An Xiao Mina works on program strategy and operations at Meedan, a technology non-profit that builds software for newsrooms and NGOs to improve the quality of information online. She’s an expert on digital creative culture and how memes influence protest movements and politics.
Mina has worked with The Civic Beat and China Residencies to create workshops and art exhibitions in spaces including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City and the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania.
Expertise: Digital creative culture, how memes influence protest movements and politics
Dr. Bernard Powers is the founding director of the College of Charleston’s Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston and a professor emeritus of history at the university. He’s an expert on African American history and culture and the role of slavery in American history.
Charleston — the city where the civil war started and where 40% of all enslaved Africans brought to the United States entered the country — has long been a center of African American history and culture. And like many American cities, it also has public Confederate monuments and statues of historical figures who supported slavery and advocated white supremacy.
As of last week, the city has one less monument. The statue of vice president and slavery advocate John C. Calhoun in Marion Square — located just a block from Mother Emanuel AME, the site of the 2015 terrorist attack by white supremacist Dylan Roof — was removed on June 24 after a unanimous city council vote.
His research examines how urban school leaders enact culturally relevant leadership practices—which are leadership behaviors that most optimally help marginalized students in school and their communities. More specifically, he looks at how school leaders can promote inclusive school environments, how they can effectively engage parents and neighborhood community contexts, and how they can confront racism in their own school buildings.
Khalifa has been published in the Teachers College Record, Educational Administration Quarterly, Urban Review, Urban Education, the Journal of Negro Education, and the Journal of School Leadership. He is coeditor of the forthcoming “Rage, Love & Transcendence in the Emergence of Social Justice Scholars: Becoming Critical in Diverse Social Spaces” and “Handbook on Urban Educational Leadership.”
Khalifa has been engaged in school leadership reform in African and Asian countries. Notably, he has developed the Nation’s first online equity audit equity audits to address achievement gaps and discipline gaps in school. This online equity audit is currently being used to analyze and address inequity in U.S. schools.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, Michigan State University
Areas of Expertise: Education, Race, Culture, Leadership Practices, School Leadership
Charlton McIlwain is an associate professor of media, culture and communication at New York University. His research interests, most recently funded by the Spencer Foundation, include issues at the intersection of race and media, particularly as it relates to how different forms of digital media have enhanced and/or inhibited political participation among people of color. Additionally, with race and class as starting points, he examines how political candidates can benefit or be hurt by race-based appeals.
McIlwain co-authored the report “Beyond the Hashtags: Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice” with Deen Freelon and Meredith Clark in 2016. His most recent book “Digital Movement: Racial Justice Activism from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter was recognized by the American Library Association as one of the “Best Books” in 2012.
Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communications, NYU Steinhardt
Location: New York, NY
Areas of Expertise: Digital media, social media, social movements, race and political participation, political campaigns
Sarah J. Jackson is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and faculty affiliate of the Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies at Northeastern University. Her research and teaching interests include the use of media and technology to represent racial justice and social movements, with a particular focus on the role of social media in activism. Her research on the use of Twitter by journalists and activists has been funded by the Knight foundation.
Jackson is also a faculty affiliate of Northeastern’s Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies program. Her most recent book, Black Celebrity, Racial Politics and the Press examines the relationship between race, celebrity protest and the media. Her commentary has been featured on PBS, Politico and NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook.
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Affiliate of Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Northeastern University
Areas of Expertise: Communications, Media Studies, Technology, Gender Studies, Social Media, Politics, Culture, Social Sciences
Silvia L. Mazzula, Ph.D. is a Tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York (CUNY). Her research focuses on the intersection of race, culture, and mental health, including racism and discrimination. She works in New York, New York.
Syreeta McFadden writes a monthly column for the Guardian US and does freelance writing work. Her work is largely focused on gender, politics, race, culture and the arts, as well as the exploration of overlapping cultural narratives between communities. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, NPR, and others.
McFadden co-curates Poets in Unexpected Places (PUP), a collective of New York-based writers and language arts educators that stages surprise poetry performances in hopes of promoting community and dialogue in public. Previous PUP collaborations include the Juilliard School and Urban Word NYC. She is also the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, which features work from emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, as well as photo essays and interviews.
She has appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More, WNYC’s On the Media, and Sirius XM Radio’s Make It Plain. A former urban planner, she holds degrees from Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and is an adjunct professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Columnist for the Guardian US and Freelance Writer
Areas of Expertise: Visual Art (Photography/Technology), Literature (Poetry), Study of Feminism/Intersectionality
Rwany Sibaja (C-Bah-Ha) teaches modern Latin American history at Appalachian State University. The focus of his research centers on the impact and role of fútbol (soccer) on popular culture in mid-twentieth century Argentina, with a focus on the impact of fútbol on the formation and re-imagination of collective identities.
Sibaja is also the director of history at Appalachian State. His work has appeared in the journal Soccer & Society, the four-volume Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice, and on Teachinghistory.org.
Assistant Professor of History and Director of History/Social Studies Education at Appalachian State University
Areas of Expertise: Soccer, 20th-century Argentina, Popular Culture, Social Studies Education
Nilanjana Bhattacharjya is an ethnomusicologist and popular music scholar who focuses on South Asian popular music and film in India, as well as in the South Asian diaspora. She currently teaches interdisciplinary courses on the humanities, Asian Studies, music, and film at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. She has been researching how respective communities use music to define their identities, and how the meaning of that music changes as it travels one location to another since she began her doctoral research in 1999. Her research has focused on topics including the transnational career of the early 20th century dancer Uday Shankar in the United States and Europe, British popular musicians of South Asian descent in London during the mid 1990s through early 2000s, and Hindi film music sequences’ role in popular Hindi films. She is particularly interested in how the song sequence— once the distinctive marker of an Indian popular film— is evolving to respond to developments in the film and music industries, as well as changing tastes.
Her publications appear in the journals Asian Music, South Asian History and Culture, andSouth Asian Popular Culture, and the books Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Music and Dance, and South Asian Transnationalisms: Cultural Exchange in the Twentieth Century.
Most recently, she has been working closely with other scholars who focus on the South Asian diaspora in the United States as a member and current co-chair of the Academic Council of the South Asian American Digital Archive <https://www.saadigitalarchive.org/>, which aims to raise awareness about South Asian American history by preserving historical documents and making them available to the public.
Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University
Areas of Expertise: Ethnomusicology, South Asian popular music, Music and migration, South Asian popular culture, South Asian popular culture in the diaspora, South Asian American history, South Asian immigration
His work examines the present-day experiences of lower-income undergraduates at elite colleges and universities in the context of more expansive race- and class-based affirmative action measures. His dissertation, Same Folks, Different Strokes: Culture, Class, and the “New” Diversity at Elite Colleges and Universities, explores the experiences of lower-income undergraduates who enter college after graduating from boarding, day, and preparatory schools, those who he calls the Privileged Poor, and compares their experiences to their lower-income peers who travel the traditional path from local high schools to college, those who he calls the Doubly Disadvantaged.
Although they share similar origins with respect to family and neighborhoods, he documents how they live ever-more divergent lives before entering college which, then, influences their transition and integration into college. In outlining this overlooked diversity, he sheds new light on how class and culture matter in college. His research also examines how African Americans respond to racism and discrimination in their daily lives. His work appears in the Du Bois Review and Sociological Forum and has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and American RadioWorks. He holds fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and is a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow.
PhD Candidate in Sociology and Associate Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard University
Areas of expertise: (Higher) education, New diversity at elite colleges, Culture, Cultural capital, Race, Urban poverty, Inequality, Youth