Akwasi Owusu-Bempah

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah B.A. (Carleton), M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto), is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. He holds Affiliate Scientist status at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and serves as Race Equity Lead for the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation. Prof. Owusu-Bempah’s work examines the intersections of race, crime, and criminal justice. His current research spans across criminal justice institutions. He is also studying various aspects of drug legalization in Canada and around the world. He publishes regularly in both academic and popular forums.

Prof. Owusu-Bempah began his academic career in the United States at Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to becoming a professor, he held positions with Canada’s National Judicial Institute, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Ontario’s Ministry of the Solicitor General. Prof. Owusu-Bempah is frequently sought out to provide commentary and advice to police agencies, government bodies, community organizations, and media outlets on matters relating to policing, justice, and social inequality. He has consulted with a variety of private and public sector agencies, including the OECD, Canada’s Department of Justice, The Toronto Transit Commission, and Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General. Prof. Owusu-Bempah’s research and commentary has recently been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Guardian, and The Globe and Mail.

His latest book is entitled Waiting to Inhale: Cannabis Legalization and the Fight for Racial Justice (MIT Press).

Course offered:

Complexity Seminar: Race and Inequalities in Public Policy


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