Washington, MO

Washington University welcomes the first round of race and ethnicity cluster hires

George Vandervalk


SAINT LOUIS, MO — Washington University has announced the first round of new faculty members from the race and ethnicity cluster hire initiative. George Floyd’s death has sparked the systemic racism discourse. As a response, Washington University initiated the interdisciplinary research program advancement regarding race and ethnicity issues.

The Cluster Hire Review Committee carried out the selection and recruitment process. Adrienne Davis, inaugural director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE²), and Geoff Ward, professor of African and African American studies in Arts & Sciences, acted as the committee leaders for the first round.

Here are the four new faculty members:

1. G’Ra Asim will bring the contemporary experience of Blackness perspective in the Department of English in Arts & Sciences. He writes “Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother” and worked as an assistant professor of nonfiction writing at Ithaca College.

2. Eric Corbett focuses on the algorithm and data-driven policies related to racial issues. He will work in the Brown School and the McKelvey School of Engineering.

3. Zakiya T. Luna worked as an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also writes “Reproductive Rights as Human Rights: Women of Color and the Fight for Reproductive Justice.” Her focus on Black women activists, social movements and human rights will help the Department of Sociology in Arts & Sciences to lead the discourse in race and ethnicity.

4. Daniel Scott Harawa works on the issue related to racial subordination in the criminal legal system at the School of Law. Harawa started as an assistant professor of practice. He currently acts as director of the Appellate Clinic.

Washington University is preparing for the second round. Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of women, gender and sexuality studies in Arts & Sciences, and Hedwig Lee, professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences and CRE² co-director, will continue the second round of race and ethnicity cluster hire initiative.

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