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Center on Race, Immigration & Social Justice California State University, Sacramento

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Dr. Itzel Aceves-Azuara

Assistant Professor, California State University Sacramento

I am a sociocultural developmental psychologist studying cultural differences in childrearing practices and family life. My research goal is to contribute to understanding the strengths for learning of children and families from cultural backgrounds that have been historically underserved and underrepresented. I focus especially on collaboration, communication, and attentiveness; overall, strengths for learning available from children’s participation in Indigenous practices and their adaptations in Mexican and Central American communities. Relatedly, I study how cultural family practices, such as family togetherness or convivencia, change across generations in the face of globalization.

Dr. Stacey Ault

Assistant Professor in the Social Work Division at Sacramento State University

Her pronouns are “she/her/hers.” Dr. Ault has over 20 years’ experience working with children and families in the Sacramento area; she came to Sac State from Sacramento City Unified School District where she was Youth Development Director for almost 10 years. In 2016, Dr. Ault founded the Race and Gender Equity Project. Their mission is to harness individual and collective transformation through healing, education, advocacy and research. Stacey earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master's in Social Work at Sac State, and her Doctorate in International and Multicultural Education/Human Rights Education from the University of San Francisco. She is a leader, coach, activist, healer, scholar and mama, to both her biological children and the young people in her community. Dr. Ault’s scholarship revolves around Critical Post Traumatic Growth among individuals and communities, as well as examinations of Blackness and Anti-Blackness in communities and institutions. She conducts participatory action research alongside youth and community in order to effect change.

Dr. Paula Austin (History)

teaches African American and Civil Rights history, and is a Diversity Faculty Fellow in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Her research focuses on black poor and working class youth and examines campaigns against state sanctioned violence in Washington D.C. in the 20th century.

Beatriz Figueroa Avila

A Pittsburg, CA native, singer and alumni of California State University Sacramento, class of 2019. During her time as an undergrad, Beatriz studied Sociology and Music, worked as a bilingual interviewer for the Public Health Research Survey Program and consistently showcased her Mexican roots through professional music performance in many campus events, Commencement ceremonies, local concerts and cultural festivals throughout the Sacramento area. Beatriz’s background along with her passion for immigrant rights and racial activism also inspired her to lead as Chair for the Social Justice Committee at The Newman Catholic Club while simultaneously collaborating as an associate for The Center on Race, Immigration and Social Justice. She also collaborated in projects and participated in events for The Dreamer Resource Center, The Multicultural Center and the Serna Center at Sac State. Beatriz plans to further her education at her Alma Mater in the near future as she continues serving her community not only through the arts but also through advocacy and social justice.

Dr. Manuel Barajas

Professor of Sociology at California State University-Sacramento

He specializes in immigration studies, Chicana/o communities, and race, gender, and class inequality. He obtained his B.A. at UC Davis, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at UC Riverside. He is author of The Xaripu Community across Borders: Labor Migration, Community, and Family that received a Distinguished Book Award Honorable Mention from the Latino Section, American Sociological Association. His work has been published by the University of Notre Dame Press, Contemporary Sociology, American Behavioral Scientist, Societies without Borders: Human Rights and the Social Sciences, Bilingual Research Journal, Sociological Perspectives, University of Arizona Press, Latino Studies Journal, among others. Manuel enjoys collaborating with students and community and producing knowledge/advocacy that empowers marginalized communities. He is currently serving as Interim Director for CRISJ.

Dr. Diego Bonilla

Professor in the Communication Studies Department

He was born and raised in Mexico City. Throughout his career, Diego Bonilla has engaged in artistic, academic and professional activities. While studying for a BA in Business Administration, he published a poetry book as well as several short stories. In 1996, Editorial Iberoamericana published his co-authored book “Mercadotecnia e imagen en Internet" which was distributed in Mexico and other countries in Latin America. Diego moved to the United States in 1998 to pursue an MS in Media Management and, later, a Ph.D. in Mass Media, with a specialization in Digital Media, at Syracuse University. In his dissertation, Diego proposed an inferential mathematical model to explain the acquisition of short-term memory while experiencing a narrative on a computer. In recognition of this work, Syracuse University awarded Diego the Doctoral Prize in 2003. “A Space of Time” an interactive multimedia story also prepared for his dissertation, received other recognitions, including winning the Internet/Multimedia category of the XXVI Moscow International Film Festival. Diego has co-authored academic articles around Open Educational Resources and has given national and international presentations on this same topic, as well as academic conference presentations about the computerized solutions he has pursued in his instruction. From 2014 to 2016, Diego served as one of three California State University representatives on the California Open Educational Resources Council, which created an online library of open educational resources to encourage the use of free or affordable textbooks and other materials throughout California’s public higher education system.In 2017, he was the winner of the Experimental Cinema category of the Premios Latino in Spain with a hypermedia narrative “Accidental Occurrence”; a film edited by a program, not a person. In 2019, he co-authored "Big Data", a generative video poem which, two years later, became a finalist for the Coover Award by the Electronic Literature Organization. In 2021, his generative virtual reality short film, Uku Pacha, premiered in the Vancouver International Film Festival. In the last 10 years, Diego has been invited to present his work on modular content creation in England, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Ecuador. During this same period, he has also promoted information literacy, creating a six-course minor in the Communications Studies Department at California State University, Sacramento. Diego currently teaches digital media literacy and focuses his work on the development of literary and visual hypermedia works through the use of programming.

Bernard Brown

An international performing artist, choreographer, educator, scholar, and arts activist who situates his work at the intersection of blackness, belonging, and sexuality. A Lester Horton Award and Westfield Emerging Artist Award recipient, Bernard has performed with distinguished artists and companies including Lula Washington Dance Theatre, David Rousseve/REALITY, TU Dance, Shapiro & Smith Dance, Doug Elkins Dance Company, Donald McKayle, Rennie Harris, Kamasi Washington, Vincent Patterson, Rudy Perez, Nike, and was invited to perform with Mikhail Baryshnikov in Robert Wilson’s “Letter to a Man” with choreography by Lucinda Childs. Bernard earned his MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and BFA from SUNY Purchase. As artistic director of Bernard Brown/bbmoves, a social justice dance theater company, Brown’s choreography has been presented in Seoul, South Korea, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Phoenix and New York City, to great acclaim. Supported by Dance/USA, International Association of Blacks in Dance, California Arts Council, and California Humanities, the work is often described as thoughtful, captivating, and powerfully exquisite. He is published in the peer-reviewed digital journal, “Dancer-Citizen,” with a recent essay in “The Activist History Review.” He has presented his scholarship on blackness, queerness, activism, and post-modern dance at conferences across the US. Bernard has been featured in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times for his activism. He is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Sacramento State University and a Certified Dunham Technique Instructor candidate. The Los Angeles Times has called him "...the incomparable Bernard Brown..."

Dr. Mark Brown

Professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Sacramento

He studied at UC Santa Cruz and the University of Göttingen, and received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University. He is the author ofScience in Democracy: Expertise, Institutions, and Representation (MIT Press, 2009). He teaches courses on modern and contemporary political theory, democratic theory, and the politics of science, technology, and the environment. His current research is on the politics of white racial identity.

Melissa Cardenas-Dow

A social sciences librarian at Sacramento State University, responsible for the subject areas of psychology, ethnic studies, women's and gender studies, and education. She is currently a Councilor-at-Large of the American Library Association. Most recently, she worked with the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) as the Graphics Design Coordinator within the JCLC 2018 Public Relations Committee. She is active with the California Faculty Association (CFA), the labor union representing teaching faculty, librarians, counselors, and coaches in the California State University system. She is currently serving as chair of the anti-racism and social justice committee of the Sacramento chapter of CFA and is a member of the CFA system-wide Librarians Committee.

Dr. Christopher J. Castañeda

Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento

He obtained his B.A. at Rice University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Houston. His research has focused on transnational Spanish-language networks and their engagement in U.S. society, specifically examining the intersections of immigration, business, labor and radicalism within this community from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. He works as a public historian in the areas of oral history and institutional history. His publications appear in the University of Illinois Press, University of Colorado Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, OAH Magazine of history, among many others. He enjoys collaborative work with colleagues, students, and community, and is currently leading the development of a Latin American Studies minor at his university.

Dr. Luis Chávez

An interdisciplinary musician-scholar whose research specializes in festival music and dance from Latin America. Working within music, sound, and Native American and Indigenous Studies, Chávez’s scholarship explores how individuals use music and dance to articulate ethnic, national, and gender identities. Dr. Chávez completed a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Davis, additionally earning a Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies. Dr. Chávez is a Lecturer in the School of Music at the California State University, Sacramento where his work focuses on music, dance, and religion in Latin America, performance studies, border studies, sound studies, Chicanx studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Native American Studies. At Sac State, he teaches Music History and Literature, World Music, and Latin American music. His current research focuses on how notions of authenticity and tradition are negotiated in Chicanx music cultures.

Dr. Rafael E. Diaz

A faculty member in the Mathematics and Statistics Department. He obtained his PhD in Biostatistics from Tulane University in New Orleans in 2004. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mérida, Mexico where he was born. He has assisted faculty from different fields of specialization on campus with the statistical analysis of their research projects, which in several instances has also involved mentoring students participating in these projects. Since he was hired at CSUS in 2007 he has supported the CSU Science Education Equity (SEE) Program by mentoring mathematics and statistics majors from underrepresented minorities in STEM fields transferring to CSUS from community colleges on research projects requiring statistical modeling. In the last five years he has held positions as judge of poster presentations at the American Biomedical Research Conference from Minority Students (ABRCMS), as well as Vice Chair and Chair of the Engineering, Physics & Mathematics Discipline of this conference. His statistical assistance and mentoring have led to two national awards from the American Statistical Association, and several co-authored publications with faculty and students from CSUS.

Dr. Basia D. Ellis

An Assistant Professor of Child Development at California State University Sacramento (CSUS). Her research examines the psychology of migration with a special focus on the experiences of undocumented immigrants. Working at the intersections of sociocultural psychological theory and critical migration scholarship, Ellis employs qualitative research methods to examine how increasingly restrictive immigration contexts shape the everyday lives of undocumented immigrants; and correspondingly, how immigrants variably understand and navigate these conditions to build meaningful lives for themselves and their families. Additionally, Dr. Ellis’ facilitates weekly discussions with undocumented and mixed-status family students at CSUS, as well as delivers workshops for educators and other professionals seeking to support the well-being of young people impacted by undocumented status.

Dr. Erin Rose Ellison

A community psychologist who employs participatory action research (PAR), ethnography and social network analysis to study how relationships facilitate or constrain collective empowerment for groups lacking social power and an equal share of resources. She often works in collaboration with youth in school-based programs or adult community organizers. Erin's scholarship illuminates social reproductive labor or relational labor and its role in processes of empowerment, particularly with regards to addressing unjust social relations. Erin recently began her new position as Assistant Professor at CSUS, and teaches community psychology and psychology of women. She is currently building her research team, the COLLAB. Current projects include a PAR project to examine the transfer student experience at CSUS, build sense of community among our large transfer student body, and organize for resources to support thriving among transfer students. Erin has interdisciplinary training in social-community psychology and feminist studies (MS & PhD: UC Santa Cruz), community development (MA: Clark University) and international studies (BA: American University).

Dr. D. Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson

A scholar/artist/activist/teacher, and an Assistant Professor of African American Theatre and Dramatic Literature at California State University, Sacramento. Her specializations include theatre history, historiography, performance studies, literature, text, criticism, and theory with expertise in postcolonial performance, African, African American, Caribbean, and Latin American theatres. Dr. Forbes-Erickson is the founder and artistic director of the Pan-African Theatre Ensemble since 2016, dedicated to staging Black theatres from around the world with anti-racist, postcolonial, and cultural activism. Her peer-reviewed scholarship focuses on the Black performing body, digital media, Black feminisms, masquerade, race and theatricality; and with concerns about representations in theatre and performance, the process of decolonizing theatre and design studies, within and outside of Western models. Dr. Forbes-Erickson investigates how race functions as a social and cultural “technology” in the early 21st century, engineered and deployed in theatre, film, media, and digital technologies. She is a theatre designer and mixed media sculptor working with themes of liberation and odysseys through metaphysical and spiritual worlds. Special interests and passions include performances of empowerment through Black women's theatres, sacred feminine thought, Afrofuturism, and African spirituality in African Diasporic collective memory. Dr. Forbes-Erickson earned a doctorate in Theatre: Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A. with a portfolio in African and African American Studies, and a Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A. She holds a BA (Hons.) degree in Theatre Design from the University of the Arts, London (UAL): Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, England, and a Diploma in Sculpture from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, Jamaica.

Dr. Araceli Feliz

An Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Sacramento. Dr. Feliz earned a Doctorate in Education in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California, a Master of Arts degree in Education with a Reading and Language Arts emphasis from California State University, Fresno, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Reading Specialist Credential, and an Administrative Services Credential. Dr. Feliz has twenty four years of experience in TK-12 education as a district coordinator of state and federal programs, school principal, assistant principal, instructional coach, and a teacher. Born and raised in California, Dr. Feliz is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation college graduate whose first language is Spanish. Her research interests center on equitable organizational practices, structures, and systems with an emphasis on literacy pedagogy to support reciprocal engagement with linguistically and culturally diverse student populations.

Dr. Alma Itzé Flores

An Assistant Professor in the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento. Born in Jalisco, MX and raised in Santa Barbara, CA, Dr. Flores is a proud immigrant and former first-generation college student. She earned her B.A. in Sociology at UCLA, her M.A. in Education at the University of Texas, Austin, and her Ph.D. in Education at UCLA. As a Chicana feminist scholar, her research and teaching interests include the educational experiences of Chicanx/Latinx first-generation college students, Chicanx/Latinx (im)migrant families, in particular Chicana/Latina mother-daughter pedagogies, and the development and analysis of Chicana/Latina feminist pedagogies and research methodologies. Her work can be found in Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, the Center for Critical Race Studies at UCLA, and in the Chicana M(other)work Anthology. She has over ten years of experience working with Students of Color and their families. Inspired by Communities of Color, Dr. Flores’ work is guided by a deep commitment to social justice.

Sekita Grant

An environmental policy and social justice strategist. She is the Vice President of Programs with The Solutions Project overseeing their grantmaking, policy research, and impact strategy support for more than 100 frontline leaders innovating in models for a regenerative economy across the country and in Puerto Rico. She has been a consultant supporting change-makers in equitable climate policy and narratives and worked previously as a Climate Justice Fellow with the Emerson Collective and recently completed a fellowship with the Florida Sea Grant and University of Florida Law Conservation Clinic. Prior to that, Sekita worked as the Policy and Impact Strategy manager for Emerson Elemental. In that capacity, Sekita helped to catalyze new approaches to scaling environmental and social good through climate and environment policies and projects. Prior to Emerson Elemental, Sekita worked at the Greenlining institute as Legal Counsel for their Environmental Equity team. In that role, she worked to make energy and climate policies in California equitable and beneficial to communities of color. She came to Greenlining from Business for Social Responsibility, a California nonprofit where she worked as a climate and energy sustainability consultant to large corporations. Prior to that, Sekita worked as a policy advisor at the California Energy Commission in Sacramento. There she served as lead advisor to the chair on climate, transportation, and legal matters. She lives with her partner between the Bay Area and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Dr. Aya Kimura Ida

A Professor of Sociology at California State University, Sacramento. She graduated from the joint Sociology Ph.D. program at the University of Akron and Kent State University. Her research interests have centered around discrimination, ethnic and racial identity, immigrant communities, minority resilience, and mental health. More specifically, her research examined diversity within so-called black Americans and role of Japanese Saturday School in the ethnic community. Her recent work appeared in Contexts,Sociological Focus,Journal of Black Studies,Sex Roles, and Korean Immigrants in Canada. Recently, she has developed interests in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and examines the effectiveness of Team-Based Learning and Hybrid classes for diverse students’ learning. She has taught Introduction to Sociology, Social Psychology, Research Methods, Health and Illness, and Ethnic and Race Relations and enjoys working with students on their independent research projects.

Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez

An Associate Professor of Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Sacramento. Through her teaching, scholarship, and service, Dr. Jez aims to strengthen student access, persistence, and success in postsecondary education, particularly for traditionally underserved students. She works with schools, colleges and universities, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and foundations to improve programs and policies that create and support pathways for all students to achieve their postsecondary educational goals. Dr. Jez received a BA in statistics with a minor in public policy from UC Berkeley, and an MA in economics and a PhD in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University.

Dr. Tristan Josephson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Women's Studies, California State University, Sacramento

Jesus Limon

A Professor of English at Sacramento City College and an English Lecturer at Sacramento State University. He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Creative Writing and a Master of Arts in English Literature, both from Sacramento State University. Though born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, he grew up in the diverse community of South Sacramento. He proudly serves his community by organizing spaces where students can learn about higher education and personal empowerment through art, culture, and social justice.

Dr. Ann López

The Executive Director of Center for Farmworker Families. She is an emerita professor and taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology and botany in the biology department at San José City College for many years. She has a Ph.D. from UCSC in Environmental Studies where she studied the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the farms of west central Mexico. Her book entitled The Farmworkers’ Journey summarizes the results, arguments and conclusions of her research and was published by UC Press. She has been recognized for her work by The U.S. Congress and many organizations. She was chosen as a Woman of the Year for 2013 and 2014 by the National Association of Professional Women. In March 2018, she was chosen for a 16th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Community Award in Watsonville and as Woman of the Year by Mark Stone’s 29th District for 2019.

Dr. Lopez’ research findings while interviewing central California farmworker families and their family members in Mexico were fundamentally disturbing and life transforming. As a result, she is actively attempting to create awareness about the Human Rights abuses that are endemic to every juncture of the migrant circuit. She has also initiated many projects on both sides of the border designed to alleviate some of the inordinate suffering experienced daily by migrant farm workers and their family members in Mexico. The Center for Farmworker Families is a 501(c3) nonprofit at The website is designed to provide updates on the status of binational farmworker families and provides ways in which those who are interested can become involved with the work of improving their life circumstances. September 10th has been designated by the County of Santa Cruz as Farmworker Family Day.

Dr. Anne Luna-Gordinier

Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University-Sacramento, specializes in Native American studies, law and policy, social movements, and social inequality. She believes education must be open to all, liberating and transformative. She integrates indigenous knowledge and service learning into the classroom to help students & the community envision a more egalitarian future.

Dr. Rosa Angélica Martínez

An Associate Professor in the Department of English at California State University, Sacramento, where she specializes and teaches courses in Early America to 1900 and Chicano/Latino/a Literature. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She also received her B.A. and M.A. in English at CSU Chico. During her final year at Berkeley, she joined the Literature Section at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a pre-doctoral fellowship and visiting scholar position. She remained at MIT for a postdoctoral fellowship before arriving at Sac State. Her work has been published in A Companion to Herman Melville, Journal of Lesbian Studies, and Journal of American Studies. She was named a finalist in the Boston Review Annual Poetry Prize for a poem, titled "Paradise Is Burning" (2019). Her current projects include a book manuscript focusing on the tradition of racial passing in American literature, titled Extravagant Passing, and a creative manuscript, titled the bittersweet of it all.

Ryan McMurray (he/him/his)

A master’s candidate in the Sociology department at Sacramento State, with concentrations in Sociology of Education and Political Sociology. As a member of CRISJ, Ryan hopes to bring his experience as an academic writer, editor, and researcher to bear on the issues facing both higher education and the Sacramento community.

Dr. Melissa McTernan

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Sacramento. She finished her PhD in 2017 at UC Davis with an emphasis in quantitative psychology. Her scholarly contributions include applications of statistical models to complex psychological and behavioral data. Her statistical expertise can be applied to a variety of areas, and she is particularly interested in expanding her substantive interests here at Sac State. Though she is new to the campus community, she has lived in Sacramento for five years and is well connected to the community. Dr. McTernan has been involved with many community organizations working in racial and social justice, including her work as a founding member of our local Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) chapter. She is also very committed to the campus community. She currently serves on the Transgender Taskforce and was part of a small group of people to start up a campus group for LGBTQIA+ staff and faculty on campus.

Dr. Sujatha Moni, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Women's & Gender Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

Dr. David Moore

Dr. David's passion for mathematics and science was discovered at an early age, propelling him to excel quickly through high school, graduating at the age of 14 and earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.) from Purdue University at 19. Upon graduation, he joined Motorola’s System and Space Technology Group in Scottsdale, Arizona, as a design engineer for imaging satellites and data encryption systems. While there, he also continued his education at Arizona State University, obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

After working at Motorola for several years, Dr. Moore set his sights on the home of high-tech innovation in Silicon Valley (Santa Clara) California. There, he had a successful career at numerous start-up semiconductor companies as a field and product marketing engineer. One of the startup companies where Dr. Moore worked, AANetcom, was acquired in March 2000 by PMC-Sierra for $890 million dollars. Unfortunately Dr. Moore, like many others, ignored his MBA and delayed pressing the “sell” button falsely believing in the “New Economy.” An expensive lesson indeed. After surviving the rise and fall of the dot-com era, Dr. Moore decided to change course and follow a calling to higher education. Dr. Moore returned to college to obtain a Ph.D. in Finance at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His first years as a professor at the University of Memphis were very rewarding. Dr. Moore crafted and practiced a simple philosophy of instruction: to help students achieve success in the classroom and in life by sharing his academic, professional, and personal experiences.

Dr. Moore now teaches and conducts research in the areas of investments, corporate finance, and financial institutions at California State University, Sacramento. In addition, Dr. Moore provides consulting services through his company Efficient Minds™. In addition to finance Dr. Moore enjoys the great outdoors and physical activities/sports. His hobbies include yoga, running, basketball, bicycling, motorcycling and traveling. During his travels, he has visited Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Taiwan, Hong Kong, England, Spain, and Thailand. While in Spain, he explored his daring side and joined in the time honored tradition of running with the bulls—twice. Luckily, he escaped unscathed. On a visit to Thailand, he tamed the semi-savage beast as he rode an elephant through rubber tree forests and laughed in the face of danger while kayaking during tropical storms.

Dr. Susan Nakaoka

An Assistant Professor with the Division of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento. She received her MA in Asian American Studies, Master of Social Welfare and Ph.D. in Urban Planning at UCLA. Dr. Nakaoka’s research focuses on the intersection of race and community development, critical race pedagogy and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Recent projects include a photovoice project in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, a qualitative study of the impact of a critical race theory curriculum on public child welfare workers, a case study of social enterprise in rural Hawai‘i and a case study of Asian American Community Development Corporations. Prior to coming to CSUS, she was a faculty member at the University of Hawaii and CSU Dominguez Hills and she spent over 12 years providing social services and program development for low-income residents across the country. As a Chicana/Japanese American, her mixed race identity and her family’s incarceration experience during World War II informs her teaching and scholarship.

Dr. Jennifer C. Noble

J.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento. Prior to joining the faculty at Sac State, she was a criminal defense attorney who practiced largely in federal court. Her research areas focus on white-collar crime and courts and sentencing. Prof. Noble is also a pre-law advisor and is the director of the Hearing Officer Program, which trains students to hear and decide appeals of parking citations for the city of Sacramento. Her textbook, White Collar and Financial Crimes: A Casebook of Fraudsters, Scam Artists, and Corporate Thieves was published in January 2021 by University of California Press.

Dr. Mark A. Ocegueda

Assistant Professor of U.S. and Mexican American history at California State University, Sacramento. Dr. Ocegueda’s research interests include Mexican American history, race, ethnicity, urban history, religion, leisure, and public history. Dr. Ocegueda’s manuscript in progress,Sol y Sombra: Mexicans in the Making of San Bernardino and the Inland Empire, 1880-1960, documents the city of San Bernardino's Mexican American people and their quest for civil rights. This study explores the social, cultural, and political dimensions of this community that was rooted in systems of labor and sites of community-building and posits inland Southern California and the city of San Bernardino as important spaces for furthering our understanding of Mexican Americans, civil rights, race, and urban history.

Dr. Robert Stanley Oden

A professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Sacramento. Stan graduated from U.C. Davis in 1969 with a degree in Political Science. He also has a master’s degree in Community Environmental Management from U.S. International University (1974), and received his Ph.D. in sociology at U.C. Santa Cruz in 2000. Dr. Oden, a former Black Panther Party member in 1968, has been active in progressive community politics in the San Diego, Berkeley and Oakland, and Sacramento communities, working for over 45 years including work as an Assistant to the City Manager with the City of Berkeley. He has written several essays which were published including a chapter in Responses and Reflections on Hurricane Katrina, (2005), Pacific Press. He has also published two edited volumes, Rivers of Struggle and Resistance: A Social Political History of the Underrepresented in the U.S., 2011, 2017, and California Politics: Shifting Majorities, Emerging Minorities, 2011,2017 Cognella Publishers. His most recent book is a monograph, From Blacks to Brown and Beyond: The Struggle for Progressive Politics in Oakland, California, 1966-2011 (2012) with Cognella Publishers. He has a sequel to his Oakland book coming out in the Spring 2018. Stan has been president of the UC. Davis African and African American Alumni Association for over three years, and was the 1st Vice President before being elected as president.

Tyrone Ralph

A graduate student in the Department of Sociology at California State University, Sacramento. His research is focused around a social theory of human rights as it relates to issues of race, class, and gender. He received his undergraduate degree in Sociology from California State University, Sacramento in 2015, and presented at the California Sociological Association Northern Regional Conference on W.E.B. Dubois’s theory of Double Consciousness. Tyrone also presented at the University of California, Davis Medical Center on the sustainability of community advocacy and partnerships. While he worked as an advocate with Sacramento Economic and Educational Development (S.E.E.D.), he helped community members to correspond with city agencies to address housing issues. Tyrone is an educator/writer with Sacramento Zulu Nation Indigenous Chapter, which has worked in partnership with other community organizations (such as Sacramento Charter High School) to help foster community service/leadership opportunities within the student body, school clubs, and organizations.

Dr. Elvia Ramirez

Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Sacramento. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California, Riverside, where she specialized in race and class inequality and gender studies. Her research interests include doctoral (Ph.D.) education, college choice, immigration, and Latinx education. Her research has been published in various journals, including Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Sociological Perspectives, Journal of Poverty, Journal of Latinos and Education, Equity & Excellence in Education, and Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. Dr. Ramirez served as the 2018-19 President of the California Sociological Association (CSA); she was the first Latina in CSA history to serve in this leadership position. She currently serves as Coordinator of the CRISJ Research Mentorship Program and as Chair of the CRISJ 'Building Justice' Podcast Committee.

Dr. Marla Andrea Ramírez

A social historian of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands who specializes in oral history, the Mexican repatriation program, social and legal histories of Mexican migrations, and gendered migration experiences. For the 2018-19 academic year, she is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard. She also holds an assistant professor position in the Department of Sociology and Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University. Professor Ramírez received her Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano studies with an emphasis on feminist studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2015) and previously held a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies (2015-16). Her current book project, “Contested Illegality: The Mexican Repatriation Program and Prolonged Consequences Across Three Generations,” examines the immigration policies of the Great Depression era, focusing on the experiences of Mexican repatriation and unconstitutional banishment of US-citizen children of Mexican descent that tore apart thousands of families across the US-Mexico border. She is the author of “The Making of Mexican Illegality: Immigration Exclusions Based on Race, Class Status, and Gender,” which appeared in New Political Science: AJournal of Politics & Culture in 2018. Her forthcoming article, “The Legacy of Mexican Repatriation: Negotiating Gender, Intimacy, and Family Formation in the Borderlands,” will appear in a special issue on “Gender and Intimacy Across the US-Mexico Borderlands” in Pacific Historical Review. Professor Ramírez’s research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, the San Francisco State University’s Development for Research and Creativity Grant, the Ford Foundation, and the University of California’s Fletcher Jones Fellowship.

Dr. Christopher Rogers

An Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Sacramento. Drawing from Critical Race Theory, Abolition, and Care, Chris' work explores mechanisms of power (racialized and gendered) to conceptualize new pathways toward liberation through medical health/intervention, education, and collective coalition (i.e., organization, mutual aid, etc.). At the heart of his reach and scholarly activities is the constant pursuit of challenging White supremacy, the patriarchy, and heteropatriarchy. His work broadly explores and challenges racial power in the education, carceral, and healthcare systems. Through an intersectional approach, he engages in scholarship that seeks to build newer worlds rooted in harm reduction. Lastly, Chris lives by the motto: "We do this until we are all healthy and free."

Dr. Brenda Romero

An Assistant Professor of Spanish at the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Sacramento State. She received an MA in Spanish and a PhD in Latin American Literature from the University of Utah. Her areas of expertise are Mexican Studies and the Colonial Period. Her research focuses on the exploration of marginalized voices in literature and the interpretation of hybrid texts, including the study of Nahua Codices. Besides teaching, Dr. Romero has extensive experience serving the Hispanic community. In 2016, she received the Inspiration Award from the Latino American Commission for her work mentoring Latinx students in the state of Nebraska.

Gina Salinas

A first-year graduate student at California State University-Sacramento and received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Davis with a major in sociology and minor in social and ethnic relations. She has focused her studies on the areas of gender, race, and class inequality. Her undergraduate writing included research on inequality within urban planning, the juvenile justice system, racial inequality in school discipline practices, social stratification systems in the U.S., and the effects of the militarization of U.S.-Mexico border. Her current focus of research is on racial identity and its development of social inequality as well as how immigration status and educational successes interact. Gina has been an active member of her community taking part in civic programs and research. She has worked with local schools in gaining grant funding for pre-school education programs, led in the development of academic recognition programs for minority youth, created mentoring programs for the female student populations at the middle-school level, co -chair of Smedberg Middle School’s site budgeting committee, and oversaw academic tutoring programs at the K-12 and Community College levels. She has assisted in research for the Sacramento Food Bank’s women and children outreach program through conducting interviews and collecting data on the progression of the women within the program. She also was active in rape crisis and suicide counseling programs as an organizer, fund raiser and certified counselor.

Dr. Heidy Sarabia

An Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, Sacramento. Her research focuses on globalization and migration processes such as global stratification, borders and borderlands, border violence, transnational social change, and immigrant adaptation and incorporation in the U.S. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania from 2014-16. Her work has been published in Sociological Forum, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Citizenship Studies, Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, American Behavioral Scientist, Latin American Perspectives, and Carta Economica Regional (a Mexican academic journal). She enjoys working with and mentoring students in academia and has co-authored pieces with students from University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and at Sac State.

Dr. Alexa Sardina

An Assistant Professor at California State University, Sacramento in the Division of Criminal Justice. Her scholarship focuses on how restorative processes can be used to address sexual harm. Dr. Sardina has written and presented on research that combines her scholarly expertise on sexual harm and restorative justice combined with and informed by her personal experience as a rape survivor. She believes that ‘survivor scholarship’ offers a critical perspective within the broader field of criminology. Dr. Sardina is a co-founder of Ampersands Restorative Justice and co-hosts the popular podcast Beyond Fear: The Sex Crimes Podcast.

Dr. Nitika Sharma

Dr. Nitika Sharma is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at California State University-Sacramento. She earned her doctorate in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her teaching and research interests include diaspora studies, sociology of race and gender, Asian American studies and refugee studies. She draws on decolonial and feminist theoretical frameworks and uses qualitative methods to study the social and behavioral processes of marginalized groups of people and the identity making that emerges out of these processes.

Dr. Nandini Singh

Assistant Professor of biological anthropology. She specializes in primate skull evolution and development. Her work is grounded in evolutionary theory that spans a variety of fields such as evolutionary anthropology, genetics and developmental biology. Her recent interests include exploring “sex roles” in human evolution, deconstructing notions of “race” as a biological category and advocating for bringing social justice into science.

Dr. Michelle Stevens

A Professor at CSU Sacramento in the Environmental Studies Department. Dr. Stevens is working internationally and locally with environmental and climate justice, specifically in the field of water and wetlands. She has worked with ecological and cultural restoration of wetlands and water systems for over 30 years in the academic, state, federal and private sectors. She works in both California and the Middle East on the contribution of traditional knowledge systems and western science to ecological restoration, fire management, biodiversity, cultural resiliency and climate justice. Dr. Stevens has co-authored several scientific papers and book chapters on community-based conservation and equitable water allocation in California and the Middle East. Current research trajectories include climate justice and environmental justice for indigenous and local people, especially Native Americans, in California, nationally and internationally. She sponsored a Water and Fire: Impacts of Climate Change Conference on the Sacramento State campus in 2016.

Dr. Christopher Towler

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Sacramento. His research and teaching interests broadly include American politics, race and ethnicity, and methodology. More specifically, his work examines ideological predispositions, alienation, political allegiance and support. Recent projects examine the dynamic relationship between progressive social movements and far-right movements reacting to great social change. He received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle, and holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado. A former McNair and Ralph Bunche scholar, Dr. Towler was also a McNair Graduate Fellow as well as a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral and Dissertation Fellow. His work has been published in Du Bois Review and Political Power and Social Theory. Dr. Towler has also taught jointly in the departments of American Cultural Studies and Political Science at Western Washington University, and he enjoys working with and mentoring students in academia.

Dr. Raghuraman Trichur

Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Sacramento. His teaching and research focus includes comparative political economy, state and class formation, and critical analysis of cultural change. His current research includes exploring the limits of liberalism and the reproduction of race and racism in the United States.

Dr. Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner

Professor Emerita for the Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), and Lincoln Professor Emerita of Higher Education and Ethics at Arizona State University (ASU). At CSUS, Turner served as interim dean for the College of Education. Prior to her appointment at ASU, she was Professor of Educational Policy & Administration at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where she co-founded the national Keeping our Faculties of Color Symposium. She is also past President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). Her research and teaching interests include access, equity and leadership in higher education, faculty gender and racial/ethnic diversity, organizational change, and the use of qualitative methods for policy research. Her numerous publications, including Faculty of Color in Academe: Bittersweet Success (with Myers, Jr.) and Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees, advance the dialogue on faculty gender and racial/ethnic diversity among scholars and practitioners. Dr. Turner has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, and the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. She is one of the founding editorial advisory board members for the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and for the Journal of Minority Achievement, Creativity, and Leadership. Her many recognitions include the University of California, Davis (UCD) School of Education Distinguished Alumna Award, the Yolo County Mexican American Concilio Pilar Andrade Award for community service, the ASU Chicano Latino Faculty Staff Association Manuel Servin Faculty Award, Sacramento State’s University-Wide Faculty Award for Research and Creative Activity, the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Ethnic Participation Mildred Garcia Senior Scholar Award, and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Scholars of Color in Education Career Contribution Award. Dr. Turner serves on the UCD School of Education Dean’s Board of Advisors and was selected to give the 2018 School of Education graduation keynote address. (See: Turner received her undergraduate degree in History and her master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Davis. She received her Ph.D. in Administration and Policy Analysis from the Stanford University School of Education.

Dr. Monicka Tutschka

Professor in the Department of Politcal Science at Sacramento State. As a political theorist, her research focuses on the intersection of religion and politics in the early-modern political thought of Thomas Hobbes, the Levellers and their contemporaries. Her interests also focus on conceptions of liberty, equality and justice. She has published articles on the politics of honoring in royalists work, Leveller radicalism in the early modern period, and Hobbes's political and religious allegiances. She is presently exploring Protestant Reformation theologian Martin Luther's critique of reason, and organized religion, as well as his conceptions of law, justice, mercy, grace, radical love and actions from faith.

Dr. Mercedes Valadez Ph.D.

An Assistant Professor in the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University at Sacramento (CSUS). Her research focuses on courts and sentencing, immigration and Latinos. Her current work examines the effects of race/ethnicity and citizenship/legal status on sentencing decisions. Her work has appeared in Sociological Quarterly.

Dr. Maria Elena Vargas

An Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Sacramento. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from University of Maryland-College Park. Her work focuses on transnational and decolonial approaches that challenge the impunity of racialized feminicides or hyper-sexualized racial violence towards indigenous women in Guatemala. Her areas of specialization include Central American studies, Women and Gender studies and Decolonial studies. Dr. Vargas has also taught in Latino studies and Women and Gender studies at San Francisco State University where she taught History of Latinos in the U.S., Gendered Borders: Latinas and Globalization, Women and Gender in U.S. History and Society, and Gender, Sexuality and Conquest classes.

Summer Ventis’s

work uses the printed surface to address internal and external landscapes and their intersections; the imprints we leave on each other and our surroundings and the imprints that our surroundings leave on us. She received a BA in Art from Grinnell College and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work has appeared in national and international exhibitions, and is held by collections including those of the Denver Art Museum and Proyecto ’ace in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a member of the Colorado-based collectives Hyperlink and ARTNAUTS and of Sacramento-based Axis Gallery and is Assistant Professor of Printmaking at California State University Sacramento.

Dr. Kristina Flores Victor

An Assistant Professor of Political Science at California State University, Sacramento. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. Her work focuses on American Politics, California Politics, Immigration, and Latinx Politics. Recent projects include changing perceptions of discrimination within Latinx communities, how voters use ethnic and policy cues to make decisions, how race and ethnicity impact support for redistributive social programs. Dr. Flores Victor also taught at the UC Center Sacramento where she taught California Politics and Policy, and Research Methods in the internship program. She is a first-generation scholar and former alumna of California State University, Sacramento.

Dr. Vajra M. Watson

A scholar activist, faculty director, and professor of educational leadership and racial justice in the College of Education at Sacramento State University, Sacramento. Watson has over twenty years of experience as a teacher, community organizer and researcher. She is the founder of Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS), an award-winning program that pairs community-based poet-mentor educators and teachers together to develop grassroots pedagogies that reclaim and reimagine schooling. She is the solo-author of two books, Learning to Liberate: Community-Based Solutions to the Crisis in Urban Education (2012) and Transformative Schooling: Towards Racial Equity in Education (2018), and has published dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Watson serves on a number of Board of Directors, including United Playaz in San Francisco (Board President), the Urban Education Justice Project, the National Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, The People’s Think Tank, Kingmakers of Oakland, Elite Public Schools in Vallejo, and Fathers and Families of San Joaquin in Stockton, CA.

Dr. Debra Welkley

She is a lecturer in the Sociology Department at California State University, Sacramento where she has been teaching for the past 22 years. She earned her Master of Arts in sociology at Baylor University and her Doctor of Education at the University of New England. During the past 30 years, she has taught online and face-to-face courses at five different colleges/universities. In addition to her career in academia, Dr. Welkley has held positions in the social services arena that ranged from Associate Director of a foster family agency to coordinator of a research/service project serving single mothers receiving welfare and their transition to career positions, as well as positions in group homes and family counseling. In addition to teaching, she continues to work with social service agencies and educational institutions in a consultative role. Her research interests include the power of vulnerability for faculty in higher education; anti-racism and race relations in society; student engagement through self-reflection; and the lived experience of mentor/mentee relationships. Her most recent articles appeared in the Chronicle of Coaching and Mentoring and the National Social Sciences Association Journal. Her most recent work is a co-authored textbook, Critical and Creative Thinking, Fourth Edition. To strengthen her teaching and provide a supportive course experience for students, she has completed many trainings to support her teaching as well as that of colleagues as they develop quality online and hybrid courses. In addition to teaching, critical thinking courses on a regular basis, she teaches Social Problems, Ethnic and Race Relations, as well as Peer Mentoring in Sociology.

Laura Zaragoza

A Sociology master graduate from California State University, Sacramento. She received her B.A from the same institution, after transferring from Solano Community College. As part of the Pathways Fellowship’s initial cohort, she conducted a research project that explores the experiences of undocumented students in higher education. During her time at Sacramento State University, she has been a research assistant and presented at conferences such as California Sociological Association, Pacific Sociological Association, and Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Socia (MALCS). Her own immigrant background motivates her research around immigration, stratification, social inequalities, race and education. She has also been active in community service and has volunteered at various organizations that do work around social justice and immigrant rights.