ISGRJ Early Career Faculty Fellows
Chancellors, deans, and the ISGRJ executive director, in consultation with department chairs, nominate promising scholars working in the areas of social justice and racial inequality for a one-year fellowship at the institute. Fellows receive partial support toward a course release, $2,500 in research funds, and access to institute-funded events throughout Rutgers and benefit from mentoring and professional development.
Gaiutra Bahadur is a journalist and author whose research project examines side-by-side the histories and longings of slavery's and indenture's descendants in both the United States and the West Indies. It also juxtaposes the stories of Guyanese immigrants to the United States and African American exiles in Guyana in the late 20th century. She earned her M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and B.A. in English literature from Yale University.
Yesenia Barragan is a historian whose research examines the transnational history of race, slavery, and emancipation in Afro-Latin America and the African diaspora in the Americas. She earned her Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. She is a co-leader of the Slavery + Freedom Studies Working Group, an Interdisciplinary Seminar in Social Justice (ISSJ) at the institute.
Kendra Boyd is a historian whose research examines racialized wealth disparities, Black urban development, and African Americans’ activism for racial and economic justice. She earned her Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
Frank Edwards studies fatal police violence and how the politics of Black exploitation and Native elimination jointly structure the operation of U.S. social policy systems. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington.
Naomi Jackson is an author whose research examines coming-of-age novels, Black women’s fiction, and postcolonial literature from the Caribbean and Africa. She studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. She is a co-teacher of the Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat at the institute.
James Jones is a sociologist who studies race as concept and its structuring role in the U.S. Congress’s workforce. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University.
Yalidy Matos is a political scientist who studies whiteness as a political identity and race consciousness and Latinx identity. She earned her Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State University.
Imani Owens studies discourses of folk culture, literary form, and anti-imperialist poetics in Caribbean and African American texts during the interwar period. She earned her Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University.
Lauren Silver studies “abolitionist childhood,” working at the intersections of anthropology, childhood studies, and “theory in action.” She received her Ph.D. in education, culture, and society at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
Brandon Williams studies K–12 music education, choral music, and pedagogy in social justice. He received his D.M.A. in choral conducting from Michigan State University and his M.M.E. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Abigail Williams-Butler’s research is on the precipitators of racial disparities within the child welfare and juvenile justice system. She received her Ph.D. from the Joint Social Work and Psychology Program at the University of Michigan and her M.S.W. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Omaris Zamora studies transnational Black Dominican women’s narratives. She earned her Ph.D. in Iberian and Latin American literatures and cultures at the University of Texas, Austin.