Board of Directors 2014-15
Rich Blint is Associate Director of the Office of Community Outreach and Education in the School of the Arts at Columbia University where he also curates the built environments exhibition series at the university’s Medical Center Campus. A scholar of African American literature and culture, Rich is co-editor (with Douglas Field) of a special issue of African American Review on James Baldwin forthcoming Winter 2013). He earned a Ph.D. in the Program in American Studies at New York University and has taught courses and guest lectured at New York University, Hunter College, and Vassar College. He currently serves on the the adjunct faculty for the Masters Program in African American Studies at Columbia.
andré m. carrington, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of African-American Literature at Drexel University. He is a scholar of black American culture, history, and politics and he writes on racial identity in popular culture with a particular focus on issues of gender, sexuality, and genre.
Roddrick Colvin is an associate professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), and an adjunct professor in the School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. He is also on the faculty of the Criminal Justice doctoral program at the Graduate Center. In addition to his research interest in malfeasance in the workplace, he is also interested in organizational behavior in police departments, and lesbian and gay civil rights. He currently teaches courses in organizational behavior, public administration, human resource management, and policy analysis. Prior to joining the faculty, he was the research director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Dr. Colvin has been active in many justice and social justice organizations. He is a founding member of the National Black Justice Coalition, and recently completed his term on the board of Brooklyn-based community kitchen, Neighbors Together.
Jessie Daniels is a Professor at Hunter College-City University of New York (CUNY) with appointments in Public Health, Sociology and Psychology at The Graduate Center. She holds a PhD in Sociology (University of Texas-Austin) and is the author of two books White Lies (Routledge, 1997) and Cyber Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), both dealing with race, gender/sexuality and various forms of media. She is the director of JustPublics@365, a project funded by the Ford Foundation that brings together scholars, journalists and activists around social justice issues. Among her many research interests, is a study that explores the use of mobile technology among LGBTQ youth. Her work about race, gender, sexuality and new media has appeared in the journals New Media & Society, American Journal of Public Health, Gender & Society and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Aside from her time as an academic, Daniels also worked in the Internet industry. Since 2007, she has maintained an academic-activist blog (RacismReview.com) with Joe Feagin and was recently named one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter,” by Forbes Magazine. You can find her there @JessieNYC.
Sean F Edgecomb is Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Performing and Creative Arts at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. His articles and have appeared in journals such as Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Popular Entertainment Studies and The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. His book on Charles Ludlam and queer legacy is forthcoming from the Triangulations Series at University of Michigan Press. He is also an active director, serving as most recently having presented Machinal at The University of Queensland, Australia in 2013.
Marta Elena Esquilin (Board Co-Chair) is a social justice educator, multicultural affairs administrator, community builder, and diversity consultant. In addition to her consulting work with the Posse Foundation and various colleges and universities around the United States, she is currently the Director of Intercultural and Social Justice Programs within the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Columbia University. She holds a degree in Higher Education Administration from Teachers college, Columbia University. Marta’s passion and current work focuses on creating opportunities for students to have difficult dialogues about issues of social inequity that create schisms between communities. She is particularly interested in raising awareness about how micro aggressions manifest to create hostile environments for marginalized identities within work and school settings. Most recently, she has been developing trainings, assessment tools, and educational opportunities to address the impacts of micro aggressions within educational settings. Through her work, she is most committed to creating spaces for healing and liberation for communities impacted by oppression, violence, and marginalization.
Lourdes Dolores Follins, Ph.D., LCSW is an Associate Professor at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York (CUNY). She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work from New York University in 2003. Before entering the academy, Lourdes Dolores worked with and on behalf of people of color as a social worker, a psychotherapist, and an organizational consultant for 15 years. She was a National Institute of Mental Health (2008-2012) Minority Research Fellow and used the fellowship to conduct research about the relationships between stigma, self-esteem, and decision-making in young Black and Latino gay men in New York City. Lourdes Dolores’ research and clinical interests are resilience in LGBT people of color; sexual and substance-using decision making in young gay men of color; lesbian and queer women’s sexual health; health disparities faced by LGBT people of color; and the experiences of historically underrepresented faculty at community colleges.
Jen Jack Gieseking is a cultural geographer and environmental psychologist whose work examines the everyday co-productions of space and identity that support or inhibit social, spatial, and economic justice in urban and digital environments, with a special focus on sexuality and gender. She is working on her first book, Queer New York: Constellating Geographies of Lesbians’ and Queer Women’s In/Justice in New York City, 1983-2008. Jack is New Media and Data Visualization Specialist, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital and Computational Studies Initiative at Bowdoin College. Her website is jgieseking.org.
Melinda Goodman is a poet who has been teaching at CUNY’s Hunter College since Audre Lorde recommended Melinda as her replacement. She has been an adjunct for 30 years. Here are some words that Melinda has written about her experience as a poet and teacher: “…I believe anybody can write who wants to. I find it interesting and encouraging that people want to express themselves. Often they are as scared as me and as bewildered and hurt and angry. Sometimes they have as much courage as I have or less or more. I like the group aspect of a workshop. Each workshop is as different as its members. I feel like we are all on that bus together for that journey. Each person is a universe and it’s amazing we can even communicate at all. Each person is precious. I find it to be a spiritual experience. I find out a lot about myself. My students come from everywhere. To me it’s amazing that we all ended up on this bus at the same time. Who would’ve thought that the little girl sitting at the counter in the sweltering heat of her parents’ Chinese take-out on 181st Street would grow up to write about taking breaks to step into the tundra of the walk-in freezer? We are privileged to get to hear what that little girl’s experience was like. I tell my students that they are writing the literature of their generation. I tell them to write about their neighborhoods and families while it’s fresh in their memories because everything is changing and they are the ones who were witnesses from the inside.”
Stephanie Hsu is an Assistant Professor in the English Department and in the Women’s & Gender Studies Department at Pace University. She is a founding member of Q-WAVE, a grassroots organization for queer women and trans/gender variant people of Asian/South Asian/Pacific Islander descent in the tri-state area. She received her doctorate in English at New York University in 2009 and has also taught at UC-Santa Barbara and CUNY-Hunter College. She teaches and has written articles on topics in the fields of Asian American Studies, Trans Studies, and Disability Studies. She is working on a book manuscript entitled Transgender Transnationalism: Immigrant Genders and Sexualities in 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature.
Dr. Karen Jaime is Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Cornell University. She earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University in May 2013. She is also an accomplished spoken word/performance artist. She served as the host/curator of the Friday Night Slam at the world-renowned Nuyorican Poets Cafe (2002-2005) and has also performed in such spaces as The Public Theater and The Town Hall in New York City. A published poet, she is featured in both: The Best of Panic! En Vivo From the East Village, and in Flicker and Flame: A Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry.
Bianca Laureano is an award-winning LatiNegra sexologist who has been in the US sexology field for over 15 years. Her background is in Black and Latinx sexualities, education, media justice, and youth culture. She resides in New York City where she provides education, consultation, training, and skillshares on various topics in the sexuality field. Bianca earned a BA in Women’s Health & Latino Communities from the University of Maryland, a MA in Human Sexuality Education from NYU, and a MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland. She is co-directing a feature-length documentary film titled BLACK PERVERT, about the intersections of Black and kink communities. She is a founding member of WOCSHN (Women of Color Sexual Health Network) and founder of The LatiNegr@s Project and LatinoSexuality.
Rick H. Lee is the Director of Global Programs and Relations at the Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers) at Rutgers University. Rick has spent close to two decades as part of the Rutgers community as a graduate student, teacher, and staff member. He completed his PhD in English in 2009 and has served as the Director of Alumni and Public Relations for the Department of English, the Coordinator of Asian American Studies Programming for the Department of American Studies, and the Associate Director of the Tyler Clementi Center. He has taught courses on AIDS literature and film, gay and lesbian literature, and Asian American cultural studies, and he has published articles in Literature and Medicine and torquere. His visual essay, “AIDS 2.0,” can be viewed on his website. Rick has been recognized for his work inside and outside the classroom at Rutgers: he received the 2014 Rutgers Human Dignity Award for his commitment in promoting the value and importance of diversity at Rutgers and in society, and the 2013 School of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education.
Lisa Merrill (Ph.D., New York University) is Professor of Rhetoric & Performance Studies, at Hofstra University. Prof. Merrill’s research and publications are in the fields of performance studies, American studies, critical race and cultural studies, theatre history, and women’s and gay and lesbian history in the United States and Britain. Professor Merrill’s critical study of 19th-century breeches performer Charlotte Cushman, When Romeo was a Woman: Charlotte Cushman and Her Circle of Female Spectators (University of Michigan Press), was awarded the 2000 Joe A. Callaway Prize for Best Book in Theatre or Drama by an American author and was the subject of a Folger Library podcast on cross dressing, titled “I will Assume Thy Part in Some Disguise” in 2014. In Britain, Professor Merrill has published in the Slavery and Abolition Journal and delivered invited lectures sponsored by the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, Liverpool, and the Institute for Black Atlantic Research, UCLAN. Professor Merrill was awarded the Eccles Centre Visiting Professorship in North American Studies at the British Library for her current book project: “Performing Race and Reading Antebellum American Bodies.”
Alexandra Moffett-Bateau holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and BA in Political Science and African American Studies from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice- City University of New York. Alexandra’s intellectual work focuses on race & politics, urban politics and political behavior, with broad specialties in American Politics and Political Theory.
Nomvuyo Nolutshungu is an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College, City University of New York in the Women and Gender Studies program. Currently a PhD candidate in political science at the CUNY Graduate Center, her interests include transitional justice, human rights, and transnational sexuality and gender studies. She has worked ininternational organization research and programming at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, and Security Council Report. She has been an instructor at Hunter, John Jay and Baruch Colleges of the City University of New York.
Tei Okamoto is the founder of two oral history projects (CurrentTides.org): The AIDS Epidemic and House Music: Twenty Years of Children of Color at Church, explores how the house music scene provided an alternative space of community and healing for queers of color in the midst of the devastation of the AIDS epidemic in the early to mid 1990s. Love and Affection: Growing Up in a Life and Time of HIV, which documents the life histories of those who have lost a parent or primary caregiver to AIDS. Tei is also the founder of p.i.s.s. :Public Intellectual SpaceS, which curates various political/intellectual/activist queer events. Recent panels include: Queer Gen(d)erations: How to Leave a Legacy in a Broke-Ass Economy; Remembering Marlon Riggs; and Neon Baby: Juan Extravaganza and Queer Latino Performance. In 2013, Tei joined the international art collective, HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Collective (howdoyousayyaminafrican.com).
Kara Tucina Olidge, PhD is a scholar and arts and educational administrator. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University and is the former Deputy Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Prior to joining the Schomburg, she served as the Director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute at its Newark, New Jersey site. Her scholarly work focuses on the intersection of art, critical cosmopolitanism, and community activism. She graduated from Spelman College in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a minor in Art History and received a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans in 2000. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at The State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo) in 2010 where she was awarded the Mark Diamond Research Grant for her doctoral work, Critical Cosmopolitanism and the Intellectual Work of Alain Locke. Olidge also served as a member of the Essex County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Advisory Board, the first county-level board of its kind in New Jersey, and the finance chair of the Newark-Essex Pride Coalition.
David Rivera (Board Co-Chair) is an Assistant Professor of psychology at William Paterson University. A counseling psychologist by training, he also practices in college counseling centers and consults with institutions on climate issues affecting marginalized groups. Dr. Rivera holds degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Wyoming. His research focuses on issues impacting the well-being of marginalized people, focusing on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. He is currently on the executive committee of the American Psychological Association’s Division 44 and is a consulting editor of the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.
María R. Scharrón-del Río, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and the Program Coordinator of the School Counseling Program in the Department of School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership (SPCL) at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY). A predoctoral Ford Foundation and American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) fellow, they received their Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, and completed their clinical internship at the Cambridge Hospital with the Harvard Medical School in Boston. After moving to New York City, they worked as an assistant child psychologist at the Washington Heights Family Health Center, a primary-care clinic that serves a predominantly Latino/a immigrant community. They are an active leader in GLARE (GLBTQ Advocacy in Research and Education) since joining the Brooklyn College faculty in 2006. They are committed to the development of multicultural competencies in counselors, psychologists, and educators using experiential and affective educational approaches. Their research, scholarship, and advocacy focus on ethnic and cultural minority psychology and education, including mental health disparities, multicultural competencies, intersectionality, LGBTQ issues, gender variance, spirituality, resiliency, and well-being.
C. Riley Snorton is an assistant professor at Cornell University. His research and teaching interests include rhetorical and cultural theory, queer diaspora, media anthropology, Africana studies, performance studies, and popular culture. He is the director of the short documentary Men at Work: Transitioning on the Job, and has published articles in the International Journal of Communication, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. He has also contributed to numerous edited volumes, including The Comedy of Dave Chappelle: Critical Essays, Homophiles, andTrans(gender) Migrations. Snorton’s book Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low is currently under contract with the University of Minnesota Press. He has received several fellowships, including an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral fellowship at Pomona College and the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation fellowship at Harvard University.
Andrew Spieldenner earned his Ph.D. in Communication & Culture from Howard University with an emphasis on health. Dr. Spieldenner has held positions at the NYC Department of Health, Black AIDS Institute, the Latino Commission on AIDS and the National Association of People with AIDS. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Rhetoric and Performance Studies at Hofstra University. Dr. Spieldenner is openly living with HIV and a long-time community advocate with twenty years serving high-risk populations including racial/ethnic minorities, gay men and people living with HIV/AIDS. His research focuses on HIV stigma and disclosure, intercultural communication, health communication, cultural studies and sexuality.
Kalle Westerling is a performance and theatre scholar, currently working on two dissertations, one for Stockholm University in Sweden on the formation of the Swedish brand of drag show. His other dissertation project, for The Graduate Center, CUNY, concerns male-identified bodies in 20th century New York City burlesque and boylesque. In 2006, he published La Dolce Vita, his first book on Swedish drag group After Dark. Currently, he co-directs the Scholars project for the The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC). He is on the board of Swedish Performance Studies-focused publishing house STUTS. His full CV is available at www.westerling.nu.
Michael Yarborough is an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Yarbrough’s research focuses on how law shapes people’s ideas about marriage and family, with a special focus on its consequences for hierarchies of race, class, gender, and sexuality. His current book manuscript explores these themes through comparative ethnographic research among two groups recently incorporated into South African marriage law: people living in communities governed by indigenous or “customary” law; and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. As the world’s only jurisdiction to have recently extended its marriage laws to multiple social groups, South Africa makes possible a novel comparison Yarbrough uses to re-theorize the institutional and cultural bases of contemporary marriages. His article on how these legal expansions came to be is forthcoming in Social Politics, and he has published other work in Qualitative Sociology Review and the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. In its dissertation form, his current project was awarded a Fulbright-Hays fellowship.