A Great Lakes Colleges Association initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Dr. Charles Warfield Interview One

A proud native of Kalamazoo, Dr. Charles Warfield attended the University High School at Western Michigan University (WMU), earned his BA and MA from WMU, and went on to receive a doctorate in education from the University of Oregon.  Upon his return in the early 1970s, he became a leader in community activism.  His perspectives on race, civil rights, and social justice initiatives emerge from extended family knowledge and enduring involvement locally and beyond.  At the time of his passing in June of 2016, he was the President of the Metropolitan Branch of the NAACP.


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Bruce Mills is Professor of English at Kalamazoo College. In a first-year seminar on autism, African American Literature, and senior seminar on James Baldwin, Bruce engages in high-impact learning pedagogies, including service-learning and oral history work. He partners with the Society for History and Racial Equity or SHARE (formerly the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society) in videotaping, transcribing, and archiving local narratives concerning civil rights history. Bruce has a broad and deep fascination with the power of storytelling.

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