American University experts are available for commentary and analysis on a variety of topics including systemic racism, police violence, social unrest, free press and attacks on journalists, allyship and white privilege, history of protests, politics and effect on Election 2020, presidential leadership during a time of crisis and more.
American University experts listed in this special guide can provide insight into a broad range of issues related to the 2020 elections including how the fight against systemic racism and events unfolding in the U.S. could impact the presidential race and outcome.
MICHAEL BADER, THE CONSEQUENCES OF URBAN CRISIS
Riots in the United States have transformed the urban landscape. The “second ghetto” hypothesis argues that urban renewal policies of 1940s to the 1960s created the structural conditions of inequality that would continue to plague cities for decades later. Bader's current research focuses on the influence that the 1960s riots had on patterns of neighborhood racial change in the post-Civil Rights era.
BRADLEY HARDY, THE EVOLUTION OF BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS SINCE KERNER
Hardy's research studies the evolution of African American neighborhoods since the Kerner Commission issued their groundbreaking report on the causes of the rioting and social unrest that marked the 1960s.
DEREK HYRA, ROOTS OF THE RIOTS
While we have experienced much stability in urban America since the 1960s, in 2014, 2015, and 2016 three major riots occurred in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; and Charlotte, North Carolina respectively. Hyra works on comprehensively understanding how other 21st century dynamics including public housing demolition, the gentrification of African American communities, and widening racial inequality, undergird modern political instability.
CATHY SCHNEIDER, WHEN DOES POLICE VIOLENCE CAUSE URBAN UNREST?
In the summer of 2014, police killed Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York. Both men were black and unarmed. Both their deaths sparked national outrage. And both cases were turned over to a grand jury whose members failed to indict. But while the first case provoked weeks of violent police–community confrontation, the second initiated constructive political action. Drawing on interviews with people close to both men, Schneider argues that the difference amounts to the presence or absence of rooted civic organizations whose members hold authorities accountable for racialized police aggression.
CYNTHIA MILLER-IDRISS, FAR RIGHT GROUPS AND PROTESTS
Miller-Idriss has testified before the U.S. Congress and frequently serves as a keynote speaker and expert panelist on trends in white supremacist extremism to global academic and policy communities as well as staff and representatives in U.S. and international government agencies and embassies. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six academic books, including Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right.
CAROLYN GALLAHER, FAR RIGHT GROUPS AND DOMESTIC MILITIAS
Carolyn Gallaher, professor in the School of International Service, can comment on issues related to right-wing extremists in the U.S., including domestic militias. She can also talk about the various ideologies and conspiracy theories that inform right-wing extremists.
TALISA CARTER, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND RACE/ETHNICITY
TaLisa Carter is an assistant professor at the School of Public Affairs. Her research focuses on understanding the interactions of deviance, social organizations and race. She previously worked as a Deputy Corrections Officer in Savannah, Georgia. She can comment on issues related to the criminal justice system and race/ethnicity.
ANGELA J. DAVIS, RACISM AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Angela J. Davis, professor of law at AU's Washington College of Law, is an expert in criminal law and procedure with a specific focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system.
JANICE IWAMA, POLICE AND RACISM
Janice Iwama is an assistant professor in AU’s School of Public Affairs. Her research focuses on examining local conditions and social processes that influence hate crimes, gun violence, racial profiling, and the victimization of immigrants. Iwama has served as a co-principal investigator and lead researcher in projects funded by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Unit and the National Institute of Justice.
KAREEM JORDAN, RACE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Kareem Jordan, associate professor and Director of Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Public Affairs, has written extensively about the role of race in criminal court sentencing and juvenile court outcomes. His research also focuses on perceptions of racial profiling in stores and airports, particularly when it comes to blacks and Latinos.
THOMAS ZEITSOFF, POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND EXPOSURE TO VIOLENCE
Thomas Zeitsoff, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs, is an expert on political violence, exposure to violence, and psychological effects of violence. He has written about what we know about ethnic riots and ethnic violence outside the U.S. and how this research can be applied in the U.S.
CYNTHIA E. JONES, EVIDENCE, CRIMINAL LAW, CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Washington College of Law Prof. Cynthia E. Jones is president of The Sentencing Project Board of Directors and chair of the Board of the Civil Rights Corps. She has written numerous articles and co-authored publications in the areas of criminal law, wrongful convictions, criminal discovery reform, cash bail reform, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and has produced two educational short films: “Fighting Evidence with Evidence,” and “Bail in America: The Color of Pretrial Justice.”
NEWS MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION
LEONARD STEINHORN, POLITICAL COMMUNICATION, CIVIL RIGHTS AND RACE RELATIONS
Steinhorn is a professor of communication. His expertise includes American politics, culture and media; the presidency and presidential elections; political strategy and communication; recent American history; the 1960s; race relations in America.
MARGOT SUSCA, PRESS FREEDOM AND PRESS ACCESS
Susca is a professorial lecturer in the School of Communication’s journalism division. Her expertise is in reporting and journalism ethics, children's media culture, mass media and society. Susca is available to discuss a broad range of issues related to press access and press freedom.
JOHN C. WATSON, FIRST AMENDMENT AND JOURNALISM LAW
Watson is an associate professor in the School of Communication’s journalism division. His expertise includes First Amendment theory, Journalism ethics, communication law, newsroom diversity, free speech, urban issues coverage, privacy, indecency and obscenity, censorship, press coverage of trials and the law, police sketches, and racial profiling.
SHERRI WILLIAMS, PORTRAYAL OF PROTESTORS AND MEDIA, GENDER AND POLICE BRUTALITY
Williams is an assistant professor in the School of Communication. Her expertise lies at the intersection of social media, social justice, mass media and how people of color use and are represented by these mediums. Williams can discuss the portrayal of protestors, news media's patterns of framing of protests and dissent with stigma in the United States, especially during Black liberation movements.
The following experts can discuss white privilege, dismantling systemic racism, allyship and antiracism: Amanda Taylor is assistant vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at American University, and an adjunct professorial lecturer in the School of International Service; Malini Ranganathan, associate professor, School of International Service; and Juliana Martinez, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences.