Dr. Ana Carolina Antunes is originally from Rio de Janeiro Brazil, but she has lived in Salt Lake City, UT since 2006. She holds a PhD in Education from the Education, Culture &Society Department at the University of Utah and is an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in the Division of Gender Studies in the same institution. Dr. Antunes develops participatory projects with young people of refugee and immigrant backgrounds in afterschool settings and it is interested in how racialized and gendered readings of bodies mediates relationships in the educational system.
Kilo Zamora is known for his skills to increase peoples capacity for social change. With this ability, Zamora leads his classes with a focus on implementing their scholarship outside the classroom by applying community-engaged research and critical theories to decrease inequity gaps. Off-campus, Zamora is a national equity/inclusion consultant for cities, nonprofits, and education systems and has served with mayoral transition teams, the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission, and The Inclusion Center for Community and Justice. For his work off and on campus, Zamora has received multiple awards including the University of Utah’s faculty recognition award, School of Social Work’s Teacher of the Year, Pete Suazo Social Justice Award, Equality Utah Award, Utah Education Association Award, Utah Martin Luther King Award, Southern Utah University Humanitarian Award, and University of Utah’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Charles Sepulveda (Tongva and Acjachemen) is an Assistant Professor in Ethnic Studies. He is currently at work on his first book project tentatively titled, Indigenous Nations v. Junípero Serra: Resisting the Spanish Imaginary, which analyzes the development of what he has named the Spanish Imaginary, a play on Emma Perez’s “colonial imaginary” – the historiography produced through the traditional discipline of history silencing and ignoring people of color, women and sexuality. His recent publication, Our Sacred Waters: Theorizing Kuuyam as a Decolonial Possibility, Sepulveda analyzes the desecration of the Santa Ana River in southern California and critically traces the logics of domestication that impact both Native peoples and our environments.
Cindy Fierros is an Associate Professor-Lecturer in the Division of Gender Studies and Co-Director of the University of Utah Prison Education Project. Her focus in both roles is encouraging students to participate in the transformative pedagogical possibilities of the classroom. An avid runner, Cindy can often be found greeting the sun on the trails or roads of Salt Lake.
Darius Bost is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and co-editor of Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. His research focuses in the areas of black cultural studies; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; and medical humanities. Bost is the author of the award-winning book, Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance and the Politics of Violence (University of Chicago Press, 2019). Related research has been published or is forthcoming in Criticism, Frontiers, Journal of American History, Journal of West Indian Literature, Occasion, Palimpsest, Souls, The Black Scholar, and several edited collections. Bost’s current book project is an interdisciplinary study of queer photographic practices across the Anglophone black diaspora from the 1970s to the present.
Alborz is Assistant Professor-Lecturer of Ethnic Studies and the Instructional Coordinator of the Diversity Scholars program, a cohort program for underrepresented and first-generation college students. Alborz’ research interests center social movements in postrevolutionary Iran and their affinities with movements in the region and across the world. His current book project The Iranian Post/Revolutionary Condition argues that Iran’s feminist and worker-led movements find creative ways to grow within a complex terrain that includes a fractured neoliberal project among elites inside the country, state repression, and U.S. imperialism and sanctions. His work also explores the experiences of Iranian and other Southwest Asian and North African diasporas in the United States pre- and post-9/11. He has published on these issues in Jadaliyya, Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, and Dissident Voice.
Lezlie Frye is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies in the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. Her research concentrates on the cultural history of disability, race, and gender in the United States since the 1970s, with a particular emphasis on histories of state violence, citizenship, and social movements. Lezlie received her Ph.D. in 2016 from the American Studies Program, Department of Social at Cultural Analysis, at New York University and was the 2014-15 Predoctoral Research Fellow in the Fisher Center for Gender Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Domesticating Disability: Post-Civil Rights Racial Disenfranchisement and the Birth of the Disabled Citizen. Lezlie’s academic work is preceded by over a decade of popular education, activism, and organizing work that coheres around disability, racial, and economic justice.
In 2003, Dr. Smith was awarded the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to further develop his theoretical concept of Racial Battle Fatigue. Racial Battle Fatigue is an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that provides a clearer method for understanding the race-related experiences of People of Color. In general, Racial Battle Fatigue explains how the social environment (e.g., institutions, policies, practices, traditions, groups and individuals) perpetuates race-related stressors that adversely affect the health and academic achievement of Students of Color and the health, professional productivity, and retention among Faculty of Color. Professor Smith’s additional research interests are inter-ethnic relations, racial attitudes, racial identity & socialization, academic colonialism, affirmative action attitudes, and the impact of student diversity on university and college campuses.
Thomas Swensen is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah and was the 2017-2018 Katrin H. Lamon fellowship residential scholar at the School for Advanced Research, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Born and raised in the Kodiak Archipelago and an original shareholder in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement corporations Koniag, Inc., and Leisnoi, Inc., Swensen is enrolled in the federally recognized Tangirnaq native village – a.k.a. the Woody Island tribe – and serves the Alutiiq on the board of directors of the Koniag education foundation, an organization that promotes the educational goals and economy of the Koniag Alutiiq and their descendants. Swensen’s study focuses on Native American and Western Hemispheric history, law, art, and literature and has interest in punk and urban studies.
Karen A. Johnson is an Associate Professor of Education and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. She is the Interim Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Education, Culture & Society; and Corrdinator of African American Studies, a division in the Ethnic Studies Program. Her research interests are 19th century African American women educators, African American Intellectual history, historical and contemporary black educational issues, refugee education, urban education, gender education, black feminist theory, historical analysis and archival research. She is currently conducting archival research on Black women’s experiences during the U.S. Civil War. She is also working on a book project that examines the educational perspectives of Septima Poinsette Clark.