Maisha M. Auma is an Educator, Gender Studies Scholar, and Activist. She was Professor for Childhood and Difference (Diversity Studies) at the University for Applied Sciences, Magdeburg- Stendal, from 2008 - 2022. She was a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at the Humboldt University Berlin from 2014 to 2019. She held the Audre Lorde Guest Professorship for Intersectional Diversity Studies in the DiGENet, Diversity and Gender Equality Network of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) in 2021 and 2022. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies of the Technical University Berlin. Maisha has been active in the Black queer-feminist collective “Generation Adefra, Black Women in Germany” since 1993. Her research focuses on: diversity, inequality, and plurality in textbooks and didactical materials in East and West Germany, intersectional sexual education as empowerment for Black communities and communities of color, critical whiteness, intersectionality, decoloniality, and critical race theory. Together with Peggy Piesche and Katja Kinder she carried out a consultation process in cooperation with the LADS, the State Agency for Equal Treatment and Against Discrimination for the State of Berlin in 2018. The project was entitled: „Making Visible the Discrimination and Social Resilience of People of African Heritage in Berlin.“ It was a project within BLACK BERLIN, the UN-Decade for People of African Heritage 2015 - 2024.
Denise Bergold-Caldwell, Dr. (phil.) is a university assistant (post-doc) at the Center for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Innsbruck. She is a Gender and Black Studies Researcher and Aktivist. She received her PhD in Educational Sciences from Philipps-Universität Marburg and was the Executive Assistant at the Center for Gender Studies and Feminist Futures at Philipps-Universität Marburg until April 2022. She is interested in Black Studies, Black Feminist Theory, critical post- and decolonial theories, and educational theory(s) in these contexts. She lectures on these topics also outside the academic context and works with and in social movements. She is an aktive member of the Initiative Black People in Germany (ISD) and the Black queer feminist cultural forum ADEFRA.
Fatima El-Tayeb is Professor of Ethnicity, Race & Migration and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. Her research interests include Black Europe, comparative diaspora studies, queer of color critique, critical Muslim studies, decolonial theory, transnational feminisms, visual culture studies, race and technology, and critical European studies. She is the author of three books and numerous articles on the interactions of race, gender, sexuality, religion and nation. Here current research projects explore the intersecting legacies of colonialism, fascism, and socialism in Europe and the potential of (queer) people of color alliances in decolonizing the continent.
Katja Kinder is a Black educator and executive director of RAA Berlin. RAA Berlin is an independent organization working in the field of educational justice. The organization contributed significantly to developing the approach of diversity-oriented organizational development with a critical perspective on discrimination. RAA Berlin invests in empowerment structures for those who face structural discrimination. Katja Kinder is also co-founder of the Black queer feminist collective ADEFRA (Black Women* in Germany) and has been an active member for 36 years.
Peggy Piesche, born and raised in the GDR, is a Black literary and cultural scholar. At the Federal Agency for Civic Education, she heads the department "Political Education and Plural Democracy" at the new location in Gera with a focus on intersectional transformation and memory, the linking of diversity, intersectionality and decoloniality (d_id) and political education critical of racism. She has been a co-woman* at ADEFRA e.V. (Black Women in Germany) since 1990. Together with Maisha Auma and Katja Kinder, she has been part of the academic team Diversifying Matters, an expert group of Generation Adefra, which conducted the Berlin consultation process for the UN Decade for People of African Descent in 2018. She serves on numerous advisory boards, including the new Equality Monitoring Board on anti-Black Racism and Equality for People of African Descent as part of the UN Decade of the State of Berlin.
Jorge is a doctoral student in Religious Studies and African American Studies at Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. His scholarly interests include Black radical religious thought, Africana philosophies of religion, Black religious skepticisms, and political economy. His topical interests include the enmeshment of politics and spirituality in nineteenth & early twentieth-century African American religious history & Black public life alongside questions of race, class, and empire in the study of religion. Jorge graduated from Carleton College in 2020 where he completed a double major in History & Religion and a minor in Africana Studies. Jorge currently serve as Graduate Coordinator for the 2022-2023 cohort of RITM graduate fellows.
Roy Celaire is a 2nd year PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology at Yale. His research interests are broad, but include gender and sexuality, race and racism, the anthropology of Britain and Europe, the social body, education, space and place, identity, and anti-Blackness.
Elisa is a Ph.D. student in the French department at Yale with a certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Prior to joining Yale, they studied in Rennes and Saint-Denis (France) and worked as a translator in the humanities, arts and literature. Their current project as a graduate student worker at Yale explores concepts of collectives and community developed in contemporary francophone queer literature and their interactions with national narratives.
Isaac Jean-François is a doctoral candidate in the joint degree program with African-American Studies and American Studies. Jean-François’s research interests include Black studies, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and sound studies. His research on composer and performer Julius Eastman is featured in an issue of Current Musicology in an essay titled, “Julius Eastman: The Sonority of Blackness Otherwise” (July 2020).
Jean-François is committed to the intersection between academia and advocacy work and serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Stonewall Community Foundation based in New York City.
Jean-François earned his B.A. from Columbia University in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Cum Laude. He holds a Certificate of Study from the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Sam is a Ph.D. student in the French / African American Studies joint program at Yale University. His studies center on the circulation of Black literature in the "Black Atlantic". This will be his first time in Berlin - He is looking forward to learning more about the city and the communities that call it home!
Fatih's dissertation project examines the dialectical connections between racial formations and geography, specifically Black people’s lived experiences in contemporary urban Italy. In doing so, she assesses how processes of circulation and flow of the American concept of Blackness have been adapted and reproduced, alongside Italy’s genealogy of race. Linking the historical connotations of Africa to historical constructions of Blackness, this project provides a theoretical understanding of the multifaceted ways Africanity and Blackness shape social citizenship.
Leah Ndumi is a visiting scholar from Yale-NUS in Singapore where her undergraduate studies include Global Affairs and Computer Science. She is involved in building the digital archive of the project. Her undergraduate research so far has consisted of looking into socio-political and environmental factors influencing contemporary migration patterns and she is especially interested in the growing Black population of South East Asia. Other than that, she has a variety of projects that explore how data can be leveraged to increase civic engagement in cities.
Ouassima Laabich is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the Free University Berlin. Her research focuses on empowerment strategies in the context of Muslim Youth self organizations in Germany and against the background of hegemonic security discourses and anti-muslim racism. She studied Near and Middle Eastern Studies in her B.A. at the Philipps-University Marburg and at the University of Jordan in Amman. She received her Masters in Public Policy from the Hertie School Berlin and American University Beirut with a focus on civil society, racial/social justice and management.
In addition to her research on Muslim youth and empowerment, she leads the project Muslim Futures, focusing on critical futures thinking, digitalization, archiving and the arts from interdisciplinary approaches in Germany.
As a Visiting Researcher at Yale, she will be working on digital archiving, politics of empowerment and Critical Muslim Studies. Ouassima is a scholarship holder of the Avicenna Foundation in Germany and a fellow in the Digital Archival Fellowship at the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeniety and Transnational Migration.
Two articles on Muslim youth work and empowerment will be published in 2023 in anthologies.
Tim is an undergraduate student at Yale University pursuing a B.A. in Political Science with certificates in Chinese and Human Rights. He manages the InBEST website and works as research assistant to Prof. El-Tayeb.
Chernice is an undergraduate at Yale University pursuing a B. A in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Political Science. She is involved in curating the project's web archive. Her research interests include exploring the concept and historical background of the queer African population and the role of dark money in constructing political landscapes in the Western world.
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