Sam Stoker

Graduate Student, SocDoc Program
Project: 
The Ghosts of March 21 (Video)
Sam is a freelance writer and photographer based in the Bay Area. In 2008, after an eleven-year career as a firefighter, he received his B.S. in journalism and political science from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Shortly after, he worked out of the Medill Newsroom as one of ten fellows in the 2008 Academy for Alternative Journalism at Northwestern University in Chicago. Raised in a working class community in California's Central Valley, he developed an interest in social justice at a young age. Topics such as indigenous resistance, labor organizing, police brutality, and social and political movements are the focus of his articles and photography, which have appeared in various publications including Indian Country Today, In These Times, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. At UC Santa Cruz, he is focusing on his first documentary film. The film explores the relationship between policing and class and racial oppression in the United States. In addition, it examines the potential of anti-police rebellions to trigger widespread liberatory movements and the obstacles and opportunities inherent in those moments.
Research Interests: 

This interrogation of a day in the life of Oakland, California, is focused on March 21, 2009, when a shoot-out between a young man named Lovell Mixon and members of the Oakland Police Department resulted in the death of Mixon himself and four Oakland police officers. Intimately following the day's events and situating them politically in the aftermath of the Oscar Grant murder, this documentary examination of an explosive event's underlying contradictions seeks to challenge the mainstream narrative of the shoot-out and to raise important questions about one of America's most salient institutions.

Class of: 
2013