2023 Summer Fellows with Angela LeBlanc-Ernest

Established in 2021, the Black Panther Oakland Community School Research Cluster is a partnership between the UCI Humanities Center and Angela LeBlanc-Ernest, oral historian, documentarian and community archivist. Led by Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Professor of History and Humanities Center faculty director, the research cluster includes Krystal Tribbett, Research Librarian, Orange County Curator, UC Irvine Libraries, and Desha Dauchan, Associate Professor of Teaching, UC Irvine Film and Media Studies Department. Each summer, two UCI graduate students and four-six undergraduate student fellows are hired as researchers for public projects on the history of the Black Panther Oakland Community School. The research cluster also hosts in-person and virtual events during the summer and academic year.

Projects include:

An interactive “yearbook” website, featuring digital content (photos, video segments, audio clips) of former students, teachers, and parents. This digital archive features past and present narratives and images of the people involved in the OCS. It will serve as a database for future researchers and a companion resource for the documentary film.

An OCS traveling exhibit featuring never-before-seen images from the rare BPP collection kept in custodial care of a former BPP photographer for more than 40 years.

A documentary film/video series about the OCS.

Student researchers engage in intellectual and cultural production that is community-centered and based on the following principles:

  • Listening to and working with the community to preserve important experiences and stories and to facilitate public access to these materials. 
  • Recognizing activists as organic intellectuals who identify forms of inequality, develop solutions, and work collectively to affect change. 
  • Ethically amplifying these stories through the creation of cultural and intellectual work by filmmakers, creative writers, and academics. 

Hear from BPOCS summer fellows through the In Their Own Words podcast series. See the research cluster leadership and all summer fellows cohorts here.

Black Panther Oakland Community School Research Cluster graphic logo

Learn more about the Oakland Community School project and visit Angela LeBlanc-Ernest's Black Panther Oakland Community School Research Cluster website.

Thank you to the donors who have supported undergraduate summer research fellows: Jim Guerinot, Mary Watson-Bruce, and the Parent Engagement Anteater Grant Initiative.

Graduate student summer fellows have been supported by the the UCI Humanities Center's Humanities Out There Public Fellows program (including funding from the Mellon Foundation), the Office of Research, and the Schools of Social Sciences and Social Ecology.