The Black Freedom Struggle & Movement Capture

May 5th, 2021 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm PDT

Utilizing a historical lens, this talk will examine the influence of funders on the development of the Black Freedom Struggle from the early 20th century to the present. The talk recovers a forgotten history of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) campaign to protect Black lives from lynching and mob violence. To understand why the NAACP shifted its agenda away from racial violence, Francis argues that funders often engage in a process of movement capture whereby they use their financial leverage to redirect the agenda of Black-led movement organizations. 

Megan Ming Francis is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Law, Societies, and Justice at the University of Washington. During the 2020-21 academic year, she is also a Senior Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and a Racial Justice Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Harvard Kennedy School. Formerly, she was a research fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute at the NAACP-LDF. Francis specializes in the study of American politics, with broad interests in constitutional law, Black political activism, critical philanthropy, and the post-civil war South. She is the author of the award winning book, Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State. And recently led her students in the development of a widely listened to podcast ‘Philanthropy and Social Movements.’ Francis is a proud alumnus of Seattle Public Schools, Rice University in Houston, and Princeton University where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics.

COMM230X: Digital Civil Society Speaker Series: This series provides a forum for scholars and community-based innovators to present their work, learn from those working on related issues from different disciplinary perspectives, and spark or nurture cross-disciplinary engagement around the big questions that animate the digital civil society Lab. Topics covered this quarter notably include polarization and social media, algorithmic audits, digital rights advocacy in Africa, transnational social movements, philanthropy and racial justice, misinformation and social protest.

This event is open to all members of the Stanford community and requires pre-registration with a stanford.edu email.

No video available.


  • Megan Ming Francis - Associate Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Law, Societies, and Justice at the University of Washington