RaceB4Race Social Media Fellows

RaceB4Race aims to create opportunities for public engagement with premodern critical race studies, bringing broader attention to more complete and accurate narratives about the past and its modern uses. To do so, we must equip public intellectuals undergoing this work with skills and knowledge to protect their personal safety in digital spaces. 

Feminists and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have frequently been the targets of online harassment. As the political rhetoric and maneuvers have increased against critical race theory, doing antiracist work online in social media spaces may put RaceB4Race scholars in the crosshairs of online harassment. We believe that we need to equip our scholars with information, strategies, and structural support before they decide to do public antiracist work.

2023 fellowship program

The RaceB4Race Social Media Fellows program, directed by Dorothy Kim at Brandeis University, invites applications for the 2023 cohort. Fellows will participate in a series of digital safety workshops, will complete required readings, and will use the skills they learn to develop a strategy for digital safety to implement in their home institution. Fellows will receive a stipend of $4,500 at the completion of the program. 

How to apply

Please use the application platform to submit your CV and a 300 word description of the kind of antiracist public social media work you'd like to do. Applications for the 2024 cohort will open in the fall of 2023. 

Please feel free to contact Dorothy Kim (dorothykim@brandeis.edu) with any questions. 

Schedule of workshops

'Social Media and the Public Intellectual: Developing a Professional Social Media Practice, Part II' with Ra’il l’Nasah Kiam

January 30, 2023 -  3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Twitter can be an overwhelming platform for newer users, especially in our current landscape of social media-based misinformation and harassment campaigns. In spite of these challenges, Twitter still holds value as a useful place to connect with colleagues, students, and wider communities, to disseminate information relevant to your scholarship, and to even engage in public education. This workshop will introduce you to tools and practices that can help participants achieve their personal and professional social media goals, while mitigating the potential risks that come with creating a more active Twitter presence. 

Ra’il l’Nasah Kiam (they/them) is a North Carolina-based artist and independent researcher. They received their BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and their MA from the University of Mississippi. For the past decade, they have created and curated blogs dedicated to Black history, politics, and cultural production, including Antiblackness is a Theory and Cane Curate. In 2014, they and Shafiqah Hudson created the hashtag and counter-propaganda practice #YourSlipIsShowing, which has successfully challenged a number of online inauthentic amplification networks.

'Combatting the Far Right: In the Streets, Online and Around the World' with Jessie Daniels

February 10, 2023 - 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST

How did the US go from electing the first Black president in its history to an attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in just over a dozen years? More importantly, what can be done about the rise of the far right?  In this presentation, Jessie Daniels, PhD presents preliminary findings from Combatting the Far Right: In the Streets, Online and Around the World is a large, qualitative, mixed-method study that examines one of the most pressing issues today: the rise of the far right and what we can do to stop it. Working with a team of student-researchers, the project includes more than 150 in-depth interviews with grassroots activists, scholar-activists, and subject-area experts. More than simply a sociological diagnosis of the global rise of the far right, this project aims to map out the strategies, campaigns and policies that are most effective at resisting, containing and defeating this violent ideology and the way it circulates globally. 

Jessie Daniels, PhD is Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is an internationally recognized expert on internet manifestations of racism, and the author of several books, including White Lies (Routledge,1997) and Cyber Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), which examine white supremacist ideology on either side of the rise of the popular internet. Recent articles on this topic include, “The Algorithmic Rise of the Alt-Right,” (2018) and “Twitter and White Supremacy: A Love Story” (2017). She is at work on a new book that focuses on those combatting white supremacy in the streets, online and around the world. Her latest book, Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role In It, and How We Can Help Dismantle It (Seal Press, 2021), was listed as one of the Best Nonfiction Titles of 2021 by Kirkus Reviews.

'What are your legal rights and protections if you are subjected to online harassment?' with Katherine Hansen

March 10, 2023 | 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST

In this workshop, we will discuss the legal framework in the United States around cyber-harassment with a focus on attacks of academics by extremists, typically on the far right, designed to get people fired, removed from their program, or otherwise negatively impact their careers. We will also explore the obligations of institutions of higher education to support faculty who are subject to such online harassment. 

Katherine H. Hansen is an attorney at Gladstein, Reif & Meginniss, LLP. Her clients include private and public sector unions, university professors, and employees in a variety of industries. Ms. Hansen’s practice focuses on collective bargaining, advising union clients on a wide range of issues, and litigating on behalf of unions and employees in arbitration, state and federal court, and before administrative agencies. Ms. Hansen has successfully argued numerous cases in federal court, including in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. Hansen received her J.D. from Cornell Law School where she graduated magna cum laude. Prior to law school, she spent five years working as a union representative for the Service Employees International Union in California and Wisconsin. Ms. Hansen has also lived in Johannesburg, South Africa where she was an intern with Lawyers for Human Rights.

'Racism in the Ecology of Content Moderation' with Rae Jereza

April 14, 2023 - 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Shadow banning creators of color while leaving up racist content? How do we make sense of mainstream social media companies' practices around race and racism? Drawing on Dr. Rae Jereza's work on Facebook & Instagram content moderation, this workshop will focus on third-party content moderation companies to reveal the mundane, neoliberal labor practices that discipline content moderators into abiding by colorblind ideologies. While companies do make exceptions for "high-profile" users (e.g., celebrities and politicians), we will turn our attention to the ways that average users' posts are screened and processed. This workshop will thus highlight the ways in which social media's political economy constitutes a site of reproduction for racism to thrive, enabling supremacist movements to recruit from the so-called mainstream.

Rae Jereza is a research assistant professor and senior researcher at the Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab (PERIL) at American University. They research content moderation, the hate speech/free speech dichotomy, gun violence, and the far right.


"The Line in The Sand, the Speech for the Chair " with Sydette Harry

May 5, 2023 - Time TBA

Online space making for “non-digital “ specialties is a necessity, and tells important work about the nature of labor in creation--especially at moments of new creation, epistemologically, creatively, and in terms of labor. 

The fighter draws a line in the sand to declare their place and announce them as a fighter. It also changes the nature of engagement or the rule from one “boss” to the next.  In “ Into the Badlands,” a descendent of martial arts films and sci-fi and post-apocalyptic technology, the Showrunner, Latoya Morgan , also was instrumental in a cohort that mounted a labor action in #WGAstaffingboost. Fighting the practices of “packaging” and labor institutions,  C.S Lewis, in “De Descriptione Temporum,” looks at the possibilities and conundrums of defining medium within the confines of institutions. What are material moments of definition, and what extra work (fights) can they cause and magic can they create? How can that be applied to work you do (want to do) and what allies and interests can we bring together that are usually kept apart? Also watching things get punched!

Sydette Harry is a Far Rock/Guyanese researcher, writer and strategist concentrating on mass communications, informational health, and people centered technology. She is a Senior Civic Media Innovation Fellow with USC Annenberg and has spoken at the UN, Code for America, Google Newsgeist and Open News. Her work has appeared in Wired, The Rockaway Advocate, Salon, and more. She is the Manager of Communications, Content and Community at Mozilla Rally.