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.
Karla Aguilar | Managing Editor
Karla Aguilar is Program Coordinator for the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Because of the leadership she demonstrated as a youth advocate for equity in education in Los Angeles, she was awarded a Posse Scholarship to attend Kalamazoo College where she earned a B.A. in History. Determined to continue her work as an education advocate she joined Green Dot in the summer of 2011 as their Education Policy and Community Management Intern where she helped to implement the Wellness Center at one of the nations’ biggest turnaround schools, Alain Leor Locke High School. Karla also worked for the Intensive Support and Intervention office at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the United States. During her time with LAUSD she researched and presented her report on parent engagement and involvement strategies for charter schools to improve student performance.
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.
Jonathan Romero | Contributing Editor for Race, Class, and Immigration
Jonathan Romero is from South Central, Los Angeles where his first hand experiences with inequity in education and systemic oppressions led him to develop an interest in empowering underrepresented groups. His leadership in the Student Walkouts against HR 4437 in 2006, his commitment to youth, and his academic success earned him a Posse Leadership Scholarship to Kalamazoo College where he earned a B.A in Political Science and Philosophy. In the Summer of 2011 Jonathan was invited to the Capitol where he spoke alongside minority leader Nancy Pelosi about the negative impacts of education budget cuts, especially for students from urban public schools. The spring before Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (D.A.C.A) was executed, Jonathan dedicated his time to writing his undergraduate philosophy thesis, Deontological Argument Against The Deportations of Dreamers. His thesis offers an analysis of the term punishment and provides a deontological analysis of anti-immigration bills to argue that deportation is a disproportional punishment given that U.S. economic interests have created a system of oppression. He concludes that, as a result of anti-immigration policies, the dignity of unauthorized immigrants has been undermined and the confidence of Dreamers in exercising their basic civil rights diminished.
Shayna Plaut | Contributing Editor for Human Rights
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.
Dara Cooper | Contributing Editor for Environment, Food, and Sustainability
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
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.
Allison Kennedy | Images Editor
Allison Kennedy is a Student Fellow at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. She is a student at Kalamazoo College studying Creative Writing and Studio Art and a poet, recently published in Uncommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning and Living by Red Beard Press. She was previously the Civic Engagement Scholar for the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Creative Writing program at a Kalamazoo probation facility and an intern with Foreverfamily Inc., a non-porfit that works with children of incarcerated parents in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s excited to be connecting with artists engaged with social justice for the Praxis Center.
Jasmine An | Praxis Center Fellow
Jasmine An is a Student Fellow at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. She is a Kalamazoo College senior studying Anthropology & Sociology and English. Born and raised in the midwest, she has also lived in New York City and Chiang Mai, Thailand studying both poetry and urban development. Her poetry features in multiple journals and in Uncommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning and Living published by Red Beard Press in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In collaboration with Allison Kennedy, she is a Civic Engagement Scholar for the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative Creative Writing program at a local facility for probationers and parolees. She is excited to fully live, work and write in the city of Kalamazoo during her final year of undergrad.