About Us

Lisa Brock | Senior Editor

Photo © Nicole Harrison

Lisa Brock (aka Doc Brock) is the Academic Director of the Arcus Center of Social Justice Leadership. Her articles on Africa and the African Diaspora have appeared in dozens of academic journals and as book chapters. Lisa is also on the editorial collective of the Radical History Review and the Board of the  Davis Putter Scholarship Fund. An activist all her life, Lisa has fought for girls’ rights and Black rights in her native Cincinnati, Ohio area and against police violence and judicial misconduct in Washington D.C. She became a leader in the anti-apartheid movement in Chicago and lived in Mozambique as a Fulbright Scholar where she successfully merged her academic interest with southern African Social Justice struggles. She worked to co-found the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection at Columbia College Chicago (CCC) and led the effort to endow an international travel scholarship at CCC. She also successfully developed study abroad programs in South Africa and Cuba. As an historian and activist, Lisa is an internationalist who views history as a way to enter contemporary discussions about race, class, gender, and global inequalities. Lisa attended Oberlin College and earned her B.A. from Howard University and her Ph.D. in African History from Northwestern University.


Alice Kim | Editor
Alice Kim is an educator, cultural organizer, activist, and writer. You can find her instigating, building, and conspiring. More specifically, she teaches and develops curriculum for the Gender and Women’s Studies program and Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A long-time death penalty and prison abolitionist, Alice is a founding member of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials project, a collective that documents the history of Chicago police torture through the arts and seeks justice for the survivors of police torture. She was previously the Director of The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council that creates spaces for public conversations about social, political and cultural issues. She also worked as the Program Director for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the Consortium Administrator for the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Alice received her B.A. from Northwestern University, M.A. from DePaul University, and most recently, her M.F.A. from Bennington College Writing Seminars. She is a humanist, an optimistic realist, and a pragmatic dreamer. But mostly, she’s a lover of wise words, radical imagination, the pursuit of social justice, and evocative art, books, and poetry.


Morgan Mahdavi | Managing Editor

Photo © Nicole Harrison

Morgan Mahdavi joined the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in 2015 as the Program Coordinator. Morgan is a Persian-Norweigan-American woman raised in rural Southern Vermont. She is a 2014 graduate of Kalamazoo College, where she earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology. While at K, Morgan participated in the Philadelphia study away program at the Philadelphia Center. There, she interned at Project HOME, whose mission is to empower individuals to break the cycle of homelessness through affordable housing, education, employment, and health care. In 2012, while studying abroad at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, she partnered with the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young women by providing free secondary education, artistic programming and athletic opportunities. At KGSA, Morgan taught a sexual education course and conducted an independent research project on the effects of such education in helping young Kenyan girls living in poverty stay in school. Pursuing her interest in youth health education, Morgan worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo in their SMART Girls program. The program provides health and life skills to young girls ages 6-16, and Morgan’s work focused on teen dating violence prevention programming. Morgan’s international interest in racial justice, equitable education and educational opportunities, anti-violence work, and positive youth development have lead her to ACSJL and she is thrilled to be a part of the team.


Regina Stevens-Truss | Contributing Editor for Science and Social Justice

Regina Stevens-Truss is an Associate Professor in the Chemistry department at Kalamazoo College. She is a Medicinal Biochemist interested in how proteins interact and how those interactions can be exploited in drug design. Her research team has been investigating the regulation of nitric oxide synthase and the role it plays in Alzheimer’s disease. The team has also been investigating the utility of a new series of antimicrobial peptides as potential agents in the fight against antibiotic resistance. The impact of education on the lives of people has been at the center of what Regina has been doing her entire career. In 2001, she founded a student group named Sisters in Science; a group whose mission is “mentoring women at all ages.”  The group was established as a way for women science faculty at K to mentor our women students, and for the students to then commit to mentoring young girls in our community (a Big-Sister/Little-Sister model). The group is still in existence today and strives daily to impact science education in Kalamazoo Public schools. Regina is also a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).  She serves on two standing committees of the ASBMB, the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) and the Educational and Professional Development (EPD) Committee and with support from the society and National Science Foundation, she has established a new initiative: Fostering Interactions between Colleges and Universities and K-12 Educators. Her personal interests include black and white photography, CSI, bowling, baseball, football, and being at home with her family.


William C. Anderson | Contributing Editor for Race, Class, and Immigration

Photo © Nicole Harrison

William C. Anderson is an activist and freelance writer. He is a regular contributor to TruthOut where he covers a wide range of issues. William has worked on national media campaigns in civil rights and labor utilizing new media as tool for organizing. His experience in traditional community organizing in the non-profit sector drew from his early grassroots efforts around immigrant’s rights, anti-racism, and economic justice. He received his Bachelors degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama Birmingham in 2012. William hopes to work towards sustainable change in today’s world that includes everyone.






Shayna Plaut | Contributing Editor for Human Rights

Photo © Nicole Harrison

Shayna Plaut is obsessed with how people represent themselves – especially people who do not fit in well with the traditional “nation-state” model. She has the unshakable (at times idealistic) belief that realities can be challenged and power changed by the pen, the brush and the lens.  Shayna has designed and taught courses on human rights and human rights reporting to journalists and future producers of culture in the United States and Canada since 2004.   Among other things, Shayna Plaut earned her PhD at the University of British Columbia focusing on the intersections of journalism, human rights and social change with people who identify with being transnational. Her academic work focuses on how Romani (Gypsy) and Saami (the Indigenous peoples in the Nordic Arctic) journalists teach their own how to be journalists – and what we can learn as we try and develop better reporting on human rights. Since 2000, Shayna served in a variety of leadership positions with Amnesty International and Amnesty USA including the Human Rights Education Coordinator for the Midwest Region of Amnesty International USA. She  received her MA from the University of Chicago and her BA from Antioch College. Shayna has two cats and refuses to color within the lines.


Michelle Lugalia-Hollon | Contributing Editor for Global Health

Michelle Lugalia-Hollon is a program officer at Polk Bros. Foundation.  She was previously a public health administrator at the Illinois Department of Public Health overseeing grants and leading initiatives that focused on the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV for the department’s HIV/AIDS section.  She graduated from the Harvard School of Public Health with a M.Sc. in Society, Human Development and Health in 2010 and with an AB in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago in 2007. She has lived in Chicago since 2003 and has worked for and with several non-profits focusing on sexual and youth violence prevention, trauma, youth development, education and public health.



Sojn Boothroyd | Contributing Editor for Genders & Sexualities

Photo © Nicole Harrison

Sojn Boothroyd is a queer, trans, gender non-conforming, white ally social justice activist, educator, and award-winning interdisciplinary artist. S/he is a published author, holds an Ed.M. (2010) in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is the Project Director for the 2015 Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice at the ACSJL. Sojn is a faculty member at Northeastern University and Western Michigan University, and the creator of an arts-integration project that takes an intersectional approach to addressing bias-based bullying and harassment in K-12 schools. Over the past twenty years, Sojn has worked with K-12 youth in 175+ schools and community centers across the U.S. and three arts education organizations that have received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House. S/he co-facilitates Trans* leadership and ally trainings, and collaborates with activists in Michigan on the Trans* Leadership Project. One of the goals of the project is to engage lawmakers in amending the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act so that it includes protections for LGBT people. This work is rooted in lifting up the voices of trans*, gender non-conforming, and genderqueer people to organize and educate legislators, community leaders, and the general public about the impact of statewide laws and organizational policies on trans* lives.


Dara Cooper | Contributing Editor for Environment, Food, and Sustainability

Photo © Nicole Harrison

Dara Cooper is an activist, organizer, indigenous priestess and whole food lover based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the director of the NYC Food and Fitness Partnership at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the first and one of the largest community development corporations in the country. The Partnership works to address food and health access issues, creating model places where communities of color have equitable access to healthy, safe, clean environments with an empowered community that determines and participates in an accessible, equitable, affordable food system for all residents. In November 2013, she travelled with a delegation to Cuba as a part of the first Black Permaculturalist Network and participated in the 2013 International Permaculture Conference. She believes in the power of people organizing, investing in self-determining, sustainable communities worldwide and is guided by the quote: “Imperialism is an international system of exploitation, and we, as revolutionaries, must be internationalists to defeat it.” – Assata Shakur


Stephanie Shonekan | Contributing Editor for Art, Music, and Pop Culture

Photo © Nicole Harrison

Dr. Stephanie Shonekan is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Black Studies at the University of Missouri. In addition to writing various articles on afrobeat, Fela Kuti, and American and Nigerian hip-hop, her book The Life of Camilla Williams, African American Classical Singer and Opera Diva was published in 2011. In 2008, Shonekan also wrote and produced a short live action film titled Lioness of Lisabi, which was awarded first prize at both the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and the Girls Inc. Film Festival. Her current research is an exploration of American race, identity and culture through the lens of soul and country music. Stephanie earned her B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from the University of Jos and the University of Ibadan, respectively, and her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University Bloomington. Her dual heritage combining West Africa with the West Indies allows her to straddle the black world comfortably.  All this is possible because of her deep faith and because of the enduring support of her husband and her three beautiful children.


Justin Danzy | Copy Editor

Photo © Nicole Harrison

Justin Danzy is a Student Fellow at the ACSJL. He is a Kalamazoo College senior majoring in English. Born and raised in Southfield, MI and now living in Kalamazoo, Justin is a lifelong Michigander who believes in the power of creative writing to help grasp the complexity of one’s identity and its real world implications in order to become more engaged and aware citizens. During his junior year, Justin studied away in New York City as a part of the New York Arts Program, where he worked with poet and playwright Dave Johnson and Free Verse Magazine, a publication that works with New York City’s probation facilities in order to elevate the voices of probationers through creative writing while breaking down barriers between the probationers, officers, and the community. He has also volunteered at a Kalamazoo parolee facility where he helped facilitate creative writing workshops. Justin is a member of K’s Black Student Organization, and he served on K’s student government before his time away. From this position, he worked to dismantle institutional racism and move towards becoming a more inclusive community.


Cassandra Solis | Copy Editor and Backpage Research Coordinator

Cassandra Solis is a Student Fellow at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. She is a Kalamazoo College senior majoring in English and Ethnic Studies and from Chicago, IL. She has been a member of M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) since her freshman year. It is imperative to her that she, as a Latina, is able to work with her community to achieve the resources they need, while also challenging her community to better themselves and their scope of understanding of other communities of color. She hopes to be of service to those discussing inequalities and issues of racial injustice as well as anti-blackness within the Kalamazoo community, her own community, and the campus of Kalamazoo College. She finds great value in language and the utilization of proper rhetoric to further social justice work in communities where the language of empowerment is most greatly needed.


Mireya Guzmán-Ortíz | Praxis Images Editor and Creative Assistant

Mireya Guzmán-Ortíz is a student fellow at the ACSJL. They are a junior from Salem, Oregon majoring in Critical Ethnic Studies, minoring in German, and completing a Media Studies concentration. Mireya has been a part of M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan) de Kzoo since their first year at Kalamazoo College and it has been a place of great growth and action. They are a member of Queer Trans Students of Color Coalition and are also on the Sexual, Safety, and Support Alliance team. Growing up, Mireya heard much about movements and injustices in the world and saw them first-hand as a Latinx in a predominantly white society. Since then, they have searched out ways to make change and amplify the voices of those who are most affected by inequalities. Mireya believes firmly in the power of stories and it is through video and written narratives that they have begun to put into action those beliefs and experiences that got instilled in them from a young age.