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Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

ISGRJ Early Career Faculty Fellows

Cohort I, 2021–2022

Gaiutra Bahadur

Associate Professor of Arts, Culture, and Media, Rutgers–Newark

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

Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers–New Brunswick

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

Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers–Camden

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

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Rutgers–Newark

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

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, Rutgers–Newark

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

Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies, Rutgers–Newark

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

Assistant Professor of Political Science and Latino and Caribbean Studies, Rutgers–New Brunswick

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

Assistant Professor of English, Rutgers–New Brunswick

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

Associate Professor of Childhood Studies, Rutgers–Camden

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

Associate Professor of Music Education, Rutgers–New Brunswick

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

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Rutgers–New Brunswick

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

Assistant Professor of Latino and Caribbean Studies and Africana Studies, Rutgers–New Brunswick

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.