Antwi Akom

Faculty Member
Faculty Profile

Antwi Akom is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies and an affiliated faculty in Educational Leadership at San Francisco State University.

He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on the green economy, climate justice, racial inequality, participatory technology/GIS mapping, sustainable development, and educational equity.  His research focuses on the links between race, space, place, and waste in cities and schools; the role of the green economy in facilitating pathways out of poverty for vulnerable populations and green innovation in creating smart, sustainable, and shareable cities for all; and the role of local knowledge, participatory technology, and community engaged design in making our cities more resilient, democratic, and just so that everyday people have a voice in transforming the structures that impact their daily lives. 

Dr. Akom’s research and practice works to build partnerships between local residents, schools and universities, environmental and educational experts, community based organizations, labor unions, green businesses, and city planners to generate policy, planning, and community engaged design solutions that promote practices of green urbanism, environmental health, and economic mobility.  

Professor Akom is currently working with Eco-Districts, the United States Green Building Council, Global Green, and a number of non-profit organizations around the world to transform ghettos and slums into green innovation ecosystems.  

He is the Director of STEM Education for the $30M Green Corridor Partnershipan innovative collaboration designed to create a thriving region of clean technology, innovation, and sustainable community development that generates high-quality green jobs and meets social and environmental goals. He is also a board member of Eco-Districts, one of the leading organizations in the country focusing on accelerating sustainable neighborhood development from the ground up.

In 2012, he co-founded the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design (I-SEEED). In partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, eight mayors' offices and school districts, he helped launch “Green Education Technology” (GET), academies that attract and engage students, especially low-income students, students of color, and other vulnerable populations, for career pathways into existing and emerging green energy careers.

Professor Akom is a 2015 nominee for the Environmental Leadership Millennium Award by Global Green, was named one of twenty-one 21st century Eco-Visionaries by the Partnership for Democracy and Education in 2014, is a 2013 Finalist for the Echoing Green Award for his innovative work on GIS mapping and participatory technology, a 2012 recipient of the New Connections Junior Health Investigator Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a 2010 recipient of the SFSU/RIMI award funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. 

He is internationally acclaimed for his work on culturally and community responsive participatory technology including research and studies on GIS mapping and technological innovation, green urbanism, food security/justice, Green jobs/sustainability development, and youth and community-based participatory action research (CPBR). His published research covers the full spectrum of green urban and rural issues and discusses such diverse topics as race, power, and the built environment, food security and climate justice, youth empowerment and community organizing, STEM and green innovation ecosystems, race, poverty, and urban education, participatory technology, community engaged design, and community-based participatory action research.

His forthcoming book is Innovation Out of Poverty: Ghettos and Slums as Hot Beds of Green InnovationProfessor Akom has held research and academic appointments at UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco, Health Policy Institute, and currently San Francisco State University.  Professor Akom lives in the Bay area with his amazing family and children. 


  • Ph.D. in Urban Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A. in Education from Stanford University
  • B.A. in Political Science/Economics from U.C. Berkeley


Chair, Dissertations Completed

  • The Impact of Results Based Budgeting on the Oakland Unified School District, Vincent Matthews ('10)