2023 - 2024 CRG Student Research Grantees

AY 2023 - 2024 CRG Student Research Grantees

Grid collage of photos of the academic year 2023 - 2024 CRG Student Grantees

AY 2023 - 2024 CRG Student Research Grantees


Department: Sociology

Project Title: Enlisting welcome? Troubling volunteer sponsorship as a solution to the US “border crisis”

An increasingly widespread response to the US government’s ongoing denial of asylum seekers’ rights involves what I call volunteer sponsorship. Volunteer sponsorship means making temporary exceptions to immigration policy that secure migrants’ admission to the country or release from detention by soliciting non-state actors’ resources for settlement. My dissertation analyzes volunteer sponsorship as a racial project, investigating two interrelated questions from the twentieth century to today: (1) What are the origins of volunteer sponsorship in the US? (2) How has the US state constructed different migrant and volunteer populations by providing opportunities for sponsorship? I draw on historical research in the archives of both the federal government and two agencies that have long organized volunteer sponsorship; and interviews with key informants who currently organize these programs for a range of racialized populations. I analyze how the racialization not just of migrants, but sponsors has shaped state logics of exclusion and incarceration. Center for Race and Gender funding supports a piece of this larger project, which interrogates why the state relied on sponsors to both free Cuban and Haitian migrants and justify their prolonged confinement on military bases on their arrival to Florida in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By revealing both the promises and pitfalls of volunteer sponsorship, I trouble the political common sense that it is the best or only solution to mass displacement’s harms.

TU MOUA CARROZ (Fall 2023)
Department:  Berkeley School of Education

Project Title:  Exploring the Risk and Resilience Factors for Women of Color as School Superintendents

This project will analyze and synthesize the similarities, differences and patterns across the lived experiences of the women of color who have broken through the glass ceiling and are currently serving as school superintendent. The female superintendents interviewed for this project represent three social categories: African American, Hispanic/Latina, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI). The superintendents' lived experiences will help to shed light on the following questions: (1) What are the career paths women of color take on their journey to superintendency? (2) How is a woman’s specific racial ethnic background reflected in challenges and opportunities for the superintendency? (3) What skills, strategies and supports have contributed to the success of women of color in the superintendency? Additionally, this project is inspired by the research of Rosette et. al (2016), which focuses on the intersection of race and gender and the effects of prescribed stereotypes on how a woman of color is impacted with regards to her agentic competency or deficiency, and whether they are agentically penalized for how they show up as leaders. By lifting these women of color superintendents' stories of strength, courage and resilience, research and practice will benefit greatly because of the implications on the policies and practices of school boards, search firms, and systems of leadership.

WILLIAM CARTER (Spring 2024)
Department:  Geography

Project Title:  Navigating Black Waters and White Fears: Whiteness, Masculinity, Non-Navigability and the Origins of Racialisation

My research project is concerned with understanding the conditions whereby Blackness became associated with danger, terror, and criminality. I am interested in the origins of this in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and in sequentially theorizing three spatial contexts: (1) the riverine environments of the west/central African interior, (2) the littoral and coastal areas of this region, and (3) the slave ship and the shark. I will examine the processes which developed an association between Blackness and danger using the themes of risk, fear, and domination. In making these connections, my project will show how the long shadow of these associations reproduces the condition of Black subjugation through incarceration. Thus I show how the terrorization of the enslaved became terrorizing to the enslavers, how for the enslavers the enslaved became Black, and how Black became dangerous and criminalized.

RENEE CLARK  (Fall 2023)
Department:  School of Public Health

Project Title:  Reimagining Postpartum Care for Black Birthing People in California:  Improving Models of Care & Policy Implications

Black birthing people are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death when compared to white birthing people. According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. has the highest rates of maternal mortality when compared to other high-income countries. Recent CDC data has shown a huge increase in 2021 to 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births from 23.8 in 2020, which is alarming. Further, Non-Hispanic Black rates increased from 37.3 to 69.9 per 100,000, which were all statistically significant findings. According to the Commonwealth Fund, about 31% of deaths happen during pregnancy, 17% during the time of delivery, and about 52% during the postpartum period. In addition, due to these rates, the federal government in 2022 enacted the (MPCE) Medicaid Postpartum Coverage Extension to provide insurance coverage to 1 year postpartum. This project directly aligns with this policy and allows Medicaid clients insurance coverage to 1 year postpartum. Even though this policy helps to extend insurance access to birthing people to 1 year postpartum, there is little information on what is needed from Black birthing people throughout this 1-year time. Given these gaps, more research is needed on the care and wellbeing needs of Black birthing people up to 1 year after delivery. This research focuses on improving postpartum care in California through investigating the existing models, exploring the needs of Black women and people and generating solutions to improve care delivery during the postpartum period to 1 year through human-centered, future thinking design approaches.

Department:  Environmental Science, Policy and Management

Project Title:  Anti-Racist and Decolonial Organizational Change Work in Agricultural Higher Education

I am conducting a mixed methods in-depth case study of the University of California, Berkeley, Rausser College of Natural Resources (CNR) to investigate how Historically White Land Grant Universities envision and enact—and inhibit—organizational change to improve anti-racist and decolonial outcomes in their agricultural education. With the CRG Research Grant I will analyze interview data from one of my dissertation sub-studies, “The 2020 Racial Justice Movement and Organizational Change Possibilities in CNR.” The highly visible murder of George Floyd and resulting national racial justice movement potentially created an opening for shifts in dominant ideologies ruling higher education. Many universities made public statements against racism, some specifically naming anti-Blackness for the first time. In addition to analysis of public discourse, the “2020 moment” provides an opportunity to examine how university actors make sense of a call for change, and what organizational features and processes mediate both the enactment and foreclosure of on-the-ground cultural and practical changes. In order to assess whether and how 2020 shifted engagement with anti-racism in CNR, I conducted two in-depth, semi-structured interviews—first in 2020, and again in 2022—with 44 agricultural scholars and administrators with a wide variety of identities, professional positions, values, and experiences.

EMMA GOH EN-YA (Fall 2023)
Department:  City and Regional Planning

Project Title:  Unearthing the Seeds of Queer Ecology in a Garden City

I am interested in how people involved in both queer and environmental movements engage with the idea of queer ecology in the context of Singapore. To unpack this topic, I pose the following questions – How do people involved in both movements understand queer ecology in relation to their subjectification? How do their conceptualizations of queer ecology extend into their strategies, goals and narratives that they employ within spaces of queer and environmental activism? In an attempt to evaluate the intentions of the people involved in these movements against their results, I also seek to explore how queer movements engage with ecological ideas and conversely, how environmental movements engage with ideas of gender and sexuality. On a broader level, I ask how these overlapping strands of queer and ecological ideas intersect with critical race, postcolonial, feminist and materialist approaches.

VALENCIA JAMES (Spring 2024)
Department:  Art Practice

Project Title:  Ceremonial

Ceremonial is an immersive installation that invites the viewer to stand in the center and to think of their bodies as ceremonial conduits of communication with their ancestors. The installation which combines sculpture and video, references maritime history and traditions as well as African diasporic spiritual rituals and community maypole plaiting traditions found in Barbados as well as diverse cultures around the world. Rooted in research into the Barbados Landship tradition, it weaves together themes of Black self-determination, Black gathering and joy, shipping and trade, to honor the legacies of innovative systems of care and resilience in the face of colonial violence. This installation is currently being created as the thesis capstone requirement for the MFA in Art Practice program and will be on view at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, May 1st-July 21st, 2024.

MAKAELA JONES (Spring 2024)
Department:  Graduate School of Education
Project Title:  Exploring Black Women’s Pedagogy: Spreading Care & Knowledge

In the U.S. K—12 public school context, Black children are subjected to fungible conditions for humanity, protection, and intelligence that manifests in psychic-political-psychosocial experience of being othered. To counter processes of dehumanization, Black women teachers have utilized radical, Black feminist praxis to support the self-actualization of Black youth. My project explores synergies that emphasize Black feminism and education as a liberatory method, which call for a shift away from traditional teacher professionalism and towards a decolonized, emotional praxis on teaching. Some of my research questions are (a) how do Black women teachers define and use politicized care; (b) in what ways do Black women teachers conceptualize their teaching practices and positionality as ways of enacting freedom and resisting anti-Blackness; (c) how do Black women teachers reimagine teaching as a tool for building authentic and radical connections with BIPOC students?

Department:  Graduate School of Education

Project Title:  More Than a Sorting Machine: Ethnic Boundary Making In Schools In Mexico

My dissertation combines sociological theory, econometrics, natural language processing tools, and educational policy frameworks to examine how educational institutions shape social identities of ethnic minorities in Mexico and the extent to which these social identities, and their measurement, affect estimates of labour market integration. In three papers, I analyse how textbooks have depicted important historical figures and ethnic groups; the extent to which textbooks contribute to increase an individual's likelihood of self-identifying as indigenous; and the extent to which changes in social status lead to changes in self-reported ethnic identification.

ELAINE (HUA) LUO (Fall 2023)
Department:  Graduate School of Education

Project Title:  Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Chinese American Adolescents’ Ethnic-Racial Identity: Latent Profile Analyses and Associations with Adjustment

Drawing from García Coll et al.’s (1996) integrative model and the intersectionality perspective (Crenshaw, 1991), this project aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Chinese American adolescents’ gender-specific ethnic-racial identity (ERI) and its associations with indicators of adjustment in the context of racial discrimination and adversity. Findings of this study shed light on the synergic connections between ethnicity/race and gender in shaping Chinese American adolescents’ positionality, attitudes, and beliefs toward their cultural heritage in a diverse society like the U.S. To fill the shortcomings of variable-centered approaches commonly adopted in extant ERI research, I use person-centered analyses to identify unique profiles of ERI attitudes in Chinese American participants and then explore gender differences of these ERI profiles. Lastly, I examine associations between profiles of ERI attitudes and adolescents’ academic, psychological, and social outcomes, followed by analyses on whether these associations vary across genders. In doing so, this work addresses the scarcity of ERI research focusing on Chinese American adolescents and provides insights into the complexities and implications of Chinese American adolescents' gender specific ERI attitudes. Findings also inform early identifications of Chinese American adolescents at risk for maladaptive adjustment and intervention efforts to promote positive youth development in this population.

MELISSA A. MCCALL (Spring 2024)
Jurisprudence and Social Policy

Project Title:  Nurture or Neglect: Race, Gender, and the Social Psychology of Misogyny

Laws that govern child neglect rely on subjective judgments about risk to a child. Where laws are ambiguous, people may be influenced by culturally embedded stereotypes about a parent’s intersecting social identities. For Black mothers who work outside the home, these stereotypes create a double bind, because Black mothers are simultaneously expected to work and care for their children. Using an experimental design, I examine how lay decision makers assess risk to an unattended child differently under a facially neutral statute, based on a parent’s race and gender, and decide whether or not to report the parent to Child Protective Services or to the police. This study should shed light on a psychological mechanism that helps to explain why Black families are more likely to be reported for abuse and neglect than White families, why their cases are more likely to be investigated, and why Black children are more likely to be removed from the home.

JIMENA PEREZ (Spring 2024)
Department:  Geography

Project Title:  Restorying the L.A. River

The L.A. River, known by the Tongva as paayme paxaayt, has intimately experienced Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo settler colonialism. Without her rich soil and waters – fueling centuries of empire-building and capital accumulation – the city of Los Angeles would not exist. Despite her sacred significance, the river is now confined within concrete walls, overshadowed by freeways and high-rise buildings, ruthlessly draining her power. Inextricably intertwined with the River, yet frequently overlooked, are the Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities residing alongside her banks, who similarly navigate the disabling effects of overpolicing, gentrification, industrial toxicity, and structural disinvestment. Drawing from critical disability studies, I theorize the L.A. River and surrounding communities as an ecology impaired by ongoing racial capitalism and settler colonialism. Instead of discarding paayme paxaayt, I aim to uncover her submerged narratives of survival, interdependence, and community formation. My research explores: what riverine socialities emerge from toxicity and damage? What can a disability analytic offer to understand the River’s life and unique ecology? What does the River teach us about livability, repair, and relationality? Amid ongoing disablement, I argue that racialized riverine communities persistently carve out opportunities for life-making. Their local practices foster ways of coexisting with our injured environments rather than sacrificing them. My project affirms that disability is more than an integral embodiment that environmental humanities and geography must account for; it is a creative force, wielding invaluable lessons for multispecies world-building on our wounded planet.

LAURA RAMIREZ (Spring 2024)
Department:  Jurisprudence and Social Policy

Project Title:  Navigating Abundance Through Cartography in the Transformation of Kuapā Pond

On the easternmost tip of O‘ahu lies the suburb of Hawai‘i Kai, conceived of and developed by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. One of Kaiser’s first initiatives in his development was to dredge Kuapā Pond and transform it into a marina. This project details the transformation of Kuapā Pond into the private Hawai‘i Kai Marina. Disputes over whether the marina could be owned privately eventually culminated in a Supreme Court case. By critically examining historical maps and incorporating mo‘olelo, this project will employ cartography to explore alternative spatial narratives, resisting singular settler-colonist perspectives. Key questions include the implications for land use, the ecological impact of development, and the role of cartography in countering narratives of “waste.”

JENNY REMPEL (Spring 2024)
Department:  Energy and Resources Group

Project Title:  Water-State-Society Linkages: Climate-Exacerbated Drought and Household Water Security

An empirically-rich understanding of the patterns and drivers of water trustworthiness is needed to inform adaptation decisions and investments in the context of climate-exacerbated droughts. Particular attention is needed to understand how experiences of privilege, marginality, and inequity shape water security, which refers to the lack of safe, reliable, sufficient, and affordable water for a thriving life. This project is a community-engaged, mixed-methods, cross-sectional study of household water security in California’s Central Valley that investigates whether and how piped water service following state-funded drought adaptation projects is associated with: household water security, tap water use, and political enfranchisement. At the intersection of public health and political ecology scholarship on climate and water justice, this research contributes to our understanding of how state-led climate adaptation investments in water infrastructure advance, complicate, and hinder efforts to realize the human right to water in a changing climate.

Department:  Political Science

Project Title:  Women in Transition: The Revolution Effect on Gender (In)Equality

My dissertation aims to evaluate why revolutionary elites promote women's full citizenship through legislation, access to exercising such citizenship, and an ideological commitment to gender equality across three dimensions: political rights, economic rights, and physical integrity rights. My central argument is that the level and type of women's incorporation into legal and political systems after revolutions depends on whether the system of oppression faced by women was vertically imposed (by the old regime) or horizontally imposed (by the revolutionaries themselves). If vertical, I hypothesize elites will incorporate women via ideological appeals to liberation. If horizontal, merely pragmatic symbolic representation will occur. I plan to test this theory through a comparative historical analysis of four social revolutions, with a focus on the Cuban case. My research methodology involves process tracing using archival records, interviews with revolutionaries, and text analysis of official archives and media publications. With the support of a CRG grant, I will conduct extensive fieldwork in Cuba to collect archival data on the evolution of gender policies and elite approaches to women's rights after the revolution.

JULIO SALAS (Spring 2024)
Department:  Sociology

Project Title:  Understanding how Latinx Immigrant Families experienced loss and grief during the COVID-19 Pandemic

While much mortality and public health data now reveal that Latinx families experienced disproportionate pandemic-related illness and death between Spring 2020 and Fall 2022 compared to other groups, much less is known about how these families navigated such sudden losses (Hooper et al. 2020; Tai et al. 2021). Such a gap in knowledge raises several empirical and policy-relevant questions about how families regroup—emotionally, financially, and culturally—after a sudden death in the family and how immigrants navigate the institutional structures related to loss, like hospitals, mortuaries, and insurance and public health agencies. My study will focus on the interplay between macro-forces and individual- and family-level experiences of grief and loss during the pandemic. Specifically, I'll interview Latinx immigrant families in New York City (NYC) to ask: How did Latinx immigrant families experience grief during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and how did social forces like low-wage market segmentation and pandemic-related state supports contribute to this grief? How did the broader backdrop of racial inequality shape the way that families navigated tragedy and learned to regroup?

Department:  Graduate School of Education

Project Title:  Critical Feminist Perspectives on LGBTQ+ Community College Presidents of Color

It is well documented that the U.S. college presidency lacks diversity -- the demographic profile of college leadership remains predominantly White (72.7%) and male (61%) (Melidona et al., 2023). Missing from the discourse is a thorough accounting of LGBTQ+ identities, leaving the field with a dearth of literature on queer college presidents. Nearly all available scholarship is in the form of doctoral dissertations (Bullard, 2013; Coons, 2001; Englert, 2018; Moore, 2017). Furthermore, the two published empirical studies on LGBTQ+ college presidents (Bullard, 2015; Leipold, 2014) also present limitations. They almost exclusively include participants who identify as White, able-bodied, lesbian/gay, middle-class, and cisgender. Driven by the urgent need, this research project offers an intersectional analysis of the U.S. college presidency, including the spectrum of LGBTQ+ identities for college presidents of color, exploring identity and systems of power through both domination and resistance. The primary research question asks: How do LGBTQ+ people of color characterize their ascension to the California Community College presidency? This study evokes a multiple-case design anchored in the conceptual frameworks of intersectionality (Anzaldúa & Moraga, 1981; Collective, 1981; Collins, 2002; Davis, 1983; hooks, 2000; Lorde, 2012; Smith, 1978) and queer theory (Puckett et al., 2021; Warner, 1991).

NATHAN SHUI (Spring 2024)
Department:  Architecture

Project Title:  Of Freedom and Discipline: Navigating Queer Precarity through the Production of Everyday Space in Postsocialist China

My research investigates the urban and architectural history of everyday queer spaces in postsocialist China, the period following its economic reform. Key to my inquiry is understanding how the Chinese state's ambivalent attitude towards sexual minorities has shaped the latter's strategy for queer space-making; that is, the grassroots coping mechanism they devise to navigate the grey area of permission and prohibition on a day-to-day basis. In turn, I endeavor to grasp the particular kinds of queer subjectivity emerging from sexual minorities' deeply spatialized urban experience and their nebulous relationship with the specific brand of heteronormativity in postsocialist China. Through this project, I intend to strengthen and multiply the links between Chinese studies and queer studies by making two contributions. On the one hand, I aim to offer a new way to study China's queer subculture and sociality through the microphysical topography of everyday life and its spatial fabric. On the other, I seek to tell stories that materialize them as people who love, hate, regret, dream, grieve, and hope—people who, in the face of insurmountable political and social obstacles, choose to exercise their agency in non-confrontational yet profoundly transformative ways.

Department:  School of Social Welfare

Project Title:  Mapping Wellbeing: Utilizing Testimonio and Body Maps to Explore Newcomer Latinx Immigrant Youth Wellbeing Through a Community Cultural Wealth Framework

Drawing from the extensive research on the resettlement experiences of newcomer Latinx immigrant youth in the United States, this study explores the individual, contextual, community, and structural factors that promote mental health and psychosocial well-being among newcomer Latinx immigrant youth (ages 18 to 24). The study relies on asset-based qualitative methods, including testimonio and body map storytelling interviews with youth and semi-structured interviews with mental health professionals. A sophisticated analytic plan informed by Intersectionality, LatCrit, and Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth framework will be used to address the following questions: 1) What are the individual and community factors that promote mental health and well-being among newcomer Latinx immigrant youth? 2) How do the intersections of gender, race, legal status, and migration history shape their experiences with mental health and overall well-being? The study plans to build on a community-engaged partnership through the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and the Newcomer Wellness Initiative at Oakland Unified School District. By collaborating with a school program serving newcomer immigrant students, this study aims to facilitate a direct pathway for youth’s knowledge to inform recommendations for best practices, policies, and school and community programs that center youth’s mental health and well-being.


Department:  Sociology

Project Title: Understanding the Relationship Between Domestic Violence Organizations and Alternative High School Students

My research aims to better understand the relationship between domestic violence organizations and alternative high school students. How are domestic violence organizations in the Bay Area addressing the needs of alternative high school students? Current scholarship neglects examination of the relationship between these two institutions. Research shows that currently, the strongest community relationships alternative schools have are with law enforcement. Alternative high school students in California are experiencing rates of violence at twice the rate of their comprehensive high school peers. The research goals for this project include illuminating the relationships between domestic violence organizations and alternative schools, and the organization's knowledge of the specific needs of marginalized youth at higher risk of domestic violence. This research uses qualitative research methodology and semi-structured interviews to examine these relationships more deeply. This research hopes to provide recommendations on how to improve relationships between domestic violence organizations and alternative high school students to provide protective factors against violence.

Department:  Interdisciplinary Studies

Project Title:  Psychosocial Impacts of the UndocuScholars Pilot Peer-Mentorship Program

Undocumented youth and young adults in the United States face a myriad of psychosocial stressors that negatively impact their mental health, including increased risks for depression, anxiety, and self-harming behaviors. Past research has found that undocumented high school students reported negative mental health outcomes due to limited opportunities to study and work, fluctuating fears of deportation, family separation, xenophobia and discriminatory messages. The literature suggests relationships and support from peers dealing with similar challenges mitigates feelings of isolation, hopelessness and lack of control by fostering self-esteem, sense of purpose and belonging. However, individual encouragement and reassurance alone cannot address systemic barriers and do not provide enough help to persevere through stressors, emphasizing the importance of social capital in increasing access to resources and opportunities. This study examines the experiences of undocumented youth and young adults participating in a college access peer mentorship program. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with 14 participants of the UndocuScholars Program, a pilot initiative run by undocumented UC Berkeley students, and 15 undocumented young adults who are navigating higher education. This research seeks to assess the mental health impacts of peer mentoring on undocumented mentees and mentors, and the coping strategies they use to deal with undocumented status-related stressors.

Department:  Political Science, Ethnic Studies
Project Title:  What are the experiences of undocumented students throughout law school?

Drawing from the extensive research on the resettlement experiences of newcomer Latinx immigrant youth in the United States, this study explores the individual, contextual, community, and structural factors that promote mental health and psychosocial well-being among newcomer Latinx immigrant youth (ages 18 to 24). The study relies on asset-based qualitative methods, including testimonio and body map storytelling interviews with youth and semi-structured interviews with mental health professionals. A sophisticated analytic plan informed by Intersectionality, LatCrit, and Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth framework will be used to address the following questions: 1) What are the individual and community factors that promote mental health and well-being among newcomer Latinx immigrant youth? 2) How do the intersections of gender, race, legal status, and migration history shape their experiences with mental health and overall well-being? The study plans to build on a community-engaged partnership through the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and the Newcomer Wellness Initiative at Oakland Unified School District. By collaborating with a school program serving newcomer immigrant students, this study aims to facilitate a direct pathway for youth’s knowledge to inform recommendations for best practices, policies, and school and community programs that center youth’s mental health and well-being.

SAMANTHA CRUZ (Spring 2024)
Department:  Ethnic Studies

Project Title:  Mapping the San Diego Yaqui Native American Diaspora

Native to Sonora, México, Yaquis also have histories along the Rio Yaqui River and throughout the US-Mexico borderlands. Strategic efforts of erasure make Tucson, Arizona the only federally recognized Yaqui ancestral homelands in the US, although San Diego is also home to one of the largest Yaqui populations. Samantha’s project identifies the ways San Diego Yaquis experience and engage in diasporic placemaking currently and historically. This summer she will review archival documents, conduct interviews, and photograph urban transformations in San Diego. Samantha will then apply her data towards her senior thesis, the curation of a digital archive, and create a map tracing patterns within the San Diego diaspora. Samantha’s research contributes to Yaqui scholarship created by Yaqui scholars that exemplifies previously underrepresented US Yaqui diaspora communities.

NOEMI FRANCO (Fall 2023)
Department:  School of Public Health

Project Title:  Co-exposures to Environmental and Social Stressors Effects on Pregnant People in Richmond, CA

Both environmental and psychosocial stress, especially during pregnancy both individually and in combination, have been found to increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, increased gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and more. In addition, people of color and people living in low income communities are disproportionately affected by this issue, with air pollution and stressors affecting their health at much higher rates(Dzekem, 2023). This study will explore the relationship between being exposed to environmental pollutants and psychosocial stressors on pregnant people in a low income community, specifically Richmond, California. Through semi-structured interviews my objective is to understand disparities in health outcomes in Richmond’s low income population made up of mainly Black and Latino individuals and how their geographical location or socioeconomic environment can worsen pregnancy symptoms or cause underlying health conditions. This study hopes to answer the question of health disparities in Richmond for pregnant people living in an underserved and polluted community and examine the ways in which environmental stressors, specifically air pollution and psychosocial stressors such as poverty or hardships can impact the health of the pregnant person during pregnancy pre and postnatally.

ANNABELLE LAW (Spring 2024)
Department:  Geography

Project Title:  Cultivating Culture with Fire

How do we learn to live with fire? It is a complex, yet fundamentally simple question we need to ask ourselves and others. For many, memories of fire in California are shrouded with fear – apocalyptic smoky orange skies, unprecedented acres of forests burned down, and homes and lives lost. Although wildfire has become a common topic on the news and emerged as a higher priority for state and federal governments, the Western narrative and public understanding of fire are severely lacking in the ecological and cultural components of fire. Indigenous communities have been actively engaged in fire stewardship in what is now known as California long before colonization. Today, Indigenous communities continue to resist and survive generations of land dispossession and physical/cultural genocide through eco-cultural revitalization. Through this, I hope to walk through a pathway to understanding what fire means in California through centering the stories of how the North Fork Mono Tribe is revitalizing their cultural fire practices. Through conversations with knowledge holders and culture bearers, we are able to learn about the past, present, and future possibilities for Indigenous sovereignty and fire stewardship.

ANNA MA (Fall 2023)
Department:  Sociology

Project Title:  Gender Identity Development Among Nonbinary People of Color

Non-binary is an umbrella term that refers to gender identity groups that are not solely male or female, including individuals whose identity is in between male or female, neither male nor female, or both male and female. Existing research on non-binary gender identity development is scarce and draws almost exclusively on the experiences of white non-binary individuals. As such, very little is known about the gender identity development of non-binary people of color. To address this gap, my research will explore how individuals who identify as both non-binary and people of color develop their dual identities, with a specific focus on understanding how race impacts gender identity development and how racial and gender identity integration occurs. Drawing on data collected from in-depth, semi-structured interviews, this project will offer insight into the lived experiences of non-binary people of color and contribute to a more intersectional understanding of gender identity development.

SHAVAR MARTIN (Spring 2024)
Department: African American Studies
Project Title:  Radical Resonance

June Jordan (1936- 2002) was one of the most prolific poets of her lifetime and might be one of the greatest ever. Her work in multiple creative genres transcends the boundaries of race, gender, and justice. Jordan used words to enlighten humanity and change the world. This research project aims to create a digital archive timeline of a vast corpus of Jordan’s life, poetry, activism, playwrights, operas, and other writings, including a 3D print of her environmental justice design of the Skyrise for Harlem. A digital archive will be able to explore critical articles published and unpublish short stories, plays, operas, and new unseen novels surrounding social justice and human rights causes June Jordan championed through multimedia elements such as audio recordings of her readings, video interviews, and lectures and archival materials from her Poetry for the People course, images, and handwritten notes and drafts stored at Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library and the African American Studies Department. This work is important because Jordan's unyielding legacy allowed me to understand the larger context of the world and my place in it. However, this creative project will be different from other extant digital sources because my curation researching the inaccessible parts of Jordan corpus, for example, little-known libretti at Rice University and other playwrights and novels stored at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, will offer an immersive educational experience for audiences interested in her contributions to literature and global liberation.

SARAH OROZCO (Fall 2023)
Department:  Sociology

Project Title:  Resistance Across Virtual Borders : Transmedia Mobilization of Oaxacan Young Adults in the US and Mexico

My research project operates within the interdisciplinary field of Critical Latinx Indigeneities. This study investigates the transborder migration of Oaxaqueños to the United States in the 1990s, which gave rise to OaxaCalifornia. As a result of community organizing and activism, OaxaCalifornia now boasts a rich history of social mobility. This legacy has been transmitted across generations, with the 21st-century generation inheriting it through the lens of social media. The study will involve a media analysis of social media posts on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. Additionally, approximately 10 in-person and 5 Zoom interviews will be conducted to establish deeper connections, offering a platform for young adult Oaxacans to express their stories. The objective of this study is to explore how young Oaxacans utilize social media to connect across borders, examining their identity formation and their expression of political and cultural activism.

Department:  School of Social Welfare

Project Title:  Equity and Accountability: Equity and Accountability: Race, Culture and Termination of Parental Rights

Several bodies of research have reflected overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous children in all stages of the child welfare system though many disagree as to the cause of this disparities. Despite the volume of research regarding race and the child welfare system, few studies have been done on the causes of termination of parental rights, specifically identifying the reason that Black youth spend longer time in foster care and are less likely to reunify with their birth family. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the conversation regarding the experiences of parents who have gone through termination of parental rights and what, if any, policies or services, increase or decrease the likelihood of this occurrence. This research project seeks to utilize focus groups to obtain qualitative data regarding the experiences of birth parents who have had their parental rights terminated. This data will be reviewed using the trauma informed culturally responsive (TICR) theoretical framework approach in conjunction with Decolonial theory. I hypothesize that there are many resources that are meant to be part of permanency policy that is not equitably accessible to all demographics, leading to increased likelihood of parental rights termination. I also hypothesize that for permanency policies are not culturally responsive or trauma informed, especially for marginalized populations, also increasing the likelihood of termination of parental rights for particular groups.

Department:  Global Studies

Project Title:  The Intersection of "Second-Wave" Feminism and Eugenics in the Aftermath of Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence

Following the Liberation War, independence from Pakistan led to rape of 200,000 Bengali women by West Pakistani forces and local collaborators. In a mission to ‘purify’ the nation, and re-establish Bengali identity, the government decided to put an exception to the abortion ban Penal Code 1860. This allowed private and state-controlled American population control experts, eugenicists, and so-called “Second-Wave” elite White feminists to set up abortion clinics in Bangladesh. The US spent millions of dollars on abortion in Bangladesh during the neo-Malthusian era of “development” which believed that poor people shouldn’t reproduce, while women in the US had no such access. While most women did voluntary abortions especially right after the war, There is also evidence of large numbers of forced sterilization of Bengali women in the years following the war. While we know that American reproductive rights activists were rallying for access to this right from their governments, how did they feel about their government providing that to Bangladesh? Similarly, how did Bangladeshi women’s rights activists dealing with the aftermath of the 1971 war time rapes view American reproductive rights activists who came to Bangladesh? This research seeks to shed light on the relationship between the US feminist demand for reproductive rights in the early 1970s (in a pre-Roe v Wade US context) and the desire to “empower” women in the Global South, specifically post-1971 Bangladesh through population control policies.

Department:  School of Public Health

Project Title:  Improving Enrollment Rates for Newly Covered Undocumented Adults in California Healthcare Programs

Undocumented Californians make up the largest group of the state’s uninsured population. California, in particular, is one of the few states that are actively moving towards providing healthcare for all. They are the first state to provide state subsidized health insurance to undocumented immigrants. However, as California moves towards this positive direction, it raises questions about how efficiently the state will rebuild trust with communities to ensure that those in need of health insurance receive it. While previous healthcare expansion efforts have demonstrated success in reducing the rate of uninsured undocumented immigrants, the enrollment rates for eligible individuals have remained relatively low. In order to address this gap, my research will investigate current healthcare enrollment services in community health centers serving the undocumented adult population. This includes a thorough examination of their existing practices, identifying effective strategies, and pinpointing areas requiring improvement to increase enrollment rates among the newly covered undocumented population.

Department:  Art Practice

Project Title:  Archival Densities: Expanded Research and Art Proposal

The proposed research and artworks are a part of the ongoing installation series - "Archival Densities". This series aims to challenge colonial narratives and commodity fetishism within the Digital Archives of Hawai’i by presenting speculative Filipino protest photos, obscured travel destination postcard tropes, and reproduced Kaho'olawe Stop the Bombing t-shirts spanning the 20th century. These elements of resistance against US colonialism are concealed within the state archive, which instead engineers a docile visual narrative of Filipino immigrants, the land, and Native Hawaiian peoples. In negotiating this form of control through civil resistance for Hawaiian Sovereignty in the installation, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum also represents historical negotiations between Native Hawaiian cultural heritage and institutional histories. Focusing on photographic research at a site with contentious histories is pertinent to understanding contemporary issues of tourism and urbanization in Hawai'i. A selection of 50 photographs depicting tourists' activities and plantation societies throughout state histories will be transformed through screen printing techniques to metaphorically strain and question the colonial fantasies that govern them. The final artwork will compile these failed images into a large-scale tiled print.