SAGE Publishing and Universal Write Publications LLC (UWP) signed an agreement for SAGE to sponsor nine titles to support the growth of UWP, a Black-owned social science publishing company. Through the publication and promotion of academic books and articles, UWP represents voices of the Academic Diaspora to broaden worldviews through research that uses interdisciplinary theories with an emphasis on African- and Black-centered scholarship.
While SAGE will not take any stake in the company, SAGE will hold a position on UWP's Board of Directors, offering publishing advice and support.
Dr. Ayo Sekai, a political scientist (Howard University, 2020) and linguist, founded UWP in 2004 to publish her own fiction and children's books. From there she shifted the one-woman company's focus onto academic, peer-reviewed work that demonstrates a commitment to African agency and African narratives. With $600 she relaunched UWP. The company has since published important titles such as Molefi Kete Asante's The Precarious Center, Nah Dove's The Afrocentric School, and We Will Tell Our Own Story by Adebayo C. Akomolafe.
The three-year agreement with SAGE will allow UWP to expand its recruitment of new authors and books. UWP is currently seeking proposals for nine new titles. Instructions for submissions to the UWP publishing program can be found at uwpbooks.com.
"SAGE, at this moment, is changing my life in ways I could never have imagined," says Dr. Sekai. "SAGE has seen a value in UWP that can shift the consciousness and impact of not just my legacy, but the legacy of Afrocentricity, the legacy of Black and African history, and the legacy of our academic and scholarly voices. UWP in its rebirth is a form of resistance in itself. It is a reclaiming of Black agency, through the lens of Afrocentricity, to preserve the stories and memories of not just part of the narrative, but all of it. Thank you to Sara Miller McCune, founder of SAGE, for your vision and for being a visionary, and to Blaise Simqu, SAGE's CEO, for your mentorship."
"I cannot think of a more propitious development in academic publishing than this remarkable partnership between SAGE and Universal Write Publications," comments Dr. Asante, professor in the Department of Africology at Temple University and Board Director of UWP. "SAGE's willingness to help UWP ‘stand up' is a testament to the early faith that its publisher, Sara Miller McCune, had to the idea of the Journal of Black Studies and the continuing emphasis on creating social and cultural value in our society."
Blaise Simqu, CEO of SAGE Publishing, noted that SAGE was the founding publisher of the Journal of Black Studies in conjunction with Dr. Asante in 1970, and that Dr. Asante was the bridge between SAGE and UWP. "We are proud of the research published and our 50-year relationship with Dr. Asante, and in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement we began having deeper discussions about the importance of Black-owned businesses, and, more precisely, Black-owned publishers. Dr. Asante introduced SAGE to a young, energetic publisher named Ayo Sekai, the founder of UWP, who reminded us all of our founder who started the company with $500 in 1965."
About SAGE Publishing
SAGE is a global academic publisher of books, journals, and a growing suite of library products and services. Driven by the belief that social and behavioral science has the power to improve society, we focus on publishing impactful research and enabling robust research methodology. We produce high quality educational resources that support instructors to prepare the citizens, policymakers, educators, and researchers of the future. We publish more than 1,000 journals and 900 new books globally each year, as well as library products and services that include archives, data, case studies, and video. SAGE is majority owned by our founder, Sara Miller McCune, and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company's continued independence.
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About Universal Write Publications
Universal Write Publications LLC publishes social, anthological, and ethnographical scholarship that dignifies the rich histories of the culturally diverse peoples who make up our society. The founding principle is that it is a universal right to tell our own stories. It is with that tenacity, commitment, and deep resolve, that the founder and publisher, Dr. Ayo Sekai, founded the company in 2004.