About Us

Vision for the collective: “To help create an academy where we unpack and heal our trauma and stop traumatizing each other.”

Danielle Lemi

Danielle Lemi (she/her) is a Tower Center Fellow at the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She is a scholar of representation in American politics, with a focus on identity, race, and gender. she uses experimental and elite interview methods to apply theoretical frameworks of identity and group behavior to questions of voter behavior and legislative politics. Her work has been published in Politics, Groups, and Identities, Du Bois Review, Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, PS: Political Science and Politics, British Journal of Political Science, and Perspectives on Politics. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the APSA Latino Scholarship Fund, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Lemi received my Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside in 2017, and she grew up in the California East Bay Area. She was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a first-generation college student. Lemi resides on Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Jumanos, Tawakoni, and Wichita Lands. She acknowledges her positionality as a lighter-skinned, cis-het white Mexican/Filipino-American with citizenship.

Vision for the collective: “Let’s take our power back!”

Melina Juárez Pérez

Melina Juárez Pérez (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Western Washington University, Lummi & Nooksack Lands. She obtained her BA at CSU Stanislaus, MA at UNC Chapel Hill, and PhD at the University of New Mexico. She was born and raised in a small rural, farmworking community in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Her parents are Mexican immigrants from Guanajuato, Mexico who inspire her in many ways, including her research. Growing up in an immigrant household and community, working side by side with her family in the fields, and having to be their guide through a system that she barely understood, made her realize the important implications of ill-informed policy for our communities. Today, her research centers the needs, health, and happiness of marginalized peoples. She utilizes critical, decolonial, and intersectional theories and pedagogies that incorporate their lived realities. Her work aims at developing a critical understanding of American imperialist structures of power and privilege and the ideologies that shape them, mainly imperialism, settler colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy, and heteropatriarchy. This includes tackling her own internalization and weaponization of these ideologies as well as within her own communities. Her work has been published in Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, Politics & Policy, and Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies.

Vision for the collective: “To center radical care and nourishment — to dream of new ways of being in relation with ourselves and each other”

Diane Wong

Diane Wong (she/they) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark. Previously, she was Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in American Politics and M.A. in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration from the Department of Government at Cornell University. Her interests include American politics, Asian American politics, gender and sexuality, urban governance, comparative immigration, race and ethnicity, cultural and media studies, and community-engaged research. As a first-generation Chinese American born and raised in Flushing, Queens in New York City, her research is intimately tied to the Asian diaspora and urban immigrant experience. Her current book project, You Can’t Evict A Movement, focuses on intergenerational resistance to gentrification in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Her work draws from a combination of methods including ethnography, participatory mapping, archival research, augmented reality, and oral history interviews. Her research has received the Byran Jackson Dissertation Research on Minority Politics Award, Susan Clarke Young Scholars’ Award, and the Don T. Nakanishi Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Service in Asian Pacific American Politics. Her work has appeared in Urban Affairs Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Amerasia Journal, Asian American Policy Review, and a variety of edited book volumes, journals, anthologies, podcasts, and exhibitions. Diane is a socially engaged artist, as part of various cultural collectives she has held artist residencies with the Laundromat Project, and Fourth Arts Block.  Her multimedia exhibit “Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns” is now on display at the Pao Arts Center in Boston. She acknowledges her positionality as a queer femme East Asian in a unionized tenure track position on unceded Leni Lenape lands.

Vision for the collective: “To help build an academy where we are no longer expected to leave our identities on the doorstep.”

Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson (they/them) is a queer androgynous Black woman, an abolitionist, a lover of all Black people, and an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University in the Department of Political Science, Onondaga Lands. Jackson’s research is in Black Politics with a focus on group threat, gender and sexuality, political behavior, and social movements. Jackson is a columnist at Teen Vogue, the author of peer-reviewed articles at Public CulturePolitics, Groups, and Identities, and the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, and the author of several forthcoming book chapters on the intersections of race, gender, class, and politics. Jackson received their doctoral degree in Political Science at the University of Chicago.

Jackson acknowledges their positionality as a middle class, queer, disabled, androgynous cisgender Black woman with citizenship in a tenure track position at an elite, research I institution. 

Vision for the collective: “A space where we can both learn and heal.”

Rachel Torres

Rachel Torres (she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa in the Department of Political Science, Kiikaapoi Lands. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.A. in Political Science in 2016, and was previously a McNair Scholar. Currently, she is on the University of Iowa’s Ballard and Seashore Fellowship for the Fall 2020 semester. Her research examines how localized policy interacts with federal immigration enforcement, and the impact of this interaction on both foreign and nativeborn Latinx populations.

She acknowledges her positionally as a cis white Chicana with citizenship in a unionized position.

Vision for the collective: “A source of amplification of the power and agency that already exists in our communities”

Maricruz Osorio

Maricruz Ariana Osorio (she/her/hers) is a PhD student at the University of California, Riverside (Cahuilla Lands). Broadly, her work looks at the political engagement and behavior of marginalized groups, with an emphasis on women and immigrants. She has published in this work academically and has contributed to other forms of publicly available scholarship, including policy reports, blogs, and encyclopedia entries. Her dissertation investigates the role of gender in forming risk assessments, whether risks are perceived to be risks themselves or risks are believed to be risks to their community at large. She analyzes how those risk assessments contribute to the political participation, in all its different forms, of marginalized immigrant communities. Her dissertation looks at how agency might manifest differently by citizenship status and hopes to add to our understanding of political participation.

Outside of academic work, Maricruz is a founding member of People of Color Also Know Stuff. She has been an invited speaker on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in academia.

She acknowledge her positionality as a light-skinned cis-het woman with citizenship. 

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