About the research team

Jeanne Theoharis and her many collaborators have sought to establish innovative means to make historical scholarship about race and injustice in America accessible to wider publics, informing the ways in which these publics participate in and understand policy debate from a historical perspective. 

As one aspect of this multi-faceted work, Theoharis and Alejandra Marchevsky convened a peer group of poverty scholars from around the country to mark the 20th anniversary of welfare reform and to unsettle narratives of its success. Theoharis and Marchevsky have published editorials in The Nation and The Root about the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. The group coauthored and is now disseminating a public syllabus on the destructive aftermath of welfare reform on poor communities:  #WelfareReformSyllabus

Theoharis, Say Burgin, and Jessica Murray worked together to launch the biography website, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, on the eve of Parks’ 100th birthday. The website focuses on Parks’ lifelong work as an activist before and after her historic bus stand. This educational website aims to recontextualize how young people access histories of black social movements. Toward this end, community partner Sadie Nash Leadership Project held a 6-week class on Rosa Parks in their summer leadership academy for high school young women of color. Theoharis, Burgin, and Murray employed the Rosa Parks biography site as a springboard for discussion on digital strategies for making substantive public histories of the civil rights movement more accessible to youth leaders, educators, and the general public.

As a result of these initiatives, the seminar is part of The Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research, founded this year by Melissa Harris-Perry and the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, that commits institutional resources toward research that impacts the lives of women and girls of color. 


Community Partners