COVID-19 Updates
Updated April 1, 2021

We will continue remote teaching this summer with an expectation to return to classrooms in Fall 2021. See details. 

time exposed photo of headlights in urban center

Thulani DeMarsay, PhD

Thulani DeMarsayWhat program do you teach in?

Wellness and Health Promotion

Who or what has inspired you?

As a child, I lived in a communal home with political activists, who were devoted to social justice and racial equality, an experience that precipitated my call to service. At this time there was tremendous political upheaval and racial tension in Boston, and I recall people of color being murdered, harassed by police, and jailed without cause. These events mobilized people in the black community to become activists, becoming part of several socialist organizations that emerged.

Our home could be likened to a think tank. It was a place where concerned members of the community converged to explore strategies and solutions geared towards improving the quality of life for people in our neighborhood. Creating strategies to improve race relations, fair housing, employment, and health care were of particular concern. Consequently, they established a number of social programs to help combat poverty. For instance, the free food program was developed to provide breakfast and lunch to elders and families in need.

What does racial equity and social justice mean to you?

For people of color to be seen and valued as fully human. To live in a society where there is a fair distribution of resources and opportunities.

What is your favorite book, poetry, documentary or other resource on Black history?

Poet, Nikki Giovanni: Ego Tripping: As a young woman, I recited her poem constantly – it helped me to embrace and appreciate myself.

Book: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela which expanded my vision for what is possible and helped me to fully appreciate the capacity for resilience and the human spirit

When I dream in Black...

I envision myself standing on the shoulders of powerful, revolutionary, creative, imaginative, intelligent, ancestors who sacrificed everything for me to have the rights I now have. I dream of Black families thriving in all aspects of life unencumbered by systemic racism.