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Educational organisation celebrates distinguished scholar

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The National Director of Education Dialogue and Value System Initiatives, Dr. Kehinde Babarinde has commended the efforts of Lagos State Studies Association (LSA) for identifying the scholarship and activism of Prof. Mojubaolu Okome who stands tall in her field.

Babarinde celebrated Okome for making Nigeria proud through her work and for her work as Adjunct Lecturer at Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.

Okome is the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar of the LSA.

Babarinde lauded the scholastic feats of Okome who has remained a dynamic and vibrant academic scholar.

For the 2024 LSA Distinguished Scholar Award Nomination, the submission for Okome was made by Dr. Omololá Olarinde-Olomola of the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin in Ondo State.

Okome is the 2015/2016 Leonard and Claire Tow Professor and Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY), for the prestigious 2024 LSA Distinguished Scholar Award. Over the past 25 years, Professor Okome has distinguished herself as an exceptional scholar, teacher, researcher, and publisher.

Okome’s groundbreaking work as the Founder of the respected journal cited in over 159 libraries worldwide, Ìrìnkèrindò – International Journal of African Migration (IJAM), over five years ago.was very enriching. Okome’s work on inclusive and equitable citizenship has evolved into a vocation for women’s and human rights, endearing her to me even more.

In her recent work, “Contextualizing Democracy, Nigerian Youth Protest and Activism” (2023), Professor Okome aptly captured the significant role of online platforms in shaping the political knowledge landscape of Nigerian youth during the 2023 elections. She has also been at the forefront of a vibrant discourse to commemorate the Chibok Girls, writing “The Chibok Girls: Structural Violence, Gender, and Education in Nigeria’s Northeast” for Powerhouse Books in 2023. As a co-founder of #BringBackOurGirlsNYC, I soon learned that Professor Okome’s scholarship has evolved to transform her community in Nigeria.

“Her transformational work on Africa, and Nigeria in particular, reflects a profound commitment that draws on nearly two decades of collaboratively developing curricula, conducting research, mentoring, and training graduate students. She has led the collaborative transformation of higher educational institutions alongside colleagues in Africa. As the Women’s Studies Program Director at Brooklyn College, she coordinated an interdisciplinary program with sixty affiliated scholars and designed curricular and extracurricular programmes.

“Professor Okome served as the President of the African Studies Research & Forum (ASRF), an interdisciplinary community that sponsors research and publication about Africa, promotes integrating African Studies into curricula, organizes Study Abroad initiatives to Africa, and hosts conferences and symposia promoting excellence in education on Africa. She has contributed numerous book chapters to edited volumes, is a member of several research and scholarly consortia, edits a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, and reviews manuscripts for scholarly publishing presses and peer-reviewed journals. She has edited books leading to the publication of the work of 39 scholars in Africa, North America, and Europe”.

“Since 2000, she has taught and mentored graduate students, including serving as the Deputy Chairperson for Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science at Brooklyn College. She has supervised several undergraduate and graduate theses and independent research projects on the politics of development and globalization in Asia, Africa, the post-Soviet states, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the US.

In her teaching, research, and scholarship, Okome has taken a long-term perspective on Africa’s place in world affairs. She has been interested in how globalization, transnationalization, post-colonialism, internationalization, and post-modernity either constrain or enable African states and peoples to participate effectively in the world political economy. In particular, she has explored the extent to which the state and hierarchical relationships are being de-emphasized both in Africa and the larger world.

This is particularly relevant in light of the contention that the globalization of human relations has caused a diminution of the state as a determinant variable in policymaking. Professor Okome deconstructs and problematizes the causal variables of globalization, post-colonialism, internationalization, and post-modernity in her classrooms and systematically in her work.

Mojúbàolú studies, teaches, researches, and advocates for the advancement of the rights of women, ethnic, racial, and other minorities. She contends that while women as a group suffer gender-related injustices, class, ethnicity, and race significantly shape the experiences of both men and women, and thus, must be taken into consideration when policies are made and implemented. She believes that the standard we must apply when considering issues of gender equality, equity, and the protection and expansion of women’s rights, and those of the poor and marginalized members of society, is the extent to which the most marginalized in society are given full citizenship rights.

Okome has written, presented, and published numerous papers on African women and gender. She is also a co-founder of Jenda: Journal of African Culture and Women Studies in 2000.

Okome is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Carnegie African Diaspora Alumni Fellowship in 2023, the Tow Award for Scholarly Activism in 2022 from Brooklyn College, CUNY, and served as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar between 2017 and 2022.

Okome’s exceptional contributions to scholarship, her unwavering dedication to advancing the rights of marginalized communities, and her transformative work in Africa make her an outstanding candidate for the 2024 LSA Distinguished Scholar Award.

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