UM welcomes the first postdoctoral fellows of the Anti-Racism Collaborative


The University of Michigan welcomes the first two postdoctoral fellows as part of its new anti-racism collaboration.

Dominique Adams-Santos will work with Celeste Watkins-Hayes at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy as Associate Director of the new Center for Racial Justice.

The Laura-Ann Jacobs Fellowship is in partnership with the Stepping uP Against Racism and Xenophobia project, co-directed by Deborah Rivas-Drake, professor of education and psychology, and Enrique Neblett, professor of public health.

Housed at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, the Anti-Racism Collaborative is one of three components of Provost Susan M. Collins’ Anti-Racism Initiative. Its function is to strengthen research and scholarly engagement around anti-racism at UM, through mechanisms such as support for anti-racism-focused postdoctoral fellowships, faculty and student research grants, seminars and symposia and interdisciplinary university collaborations.

“The collaboration was created to build on and elevate the work of existing anti-racism research and scholarship at UM, to support public engagement around this expertise, and to promote cross-disciplinary and cross-generational exchange” , said NCID Director Tabbye Chavous. “New postdoctoral fellows will benefit from both this shared sense of community and the goal of dismantling systemic racism, while being important contributors.

Adams-Santos is a qualitative researcher focusing on issues of race, sexuality, and intimacy in the digital age. Specifically, she uses urban and digital ethnographic methods to understand how individuals navigate the racial, gender, and sexual politics of digital and urban landscapes in their search for intimacy and community. As a queer woman of color, Adams-Santos is particularly invested in mapping the contours of placemaking among racialized and gendered sexual minorities, the subject of her dissertation project.

As Associate Director of CRJ, Adams-Santos will expand conversation and knowledge about the complex intersections of race and public policy, and create a vibrant and diverse community of leaders, scholars, and students engaged in the social justice work, with a focus on race equity and intersectional justice.

“As a Collaborative Against Racism Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Adams-Santos brings her deep sociological knowledge, intersectional feminist perspective, and passion for social justice to the table to cultivate relationships, opportunities, and initiatives at the Center. for racial justice,” said Watkins-Hayes, director of the center and academic professor of diversity and social transformation at the Ford School. “His expertise at the intersection of race, gender and sexuality provides an important perspective to the project of advancing racial justice in public policy.”

Jacobs bases her work on the qualities of creativity, compassion, and connection, and her research focuses on how people learn their identity, how they choose to share their stories, and how they leave their mark on the world. Her current work revolves around how people, individually and collectively, translate stated commitments to justice into actions for social change.

In partnership with the SPARX co-leads, Jacobs will develop, design and launch a public knowledge exchange center on racism and xenophobia in childhood and adolescence.

“Dr. Jacobs brings critical expertise as a former K-12 teacher and as a scholar studying how to prepare teachers to adopt anti-racist pedagogy as a liberating practice in education. His perspective interdisciplinary and creative is a tremendous asset to the SPARX effort and will drive us to develop innovative strategies to meet the needs of young people in schools and communities – to meet them where they are,” said Rivas-Drake.

The Anti-Racism Collaborative is currently inviting applications for a third postdoctoral fellow, in partnership with the Du Bois-Mandela-Rodney Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of African American and African Studies.


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