Isabel Araiza

Dr. Isabel Araiza is an associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, where she teaches in the Mexican American and women and gender studies programs. She’s an expert on sociology and its intersections with education, social class and inequality. 

Araiza has also spoken up against the university’s plans for in-person classes this fall despite the coronavirus pandemic. Many schools have abandoned plans for in-person instruction this fall due to outbreaks — most notably, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill made the rest of the semester entirely online after 130 students tested positive in the first week of classes.

Araiza’s recent research has focused on access to clean water, the political preferences of Latinos, Hispanic serving institutions of higher education in Texas and the community impact of the integration of Corpus Christi Independent School District in the 1970s.

Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Araiza went on to earn her PhD in sociology from Boston College. As a public sociologist actively engaged in her community, Araiza is a founding member of For the Greater Good, a local advocacy organization that pushes for access to clean water and investment in public institutions and infrastructure.

She’s also co-authored several health needs assessments on the community needs and uses of hospitals in the Coastal Bend region of South Texas.

Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Expertise Field: Universities and the coronavirus, sociology, Mexican American studies, women and gender studies, social class, education, inequality 

Contact information:

Email: isabel.araiza@tamucc.edu

Phone (cell): 361-779-3927

Phone (office): 361-825-3936

Listen to Isabel Araiza on KIII:

Last updated August 24, 2020

Christen A. Smith

Dr. Christen A. Smith is an associate professor of anthropology and African and African diaspora studies and the director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She’s an expert on Black liberation and state violence against Black communities in the Americas.

Smith can provide context on the anthropological background of police violence against Black communities. Her recent research examines the lingering and deadly impacts of police violence on Black women, communities and families in the U.S. and Brazil.

Her 2016 book Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence and Performance in Brazil explores the ironic relationship between police violence against Black Brazilians in Salvador, Bahia and the celebration and consumption of Black culture, music and art.

Smith is also the founder of Cite Black Women, which promotes the intellectual and academic work of Black women — historically overlooked and undervalued. Through a blog, podcast and social media campaign, the project pushes people to reexamine their blind spots on race and gender and start using and citing the work of Black female sources.

Location: Austin, TX

Expertise: Black liberation, resistance and state violence against Black communities in the Americas

Contact information:

Email: christen.smith@austin.utexas.edu

Twitter: @profsassy

Listen to Christen A. Smith on KQED’s World Affairs:

Last updated July 22, 2020

Bernard Powers

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.

In a recent op-ed, Powers advocates for a new monument honoring Civil War-era African Americans — such as Charleston native Robert Smalls — as a replacement for the White Point Gardens Confederate memorial.

Over his 40-year academic career, Powers has published numerous books and articles including 1994’s Black Charlestonians:  A Social History 1822-1885, which examines the socioeconomic history of the city’s vibrant free Black population and the changes caused by emancipation after the Civil War. Most recently, he co-authored the 2016 book We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel.

Powers has also appeared in several documentaries, including the PBS series African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross and 2019’s Emanuel: the Untold Story of the Victims and Survivors of the Charleston Church Shooting. His current research focuses on African Methodism in South Carolina.

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Expertise: African American history and culture, the role of slavery in American history

Contact information:

Email (preferred): powersb@cofc.edu

Phone: 843-813-4871

Listen to Bernard Powers on South Carolina Public Radio:

Last updated June 29, 2020

Aletha Maybank

Dr. Aletha Maybank is the first chief health equity officer of the American Medical Association and one of its vice presidents. Her role is to oversee efforts across the entire organization to address disparities in health care, and she leads the association’s Center for Health Equity.

A pediatrician by training, Maybank was the deputy commissioner at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she launched their Center for Health Equity. 

Before that, she was an assistant commissioner in the NYC Health Department with the Brooklyn District Public Health Office. There, she oversaw several centers that worked to connect community organizations, health care providers and patients in predominantly minority neighborhoods throughout New York. Maybank was also the founding director of the Office of Minority Health in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, located in New York, from 2006-2009.

Alongside her work in government, Maybank has taught medical students on topics such as public health leadership and management, and community organizing in health. She was previously the president of the Empire State Medical Association, the New York affiliate of the National Medical Association. 

She also helped create the “We are Doc McStuffins” campaign, based on the popular Disney cartoon character, which aimed to inspire young African American girls to practice medicine. The group eventually formed the Artemis Medical Society.

Location: NYC and Chicago, Ill.

Expertise: health equity, minority health, community engagement 

Contact information:

Cristina Mutchler, AMA public information officer

Phone: 312-464-4710

Email: Cristina.Mutchler@ama-assn.org

Listen to Aletha Maybank on Oprah Talks COVID-19:

Source of the Week · Aletha Maybank – Oprah Talks COVID-19

Mutale Nkonde

Mutale Nkonde is an artificial intelligence policy analyst and a fellow at both the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab.

She is the founding president of AI For the People, a nonprofit that aims to “create the narratives needed to create an anti-racist technical future.”

Nkonde was part of the team that introduced the Algorithmic and Deep Fakes Accountability Acts as well as the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act in the House of Representatives. 

Nkonde started her career as a broadcast journalist and worked at the BBC, CNN and ABC. She’s been interviewed by Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal and MIT Technology Review.

In an opinion piece for the Harvard Business Review, Nkonde argues that corporations should shoulder social responsibility for reducing race and gender bias in artificial intelligence. 

She says she is currently working on a project that is looking at how black communities “will be impacted by disinformation during 2020.” She prepared a briefing sheet for journalists and spoke about the project on Sirius XM in February 2020.

Pronunciation: Mutale (Moo-TAH-lay) Nkonde (In-CON-day)

Areas of expertise: AI governance, race, technology 

Location: New York

Contact Information:

Email: mnkonde@law.harvard.edu

She can be heard here:

 

Last updated: Feb. 10, 2020

Miesha Marzell

Miesha Marzell is an Assistant Professor at Binghamton University. She is an expert on the causes and prevention of substance abuse among racial/ethnic minority youth.

Marzell was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health and Prevention Research Center. Subsequently, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

marzell

Areas of Expertise: Substance use, racial/ethnic minorities, athletes, mental health

Location: Binghamton, NY

Contact Info:

     Email: mmarzell@binghamton.edu

     Phone: (607) 777-9160

She can be heard here:

Kristin Henning

Kristin Henning is a Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at Georgetown Law. She is an expert on Juvenile Justice, Adolescence and Policing, and Race. 

Henning was previously the Lead Attorney for the Juvenile Unit of the D.C. Public Defender Service and is currently the Director of the Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center.

She is also President of the Board of Directors for the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, and has served as an expert consultant on juvenile justice to a number of state and federal agencies. 

Henning has represented juveniles in serious cases, supervised and trained new Public Defender Service attorneys, and coordinated and conducted training for court-appointed attorneys representing juveniles. 

Henning closer teaching

Areas of Expertise: Juvenile Justice, Race, Adolescence and Policing, Juvenile Justice Reform

Location: Washington D.C. 

Contact Info:

       Email: hennink@georgetown.edu 

       Phone: (202) 215-5754

       Twitter: @profkrishenning

She can be heard here:

Janelle Jones

Janelle Jones is an Economic Analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. Her research focuses on labor market topics around race, ethnicity, and the economy. She was previously a research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, where she worked on unemployment, job quality, the economics of racial inequality, and unions. Her research has been cited in the New Yorker, The Economist, The Washington Post, and Harper’s.

Janelle JonesEconomic Analyst, Economic Policy Institute 

Areas of Expertise: Economic Policy, Race and Economy, Economic Inequality, Unemployment, Job Quality, Unions

Location: Washington, DC

Contact information: 

Email (preferred): news@epi.org

Phone: (202) 775-8810

 

Heard on WPR: 

Suyapa Portillo Villeda

Suyapa Portillo Villeda is an assistant professor in Chicana/o Latina/o Transnational Studies at Pitzer College. Her work broadly focuses on social movements in Central America with a focus on Honduras. In particular, Portillo’s research centers on the intersections between labor, gender, and race in workers’ lives in the history of the banana export economy in Honduras and Central America.

Since the coup d’état in Honduras in 2009, Portillo has served as region expert in the media to attest to conditions in Honduras and the rest of Central America. Her expertise has been cited by CNN, NPR’s Take Two, and The Huffington Post.

Suyapa Portillo photo
Assistant Professor in Chicana/o-Latina/o Transnational Studies, Pitzer College

Areas of Expertise: Chicana/o Latina/o Transnational Studies, Labor, Gender, Ethnicity, Race, Honduras, Central America, History of Immigration and Migration in Central America, LGBTQ Community in Honduras

Location: Los Angeles, CA | Honduras

Contact Information:
Email: Suyapa_portillo@pitzer.edu
Twitter: @SuyapaPV

As Heard On KPCC’s Take Two: “Young Migrants From Honduras Fleeing Drug and Gang Violence”

Muhammad Khalifa

Muhammad Khalifa is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University.  He has worked as a public school teacher and administrator in Detroit.

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

Location: East Lansing/Ann Arbor, MI

Contact Information:
Email:
mkhalifa@msu.edu
Phone: (734) 904-3458

 

Heard on WAMC:

The Academic Minute