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.

2022 fellowship program

The RaceB4Race Social Media Fellows program, directed by Dorothy Kim at Brandeis University, invites applications for the 2022 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. The application period for the 2022 cohort is now closed. We will be accepting applications for the 2023 cohort later this year. Join our mailing list to stay up to date.  

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

Schedule of workshops

'Practical Advice on What to Do When the Far Right Comes for You' with Jessie Daniels

April 21, 2022 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

In this workshop, Jessie Daniels will discuss her experience in dealing with far right extremists in 2017, while connecting those experiences to other, more recent instances of attacks. The workshop will connect these individual cases to the broader collective and global attack on scholars, and point to groups pushing back, like AAUP and Scholars at Risk. In the workshop, we will discuss and evaluate the strategies exemplified by such organizations. 

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.

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

May 6, 2022 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

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.

'The Aesthetics of the Far Right on YouTube and Instagram' with Julia R. DeCook

May 20, 2022 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

How do far right extremists use audiovisual platforms like Instagram and YouTube to spread propaganda and engage in recruitment? In this workshop, Dr. Julia R. DeCook will present her research on the online aesthetics of the far right and how online algorithms drive users toward more extreme content on YouTube and Instagram, and how far right creators bypass moderation using the affordances built into these audiovisual platforms. In addition, this workshop will examine how this ecosystem and the growing popularity of livestreaming present new challenges for moderation and what this means for academics who are at risk of being targeted by these groups. All of these things will be taken into consideration when considering best practices for fellows who wish to use YouTube, Instagram, or even TikTok for public scholarship.

Julia R. DeCook (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is an Assistant Professor of Advocacy and Social Change in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. Her research interests include platform governance, online hate groups, race and gender, digital culture, and social justice and technology.


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

May 26, 2022 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

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.

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

June 17, 2022 | 3:00 - 5:00 pm EDT

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.