contributed numerous essays and book reviews in platforms such as Blackpast.org, The Western Journal of Black Studies, Reference Services Review, The Journal of Black Studies, The Journal of African American History, and Race in American Television: Voices and Visions That Shaped a Nation.
Robinson earned his doctorate in American studies from Washington State University in 2012, and a bachelor’s in history from the University of Washington in 2004. Before teaching at CSUSB, he was the Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Ethnic Studies at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., from 2016 to 2018, where he was bestowed with the 2017 Provost’s Junior Faculty Award for outstanding teaching and service. His media appearances include NBC Palm Springs, Empire KVCR, Byrdie and The I.E. Voice. Robinson was born and raised in Seattle, Wash.