Andrew Jolivétte

Andrew Jolivétte

Accomplished Educator, Writer and Social/Cultural Critic



Dr. Andrew Jolivétte is Professor and Department Chair of Ethnic Studies as well as the inaugural founding Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) at the University of California, San Diego. His acclaimed scholarship, writings, and presentations examine Native American, Indigenous, Creole, Black, Latinx, Queer, Mixed-Race, and Comparative Critical Ethnic Studies.

Dr. Jolivette is a former Professor and Department Chair of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and a Senior Ford Foundation Fellow. Throughout the course of his nearly 3 decades in education, he has served as Dean of Students and Multicultural Programs at Presidio Hill School, as Interim Principal of XCEL Cross Cultural Charter High School in San Francisco, CA, among many roles in K-12 and higher education.

He is the author or editor of ten books including the Lammy Award-nominated Indian Blood: HIV and Colonial Trauma in San Francisco's Two-Spirit Community; Louisiana Creoles: Cultural Recovery and Mixed-Race Native American Identity; Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority, Louisiana Creole Peoplehood: Afro-Indigeneity and Community and his latest book, Gumbo Circuitry: Poetic Routes, Gastronomic Legacies and Thrivance Circuitry: Queer Afro-Indigenous Futurity and Kinship.

An enrolled member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Louisiana, he is his tribe's former tribal historian and is born of the Hiyekiti Ishak [Sunrise People] of the Tsikip/Heron Clan. He is a Louisisna Creole of Ishak, West African, French, Spanish, Italian, and Irish descent.

Reweaving the Spirit Ties: Native, African, and Indigenous Kinship This presentation centers the historic and contemporary relationships, convergences, shared struggles, and collective acts of healing enacted by Afro-Indigenous, Black, American Indian, Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and other Black Indigenous communities in naming, celebrating, and transforming colonial trauma, soul loss, and violence to sites of radical love and transformative justice through shared kinship.

Moving From DEI to Kinship Responsiveness: Creating Thrivance Hubs in Higher Education through a Ceremonial Model of Transformative Justice How has the expansion and over saturation of DEI/EDI offices on college and university campuses served to protect institutions rather than address the need for serious institutional accountability and change? How might a shift from DEI to Kinship Responsiveness as a model reconfigure the way that universities address issues of race, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, disability, and other forms of identity so that material and meaningful change and justice can be attained so all community member can thrive? Gatekeeping, the politics of 'civility' and neo-liberal racism will all be discussed.

Black Men in Higher Education: Navigating Leadership Spaces and Anti-Blackness This talk examines the challenges, strategies, and acts of resistance and transformative justice that Black men and Black people are making in higher education through their leadership roles as deans, chairs, faculty, staff and as student leaders. Andrew will delve into how Black men and Black people respond to anti-Blackness in these spaces and what strategies must they employ for their mental and physical health to sustain themselves in these leadership roles.

Give it All to the People: From HIV and Cancer to Ancestral Wellness Centering the need for activating our personal and collective stories and traumas to heal from health crises such as HIV and cancer, this presentation will center the importance of ancestral healing and wellness as key to interrupting cycles of intergenerational trauma especially within communities of color and in LGBTQ communities.

Pretendians, Opportunistic Pessimism, and the End of 'Sovereignty' Over the past five years there has been increasing attention to issues of what some have described as "pretendianism." This talk engages the politics and racism often at the center of such projects that seek to define nation status and tribal citizenship status using the U.S. colonial system to define a legal identity that should be guided by tribes. We'll look at how, for example, the pessimism about 'fraudulent Indians' has allowed some individuals and groups to capitalize on this trend for their own personal gains and how has this project ultimately undermined tribal sovereignty.

Feds, States, and Monsters in Black Indian Discourse This talk looks at the role of Monsters (individuals who use their voice and power negatively to cause conflict in communities under the veil of being 'helpful') in Indian country who utilize federal and state recognition processes to exclude people of Black and American Indian descent from a place of belonging in Indigenous spaces. Questions of white privilege, regional and tribal specific racialization, and the politics of recognition as both useful and destructive will all be explored in this presentation.

  Topic Areas

African Americans/Black
High School Programs
Professional Development
Race/Racial Justice/Racism
Biracial/Multiracial Identity

Transforming Communities: A Movement to Racial Justice Opening Keynote - Andrew Jolivette


Indigenous Rights & Cultural Survival Keynote Talk & Lecture


Dr. Andrew Jolivette Indigenous Rights & Cultural Survivial Q & A


Indigenous Rights, Cultural Representation and Community Survival, Part III.

Andrew Jolivétte amazingly captivated the audience as he brought visibility to people from multiple marginalized populations. He drew seamless connections to many communities in a manner that was eloquent, real, and accessible. Students, faculty, and staff all enjoyed and learned from Jolivette's inspiring words.
Joshua Moon Johnson Ed.D., Director LGBT Resources, University of California, Santa Barbara

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