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Assata Richards

Founding Director, Sankofa Research Institute


Assata Richards is a native of Houston, Texas and received much of her education in County Line, which is small close-knit community in East Texas. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Houston, she earned her Master’s and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in Sociology with a concentration on political and community participation, research methods and mass incarceration. After serving as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, she returned to her community in Houston, Texas, to work with Project Row Houses, a non-profit arts organization established by African-American artists & community activists in Houston’s historic Third Ward. As a scholar and community organizer, she is fulfilling her lifelong commitment to social change and justice. She is an adjunct professor in the department of sociology at the University of Houston and was a candidate for Houston City Council in the recent 2013 municipal elections. Most recently, Assata is the founding director of the Sankofa Research Institute, which she is a community-based nonprofit with the mission to create knowledge to build community.

Assata Richards is one of the latest UH Alumna to lend her expertise and perspective to the MA in Arts Leadership Program. This semester she is teaching “The Arts and Community Engagement.”