Coined by DataCenter, an Oakland-based community research organization, research justice “is a strategic framework that seeks to transform structural inequities in research. . . . When marginalized communities are recognized as experts, and reclaim, own, and wield all forms of knowledge and information,” then research justice is achieved.
Research Justice at the Intersections (RJI) is an interdisciplinary research group at Mills College that fosters social justice-oriented research and groundbreaking critical analysis. RJI encourages scholars to consider new forms of knowledge production that challenge traditional research hierarchies, mobilize the leadership of those directly affected by the investigated phenomena, and acknowledge and engage subaltern ways of knowing.
Growing out of the Mills College Ethnic Studies Department’s involvement in hosting the National Association for Ethnic Studies’ (NAES) conference “Research as Ceremony: Decolonizing Ethnic Studies” in 2014, RJI supports research that centers an intersectional analysis of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and nation, within a context of globalization and transnationality. Supported by the Provost’s Office, the RJI Fellows program is coordinated by a faculty steering committee and hosted by the Center for Teaching and Scholarship,
Sheila Lloyd, RJI Director, Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Affairs, and Professor of English
Brinda Mehta, Professor of French & Francophone Studies and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Kirsten Saxton, Professor of English
Dr. Natalee Kēhaulani Bauer (she/hers) is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar born in Honolulu and raised between/across Hawai’i and the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an assistant adjunct professor of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and director of Native Student Recruitment and Retention at Mills College.
Bauer taught in public schools for eight years after receiving her BA from Mills in 1997. She later returned to Mills to complete a master’s degree in English and American Literature in 2007. After again returning to public education in 2007, she shifted her scholarly focus from literature to social and cultural studies in education, beginning a doctoral program at UC Berkeley as a chancellor’s fellow from 2010–2015.
Her doctoral dissertation titled, “(En)gendering Whiteness: A Historical Analysis of White Womanhood, Colonial Anxieties, and ‘Tender Violence’ in US Schools,” uses a historical lens to analyze the trope of white female teachers (who constitute around 80 percent of the profession) as benevolent mothers/saviors in communities of color, finding its discursive roots in the early 19th-century missionary project and US imperial expansion.
Dr. Angela DosAlmas just completed a stint as a STEM education researcher for the NSF S-STEM Smart Energy Scholars Program with the Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) at Binghamton University in New York. Prior to joining the CLT, Dr. DosAlmas was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley, working to support both the integration of the Teaching for Robust Understanding (TRU) Framework and Japanese Lesson Study, and the use of TRU-Lesson Study as a form of instructional improvement adoptable for the US context. Broadly, Dr. DosAlmas’ work focuses on the teaching and learning needs of marginalized students and on making mathematics broadly accessible.
Dr. DosAlmas’ dissertation research used a post-structuralist perspective of identity and an amalgamation of critical race theories, women of color theories, and queer theories to: 1) interrogate grand narratives that serve to mark identities historically, socially, culturally, and politically to such a degree that certain identities are equated with intellectual and academic inferiority despite remarkable performance or significant accomplishments and, 2) investigate how these narratives impacted students’ relationships with mathematics.
Dr. DosAlmas has held lecturer/adjunct faculty positions at Mills College, Holy Names University, and UC Berkeley in both education and mathematics departments.
Dr. Clifford H. Lee is an associate professor and program director of the Single Subject Teacher Education Program at Mills College. He was a founding teacher of Life Academy in the Oakland Unified School District where he earned his National Board Certification in English Language Arts in 2007. His research centers on teaching and learning amongst urban youth of color at the intersections of critical pedagogy/literacy, computational thinking, multiliteracies, and ethnic studies.
He has also been highly vested in research at YR Media (formerly Youth Radio) in downtown Oakland, a Peabody Award-winning national network of young journalists and artists, where he has been engaged in inquiry on critical computational literacy since 2014. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, listening to reggae/dancehall, building community in Oakland, and traveling to new places with his family.
Dr. Mario Hernandez is an assistant professor in the Sociology Program at Mills. He completed his doctoral degree in sociology at The New School for Social Research in New York City and is an urban sociologist who specializes in the study of gentrification—a pressing issue for students and the sociological community today.
His research uses a critical analysis of race and class in order to situate the contemporary displacement of many communities of color in revitalizing neighborhoods within a larger context of race and class relations in American cities. His most recent research focuses on the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City.
Dr. Jimin Kim has actively researched and taught on issues of modern Korean history, especially the comfort women issue. She was the program director of the Asian Social Justice Program at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center, Queensborough Community College (a branch of City University of New York).
At the Asian Social Justice Program, while conducting research on the impact of the comfort women movement in the United States, she also has developed curriculum on comfort women for a special internship program for college students
She received her BA and MA in history from Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea) and PhD in Korean history from Columbia University. She specializes in modern Korean history and history of US-Korean-Japanese relations. She is currently conducting research on representations of Korea in American popular culture during WWII and the Korean War and postwar discourses on war crimes among Japan, Korea, and the United States.
Dr. Rigoberto Marquéz is lecturer and associate director of Academic Programs and Community Engaged Learning at Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. In this role, Dr. Marquéz is responsible for overseeing the mission and direction of the center’s family of undergraduate programs (Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies, Asian American Studies, Native American Studies, Jewish Studies, and Comparative Studies), their community engaged learning opportunities and undergraduate fellowship programs.
As a scholar-activist, Dr. Marquéz’s research and community work focuses on understanding the dynamic roles family and community can play in the lives of queer Latina/o(x) youth and the implications that has for theory, policy, practice, and action.
His teaching and research interests include critical theories of race and sexuality, queer youth of color, Latina/o youth, law and policy, social justice pedagogies, and community-based research methodologies. Currently, Dr. Marquéz is working on a book manuscript titled “Queer Latininidad in Education: Engagement at the Intersections” for Teachers College Press.
Dr. Suzanne Schmidt is a writer, professor, parent, and organizer who teaches in the School of Liberal Arts at Saint Mary's College of California.
She recently published an article in the Migration and Development journal titled, “Precarious Craft: a Feminist Commodity Chain Analysis” and has a forthcoming book chapter titled "Craft as a Pedagogy of Hope" in Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats. Her research interests include contemporary do-it-yourself crafting narratives and the role of crafting labors in domestic fiction, multi-ethnic US literature, and community organizing.
Connecting her research interests in domesticity and gendered and racialized labor to community organizing, she works as the education organizer in support of domestic worker rights with Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network. In addition, as education director for the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA), she consults on teaching and learning strategies for SJSA workshops and public programs. She taught drop-in sewing/ESL classes at Southwest Youth and Family Services in Seattle, Washington, while completing her MA and PhD at the University of Washington.
Dr. Dana E. Wright is an associate professor in the School of Education at Mills. Her research areas include curriculum theory and design, educational leadership, schooling in urban contexts, sociocultural theories of learning, and participatory action research with young people.
She has consistently had papers accepted to the innovative annual conference of the American Educational Research Association and has five peer-reviewed publications in highly distinguished journals in the field of education.
Her book, Active Learning: Social Justice Education and Participatory Action Research, presents an examination of innovative curricula and teaching strategies and discusses implications for school transformation, curriculum, and educational policy.
Dr. Jane H. Yamashiro is a sociologist whose comparative and transnational work on race and ethnicity, culture, globalization, migration, transnationalism, diaspora, and identity sits at the intersection of Asian American and Asian Studies. She has previously been based at the University of Southern California's Center for Japanese Religions and Culture and the University of California, Los Angeles' Asian American Studies Center.
She holds a BA from the University of California, San Diego and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa. Her book, Redefining Japaneseness: Japanese Americans in the Ancestral Homeland, examines how Japanese Americans who were raised in the United States negotiate new discourses and assumptions about what it means to be “Japanese” as they live in Japan.
Dr. Yamashiro's current research project looks at Okinawan identity construction on the US continent, a place where the dominant racial formation does not distinguish between "Okinawan" and "Japanese." She examines how histories of Japanese imperialism and US militarism in Okinawa shape not only experiences in Okinawa but also the gendered international migration of Okinawans to the United States. She also investigates the varying processes through which an Okinawan diaspora has been constructed as sometimes part of and sometimes distinct from a Japanese diaspora.
Starting September 27th, 2019, RJI Fellows will meet biweekly to share and comment on their ongoing work. Meetings will take place in Mills Hall 218 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, immediately followed by a writing session from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Several RJI Fellows will present their work at their Fall 2019 Symposium scheduled for Thursday, December 5 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm in Mills Hall Living Room. Light refreshments will be served at 11:30 am.
Sheila Lloyd, RJI Director
Office of the Provost
5000 MacArthur Blvd. MB #39
Oakland, CA 94613