Coined by DataCenter, an Oakland-based community research organization, research justice “is a strategic framework that seeks to transform structural inequities in research. . . . When marginalized communities are recognized as experts, and reclaim, own, and wield all forms of knowledge and information,” then research justice is achieved.
Research Justice at the Intersections (RJI) is an interdisciplinary research group at Mills College that fosters social justice-oriented research and groundbreaking critical analysis. RJI encourages scholars to consider new forms of knowledge production that challenge traditional research hierarchies, mobilize the leadership of those directly affected by the investigated phenomena, and acknowledge and engage subaltern ways of knowing.
Growing out of the Mills College Ethnic Studies Department’s involvement in hosting the National Association for Ethnic Studies’ (NAES) conference “Research as Ceremony: Decolonizing Ethnic Studies” in 2014, RJI supports research that centers an intersectional analysis of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and nation, within a context of globalization and transnationality. Supported by the Provost’s Office, the RJI Fellows program is coordinated by a faculty steering committee and hosted by the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE).
Justin de Leon earned his PhD in international relations with a focus on gender and women’s studies and Native American Studies at the University of Delaware and holds certificates from Stanford University and Syracuse University. He is currently a Senior Advisor for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies’ Mediation Program at the University of Notre Dame, as well as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Critical Theory and Social Justice at Occidental College. Previously, de Leon was a Visiting Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at the Kroc Institute at Notre Dame, a part of the Ethnic Studies Department at University of California San Diego, and a member of the Global Feminism Research Collaborative at Vanderbilt University. De Leon’s praxis-based research explores engagements of storytelling, tradition, resistance, and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples (and specifically the Lakota Sioux of South Dakota) and their continued challenging of settler realities. He is currently writing a book entitled Resurgent Visual Sovereignty (under contract with University of Nebraska Press) and their recent publications include articles “The In-Between Space: Indigenous Sovereignties in Creative and Comparative Perspective” (co-authored with Matthew Wildcat), “Preserving Values: Militarization and Powwows,” and “Lakota Experiences of (In)Security: Cosmology and Ontological Security.”
De Leon also writes about Indigenous pedagogy, Native youth and peacebuilding, and indigeneity in international relations. As an award-winning visual artist and filmmaker, de Leon’s recent collaboration More Than a Word (Media Education Foundation, 2018) focusing on Native mascots in professional sports has screened at over 250 universities across North America, was nominated for a Backstory Public History Award, and has screened multiple times at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian. De Leon is also the creator and co-host (with Ashley Bohrer) of the Pedagogies for Peace: Intersectional and Decolonial Teaching podcast series. De Leon is the co-director of the Creative Sovereignty Lab, a community- and storytelling-based training program that is being held in coordination with the Canadian feature film Tenaya, was previously the director of the Native Film and Storytelling Institute’s pilot program at UC San Diego, and has served as Media Director of the Indigenous Oral History Program for the UN’s Documentation Center for Indigenous Peoples (DoCIP) as well as having served on the Editorial Board of the International Feminist Journal of Politics. He is a Rotary World Peace Fellow and, prior to graduate studies, worked in the peace and conflict resolution and global development fields in locations such as Northern Ireland, Nepal, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Honduras, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. In their free time, Justin enjoys running, sewing, and bird watching.
Emily E. Frankel received her PhD in Latin American Literature and Culture from the University of California, Davis with a designated emphasis in Feminist Theory and Methodology and Human Rights. Her current research project analyzes the testimonies and filmic production of activist mothers and their militant daughters in the Southern Cone. At this time, Emily teaches Spanish language and culture courses as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department at Santa Clara University.
Marla Goins is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Africana Studies at the College of Wooster. She researches with Black Brazilian teacher-activists to learn the ways in which they advocate for Black empowerment and anti-racism in and out of schools. Her ethnographic dissertation explored Brazilian afro hair activists as developers and deployers of Black feminist epistemology and pedagogy. Marla also researches Black feminist approaches to mentoring. She theorizes the concept of “Black femtoring” to describe transnational practices that nurture and sustain Black scholars throughout their academic careers.
Joss Greene is an Early Career Fellow in Sociology at Columbia University, studying gender, race, and punishment. He primarily researches how trans people of color navigate, challenge, and build lives against the backdrop of the criminal legal system. He has published his research in journals such as Social Problems and Theoretical Criminology, and is currently working on a book manuscript detailing trans existence and resistance in the California prison system from 1941–2018. In addition to his academic work, he is currently a member of Survived & Punished New York, where he organizes to free criminalized survivors of gender violence.
Danae Hart has a Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies from the University of California Los Angeles, a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies and Women and Gender Studies from the University of North Texas, and a doctorate in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University. Her dissertation, “Creole Resistance in Louisiana from Colonization to Black Lives Matter: Activism’s Deep-Rooted Role in Creole Identity” explores the ways in which Louisiana Creoles have mounted resistance historically to the present day. She aims to continue uncovering and highlighting methods of resistance that have been utilized historically by marginalized communities, but overlooked in academia.
Hemopereki Simon (Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Waikato-Tainui, Hauraki, Mataatua Whānui) is an academic expert on The Treaty of Waitangi. He is an experienced indigenous and environmental policy and planning practitioner. His doctorate by prior publication is entitled, “Toitu Te Mana: A Mediation on Mana Motuhake, The White Possessive, Settler Colonialism, Te Tiriti and The Collective Future of Aotearoa New Zealand.” He is a founding member of The Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence at The University of Wollongong and Macquire University. He has affiliations to The Centre for Australian Cultural Environmental Research. He resides in Aotearoa New Zealand among his people of Tūwharetoa. Hemopereki’s research is Kaupapa Māori Research based. He will be exploring Kaupapa Māori writing inquiry into four areas. The first is a philosophical and theory exploration of the mōteatea, to study the moteatea for its philosophy and theory on elimination, grief, dispossession and settler colonialism. “E Pā To Hau,” is a lament of Ngāti Apakura whose undefended settlement near Te Awamutu was attacked by British troops in 1864, the people driven away and the land confiscated. His second topic will be critiquing the idea of Massey University and Otago University becoming Treaty-led institutions and the third will be a critique of settler colonialism and its effect on the Pasifika diaspora population in New Zealand in response to a racist attack on Auckland University academic Jemimah Tiatia-Seath. The last topic is a theoretical position on what a Pacific indigenous peoples and kaupapa Māori response to climate change should be, arguing that for the indigenous Pacific, climate change is not a human rights issue but an existence issue and people must go back to their philosophical traditions to come up with a solution.
Alicia Rusoja is an Assistant Professor in the Justice, Community and Leadership Program at Saint Mary's College of California (SMC). There, she teaches courses on practitioner inquiry, and critical qualitative research more broadly, as well as courses on social justice and on immigrant rights. She is also a faculty member in the Summer Academic Institute for Leaders and Scholars (SAILS) for first generation and/or low-income students at SMC. Dr. Rusoja earned her PhD in Reading/Writing/Literacy at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE). As an immigrant from Venezuela (she moved here when she was 12 years old), she has been actively involved in the intersectional movements for immigrant rights and educational justice for over 15 years.
Dr. Rusoja's work has been published in scholarly and community-based journals, and her study on the intergenerational literacy, learning, and teaching practices mobilized by Latinx immigrants organizing for their rights was awarded distinction at PennGSE, where she also received the Ralph C. Preston Award for Scholarship and Teaching Contributing to Social Justice. As a scholar-activist-educator, Dr. Rusoja's research lies at the intersection of critical literacy and pedagogy in out-of-school spaces, the political mobilization and socialization of immigrants intergenerationally, and practitioner research as a methodology to resist coloniality in research, education, and community organizing. Her recent study on the critical teaching/learning/organizing practices of Latinx immigrants in the US theorizes a "communal pedagogy of resistance," which she argues is central to the intergenerational and coalitional organizing of Latinx immigrants. Currently, she's co-designing and co-running, with Latinx immigrants in South Philadelphia, a community-led action-research study focused on the short and long term impact of COVID–19 on the lives, education and organizing of Latinx immigrant communities in the US, as well as on the role that grassroots research (by and for those whose experiences are being studied) can play in community-led responses to this pandemic as it shapes and is shaped by ongoing racial, immigration, environmental, housing, gender, and sexual identity injustices, among others.
Dr. Michael Joseph Viola is Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California in the Justice, Community and Leadership (JCL) program, affiliate faculty in the Ethnic Studies program, and Director of Faculty Development. Dr. Viola received his doctorate degree in education with an emphasis in urban schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he completed a dissertation that focused on Filipino/a American activists and solidarities. As an educator and scholar, Dr. Viola has dedicated his professional life to centering the experiences of historically marginalized, extracted, and oppressed communities in this country, a commitment connected to his family’s history as immigrants. Dr. Viola’s parents immigrated to the United States in 1970. They moved to Fresno, California, where he grew up. Reflecting on his rich experience in public schools, Dr. Viola did not learn much about Filipino/x/a American history or the important struggles of Latinx and Filipino/x/a farmworkers in the region he called home. His upbringing informed the questions he would pursue in his research, where he critically analyzes what it means when specific groups do not have the gift of historical memory. Specifically, for Filipino/x/a Americans, who comprise the second-largest Asian American group in the nation, Dr. Viola explores the consequences when educational curriculums, theoretical frameworks, and popular culture often fails to mention or center their contributions to social justice struggles in this country.
Dr. Viola’s research contributes to the interdisciplinary fields of critical educational studies ethnic studies; and critical globalization studies. His scholarship has been published in such journals as Critical Ethnic Studies, Race, Ethnicity and Education, the Journal of Asian American Studies, Educational Philosophy and Theory, the Journal of Critical Educational Policy Studies, and Kritika Kultura. His co-edited book on global hip-hop titled, Hip-Hop(e): The Cultural Practice and Critical Pedagogy of International Hip-Hop (Peter Lang) received the 2014 Critics’ Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association. He is a governing council member of the Critical Filipino/x/a Studies Collective (CFSC). He is writing a book on Filipino/x/a American radical thought and activism.
Mozzie DosAlmas and Jane Yamashiro
Mills Hall 217