Pan-African Studies | Nana Lawson Bush

Department of Pan-African Studies
5151 State University Dr. Los Angeles
King Hall C3095 
Phone (323) 343-2290
Fax (323) 343-5485
Email [email protected]

Dr. Bush

Nana Lawson Bush V, Ph.D.

Office: King Hall A3020
Telephone: (323) 343-4269
Email: [email protected]

Nana Lawson Bush, V, Ph.D. is Chair of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and the former Director of the University California Irvine and Cal State Los Angeles Joint-Doctoral Program in Urban Educational Leadership.

Rooted in Pan Africanism, Nana Dr. Bush employs a pentecostal-revolutionary-pedagogy – teaching from and to the spirit to foster a liberatory praxis.  His approach to teaching is reflected in his research as he aims to contemporaneously disrupt power relations and to build programs, institutions, and states on the best of African philosophies and practices. His publications are numerous and impactful. He has published 4 books, including The Plan: A Guide for Women Raising African American Boys from Conception to College and The Plan Workbook, and 32 academic articles. Most notably, he published, along with his brother, Dr. Edward C. Bush, the first-ever comprehensive theory concerning Black boys and men called African American Male Theory (AAMT). His research foci situate him as the leading expert on the relationship between Black mothers and their sons, the development of Independent Black Institutions (IBIs) in the United States, and the theorization of Black boys and men. Moreover, his research has become the framework and guide for families, programs, and organizations across the nation.

Building on a multigenerational family lineage of service, struggle, and education, Dr. Bush started his first independent Black Saturday school at age 22 and continues to create Black independent educational spaces such as the Genius Project - a summer STEM academy.  He is highly sought after for his expertise in developing rites-of-passage programs which he has conducted for over 15 years working directly with hundreds of Black boys on manhood development.  He is the co-founder and chairman of the board of the Akoma Unity Center, a 501c3 nonprofit organization headquartered in San Bernardino, CA, that utilizes an African-centered framework and approach to educate, heal, and transform historically excluded communities by cultivating healthy families, organizing communities, and creating economic empowerment.  

Nana is a traditional African priest and healer of the Akan priesthood of West Africa. Yet, he draws heavily on the basic teachings of his parents and grandmothers to guide him in his approach to his ministry and treatment of those who society renders to be the least of us. He is the quintessential family man as he often states that he practices African spiritual traditions; but, family is his religion.

Dr. Bush has received numerous awards.  Most recently he received the Outstanding Faculty Award 2018 making him only the second African American in the history of Cal State LA to receive such an honor and the Pan African Studies Black Community Honors Award 2018.