On this page: Director | Faculty | Former Faculty | Graduate Programs Staff | Affiliate Staff | Students | Alumni

On this page you can learn more about our faculty, our program staff, our current student cohorts, and alumni of the Cultural Studies program. If you have questions about this program, please feel free to contact us for further information.


Ron Krabill

Faculty Director

Adjunct Professor: Communications, UW Seattle; Culture, Communication and Media Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Ph.D., Sociology & Historical Studies, New School for Social Research

Areas of expertise: Social Movements, Media, Postcolonial Studies, Southern Africa, Public Scholarship

Ron Krabill’s profile page


Explore profiles of our core and affiliate faculty members, including information on areas of expertise, pedagogy, courses taught, research/scholarship, and selected publications.

Christian Anderson

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Geography, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Areas of expertise: Cities and Urban Processes, Everyday Life, Inequality and Social Justice, Geography and Social Space, Ethnography

Christian Anderson’s profile page

Dan Berger


Ph.D., Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Areas of expertise: American Studies, Critical Race Theory, Social Movements, Prison Studies, Media and Cultural Studies

Dan Berger’s profile page

Lauren Berliner

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Communication, University of California, San Diego

Areas of expertise: Critical Pedagogy, Media Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Visual Studies, Digital Media Studies, Film and Media Production, Youth Media

Lauren Berliner’s profile page

Naomi Macalalad Bragin

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Performance Studies, UC Berkeley

Areas of expertise: Dance, Performance Studies, Critical Black Theory, Gender and Sexuality, Performance Ethnography, Community-Based Research, Popular Culture, New Media

Naomi Macalalad Bragin’s profile page

S. Charusheela


Ph.D., Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Areas of Expertise: Economic Subjectivity, Gender, Development, Identity, and Postcoloniality/Globalization

S. Charusheela’s profile page

Ching-In Chen

Assistant Professor

Ph.D, English (with concentration in Creative Writing; certificate in Women’s Studies), University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
M.F.A., Writing for the Performing Arts and Creative Writing, University of California, Riverside

Areas of expertise: Hybrid & Cross-Genre Writing, Documentary Poetics, Speculative Poetics, Community (Counter-)Memory, Public & Creative Scholarship, Critical Ethnic Studies, Queer and Trans Studies

Ching-In Chen’s profile page

Ben Gardner

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Geography, University of California, Berkeley

Areas of expertise: Global, Cultural and Environmental Politics, Africa, Development, Cultural Geography.

Ben Gardner’s profile page

Maryam Griffin

Assistant Professor

J.D. with Critical Race Studies Specialization, UCLA School of Law
Ph.D. Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

Areas of Expertise: human mobility/movement; settler colonialism and indigeneity; Palestine; social movements, people power, resistance; Critical Race Theory

Maryam Griffin’s profile page

Kristin Gustafson

Senior Lecturer

Ph.D. Communication, University of Washington

Areas of expertise: Media and Communication Studies; Journalism History; Ethnic/Activist/Community News Production; Media archiving practices

Kristin Gustafson’s profile page

Susan Harewood

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

Areas of expertise: Media and Communication Studies, Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Popular Music Studies.

Susan Harewood’s profile page

Jeanne Heuving


Ph.D., University of Washington, English

Areas of expertise: Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Cross Genre Writing.

Jeanne Heuving’s profile page

Kari Lerum

Associate Professor
Adjunct Professor: Women Studies, UW Seattle

Ph.D., Sociology, University of Washington

Areas of expertise: Gender, Sexuality, Organizations, Culture, Visual Studies.

Kari Lerum’s profile page

Jed Murr

Associate Teaching Professor

Ph.D., English, University of Washington

Areas of expertise: American Studies, Cultural Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Popular Visual, Literary, and Sonic Cultures, Violence and Social Movements.

Jed Murr’s profile page

Georgia Roberts


Ph.D., English, University of Washington

Areas of expertise: Global Hip Hop Culture, American and Comparative Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, Public Scholarship

Georgia Roberts’ profile page

Mira Shimabukuro

Teaching Professor

Ph.D., Composition and Rhetoric, University of Wisconsin Madison

Areas of expertise: Writing Studies; Cultural Rhetorics; Writing as Resistance; Politics of Language, Race and Identity; Literacy and Race; Japanese American Incarceration and Resistance; Critical, Liberatory, and Decolonizing pedagogies; Critical Education Studies

Mira Shimabukur’s profile page

Amoshaun Toft

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Communications, University of Washington

Areas of expertise: Discourse and Language, Media Studies, Technology and Society, Network Studies, Social Movements, Poverty and Homelessness

Amoshaun Toft’s profile page

Former Faculty

Miriam Bartha

Ph.D., English, Rutgers University

Areas of expertise: Humanities, Public Scholarship, Cultural Studies

Miriam Bartha’s profile page

Bruce Burgett

Ph.D., English, University of California, Berkeley

Areas of expertise: American Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender and Queer Studies, Critical Race Studies, Public Culture

Bruce Burgett’s profile page

Graduate Programs Staff

Learn about IAS Graduate Programs staff members. Feel free to contact us with any questions or to get more information about our graduate programs!

Crystal Galván

Graduate Programs Manager and Advisor

Crystal Galván brings five years of experience in supporting students from minoritized, low socio-economic, and first-generation backgrounds in higher education. She earned a dual degree from Washington State University; B.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies with a minor in Spanish and a B.A. in Sociology. Crystal earned her master’s from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in Latin American and Latinx Studies (LALS). For the community research internship, she created a public programming event in collaboration with the Latinx Cultural Center at UIC and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. This programming event explored the marginalization of the Afro-Mexican population in Mexico and the ways in which the game La Loteria has problematically constructed Mexican nationhood.

In her most recent role as a Coordinator for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Purdue University Northwest, she led the preparation of McNair Scholars for graduate education (i.e. summer research internship, graduate portfolio seminars, and scholarly workshops) and managed day-to-day operations.

She was born and raised in Omak, Washington, and is proud of her migrant/farmworker background. After living in Chicago for almost 4 years, she is eagerly awaiting to return back home to Washington. At the University of Washington Bothell, she looks forward to working with IAS graduate students, the IAS team, and the UW Bothell community. As a graduate advisor/manager her main priorities are graduate student success and access for future graduate students. In her free time, Crystal likes to go out dancing, listen to Bad Bunny & El Alfa, play with her cat Tomás, and spend time with her family!

Email Crystal

Eva Navarijo

Director, Academic Services & Advising

Eva Navarijo comes to IAS with more than 12 years direct experience advising first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented university students in academic, study abroad, and residence hall settings. She also brings significant experience with grant-funded program management and assessment. As the former director of the First Scholars program at Washington State University she has overseen programming, counseling, and advising for first-generation college students; led a living learning community for first-generation college students; and co-founded First-Generation Abroad, to increase access to study abroad and global leadership learning opportunities. She also trains faculty and staff on best practices for engaging and serving first-generation students.

As an undergraduate at Washington State University, Eva participated in TRIO Student Support Services and was selected to join the McNair Achievement Program. She graduated with an Honors BA in English, focused on Multicultural Literature and Pedagogy. She completed graduate studies at Saint Louis University in the American Studies program. Email Eva (Graduate Programs)

Affiliate Staff

Andreas Brockhaus

As Director of Learning Technologies at the University of Washington Bothell, Andreas provides support for the integration of technology in teaching and learning for faculty and staff in accordance with the University’s mission of using the best of educational technology. His goal is to promote and enhance student learning through the most efficient and effective use of instructional technology. He is also affiliate faculty in IAS.

Andreas has been at UW Bothell since 2002. Prior to UWB, he was at North Seattle Community College as the manager of their teaching and learning center and taught as an adjunct faculty member. He has a B.A. in English from Western Washington University and an M.A. in English from the University of Washington. Email Andreas

Kate Roche-Sudar, Research Librarian

Kate guides students through research and reference questions and assists with navigating the resources available through the UW Libraries. She works with students and faculty through integrated classroom instruction and on a one-to-one basis.

Kate has a B.A. in Literature and Dance from Marlboro College in Vermont, and a Master’s of Library and Information Sciences (MLIS) from the University of Washington. She is also a licensed cosmetologist and yoga teacher! Kate joined the Campus Library staff in 2021.

Email Kate


Our students come from unique backgrounds and have a wide variety of interests. Read more and connect with Student Ambassadors to learn about their experiences.

Graduate Student Representatives (GSR)

GSRs facilitate mechanisms and spaces by which students in the program can contribute to discussions about the program and degree. In this capacity they serve as a resource to other students and the program director.

2021 Cohort

Cynthia Anderson

Cynthia Anderson was born in Sheikhupura, Pakistan, orphaned at the age of two and adopted by a white American family and raised in Sequim, Washington. She is a first- generation graduate student. The personal is the political for her. Cynthia’s personal story has profoundly impacted her work as a community activist and advocate as well as in her undergraduate academic studies and later professional work in the Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) at the UW Seattle, where she is currently the Director of Learning Communities. She places a high value on storytelling and enjoys examining the theoretical work of negotiating differences and cultural issues through the medium of storytelling, while focusing on new ways to identify and creatively address the most critical needs in the emerging field of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Cynthia hopes to combine her work in interdisciplinary studies into a focused consideration of cultural identity formation. She has a keen interest in connecting theory and practice, and is looking forward to learning more about the history of cultural studies overall and how it plays out in society locally and globally. She is also interested in exploring methodologies, for example performance theory and literary and film studies.

In the short term, she hopes her work in MACS will help inform the way she helps undergraduate students think critically about institutional systems of power from which many prosper at the hands of others. Ultimately, her long-term goal is to prepare herself for a career in diversity, equity, and inclusion, so that she may work more effectively across communities and institutions.

Research Interests

Cultural identity formation; Institutional systems of power; Community intersections; Storytelling, Cultural Studies history; BIPOC activism; Mixed-race identity, Structural systems of power; The U.S. Criminal Justice system; School to prison pipeline; Transformative Justice

Academic Background

BA in Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) from the University of Washington, Seattle; Academic Advisory and Director of Learning Communities, CHID, University of Washington; Associate of Arts from Seattle Central College

Beza Ayele

Beza Ayele, born and raised in Seattle, Washington, is interested in the path to learning and unlearning socialized beliefs and attitudes. She acknowledges that when socially constructed concepts are seen as normal, treated as fact, and then used to police others in regards to their appearance, identity, or desires, it is violent. She understands that at the hands of the law and social constructs, marginalized people die every day. Beza recognized the arbitrariness of these laws and did not feel compelled to uphold the process that validates the death of Black people. Rather than partake in these laws, she criticizes and questions these actions rather than accepting them. Although Beza knows violent structures are normalized, she does not believe that it is the end result. While there is room for abolition, it creates space for reimagination in any sector. She states that amidst the pandemic people have realized that if major changes are needed, major changes can be done.

Beza enjoys working along with the arts while engaging with policies and initiatives. Becoming an educator is her ultimate goal, and she hopes the Cultural Studies MA program will strengthen her ability to push the boundaries of thought and practice while expanding education for Black students dealing with mental health.

Research Interests

Law as a racist social construct, Womanism, Education, Disability, Black mental health, Shame, Vulnerability, Misogynoir, Political Education, Structural Systems, Criminalization, Abolition, Reimagination, Literary Arts, Transformative Justice

Academic Background

BA in Law, Economics & Public Policy with a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies from the University of Washington Bothell

Darchelle D. Burnett

Darchelle Burnett(she/her/hers) is a Southern Californian raised in Corona, California. She graduated from California State University Monterey Bay in May 2021, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Anthropology and a minor in Peace Studies. Within her intersectionalities, she identifies as Black/African American and Native American (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) and is actively working towards reconnecting to her tribal history. During her undergraduate career, Darchelle has enjoyed various student leadership experiences that has introduced her to institutional politics, diversity and inclusion, and organizational frameworks, also allowing her to envision careers that involve fostering Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.

In research, community, and university involvements, Darchelle thrives the most when engaging in transformative dialogue with her peers and other scholars. And she believes that one of the beauties of storytelling is the power that also comes with it. In remembrance of her favorite poet please enjoy one of Darchelle’s favorite quotes:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Research Interests

African American Studies; Native American Studies; Intersectional Studies; Institutional Remodeling; Multiculturalism; Diversity and Inclusion; Organizational Studies

Academic Background

Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science-Anthropology; Minor in Peace Studies, California State University Monterey Bay

Özge Demirci-Richardson

I was born and raised in Zonguldak, Turkey and have been living in Washington state since 2016. My curiosity for different cultures, their rituals, practices, languages, family relations, etc. has evolved in the past few years. I have become interested in the systems within cultures and how these systems are formed and affect people as well as the environment. I currently work in higher education which provides me the opportunity to support students with diverse backgrounds. It is very rewarding to be able to advocate for and assist them in their educational career.

I enjoy travelling, biking, paddle boarding and spending time outdoors. To keep myself motivated and inspired, especially during pandemic, I have been following solution-based resources as it can be very discouraging to hear about only the negative news from mainstream media.

Research Interests: Food Culture, Linguistics/Accents, Consumerism, Sustainability, Gender Studies, Urbanization, Women in men-dominated sports

Academic Background: Bachelor of Arts in English Translation and Interpreting, Hacettepe Universitesi (Ankara, Turkey)

Hannah Mendro

Born and raised in Washington, Hannah has always been an avid reader, writer, and storytelling enthusiast. Her academic interests have followed suit, and her undergraduate studies at Quest University Canada followed the Question (self-designed major), “How does language shape story?” focusing on literary translation and reader response theory. Since her graduation in 2018, Hannah’s work in libraries has expanded her interests to include broader information systems, media, and dialogue. If she were to come up with a new Question today, it would be, “How do we read?” She is fascinated by the way literature, media, and information systems both shape and are shaped by cultural narratives, as well as the role story can play in creating community.

Research Interests

Media Studies, Information Studies, Literature, Reader Response Theory, Translation Studies, Storytelling

Academic Background

Bachelor of Arts & Sciences from Quest University Canada

Shannon Meyer

From her early life on a non-working farm in rural Ohio, Shannon (she/her) has used her tendency for anti-authoritarianism to push back against prescriptive cultural narratives. Shaped by her experiences with poverty, homelessness, intimate partner violence, Shannon discovered her voice in ethnographic writing.

Shannon uses her deep passion for disability justice to contextualize her work. Her research focuses on medical ableism & disability justice in the context of Western medical practice. From autonomy and decision making to bioethics and the functional violence of medical ableism, Shannon’s hope is to shine a bright light on how disabled, mentally ill and neurodiverse folks are perceived by society and treated by the medical community with the goal of interrupting and challenging current narratives which directly harm these groups.

In her free time, Shannon enjoys reading true crime, pickling all the vegetables, spending time with her polycule, listening to punk and metal and crafting.

Research Interests

Medical Anthropology, Disability Studies, Gender Studies, Eugenics, Medical Ableism, Bioethics, Reproductive Access, Ethnographic Research Methods, Accessibility, Mental Health, Neurodiversity, Equity, Western Medical Education Practices & Medical Ethics in Historical Contexts

Academic Background

BA, University of Washington, Seattle; AA, North Seattle College

Flor Reyes

As a first generation graduate, I have learned the value of education and its importance for the next generation. In high school, I was fortunate to be a member of the TRiO Upward Bound program (a college preparatory program), through this program I found a second family, creating a community of successful educators who influenced my leadership and educational path. This transformative experience developed my passion for student success and advocacy for first generation students. Since then I’ve dedicated most of my career mentoring students on academic, social, and college/career objectives. Along with education, I also have a deep passion for music. In college, I was motivated to share and educate others about my culture through my passion for music. Establishing a Mariachi club at Western Washington University in order to sustain, and promote an interest and awareness of Mariachi music within the university and the community at large.

Research Interests

Student Success and Advocacy, Education, Equity, & Society, Critical Race Theory, Ethnomusicology, Music Knowledge Production, Folklore

Academic Background

Bachelor of Arts in Ethnomusicology, Education, and Resistance, Western Washington University

2020 Cohort

Passia Abraham

Passia (she/they) is a PNW native born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. Passia graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2020 where her scholarship was focused on social justice, African American studies, and gender, women, and sexuality studies. As a Community Outreach Educator for Planned Parenthood, Passia’s true passion is centering the experiences of BIPOC youth in sexual health education. She sees the power of culturally responsive, sex-positive, and medically accurate sex education as a mechanism for liberation and social change. Passia is also deeply involved in her community as a community organizer and trauma informed yoga teacher.

Research Interests

African American Studies, Social Movements, Black Liberation, Queer of Color Critique, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, Critical Race Theory

Academic Background

Associate of Arts, Tacoma Community College; Bachelor of Arts, The Evergreen State College

Cat Huber

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Cat has been rooted in Washington state since beginning her undergraduate career at University of Puget Sound in Tacoma in 2013. An interest in media studies since she was a teen led her to learn more about and develop a passion for broad cultural studies during her time as a Communication Studies student.

Many experiences after graduating from Puget Sound in 2017, particularly her work as an AmeriCorps member, have reinforced her strong interest in public scholarship. She is excited to explore this interest further as a graduate student. Cat looks forward to learning more about how to effectively bridge the gaps between theory and praxis in her work during her time with the MA in Cultural Studies program.

In her free time, Cat likes to experiment with new vegan recipes, collect comix and zines, and look for new opportunities to learn and transform outside of academia.

Research Interests

(New) Media Studies; Critical Cultural Studies; Social Movements; Critical Pedagogy; American Studies; Critical Race Theory; Postcolonial Studies; Gender/Queer Studies

Academic Background

University of Puget Sound, BA in Communication Studies, Minor in Gender & Queer Studies

Yangzhaoming (Cecilia) Jiao

Yangzhaoming Jiao also goes by Cecilia. Cecilia was born and raised in Kunming, Yunnan, China. She came to study in America as an International student in 2016. Her parents are from different ethnic groups in China, her father is Yi, and her mother is Naxi. She has always been interested in the mutual influence and role of different cultures. She is also curious about the cultural identity of different people. She also believes that cultural studies can become a solution to many difficult social problems.

Research Interests

Education, Cultural Identities, Asian Culture, Media and Communication, Screenwriting, Intercultural Communication, Globalization

Academic Background

Media Communication Studies, University of Washington Bothell

Sandy Lam

Sandy (she/they) is a storyteller, writer, performer, and community organizer based out of Austin, Texas. Originally from Houston, Texas, she is the child of two immigrant parents. Sandy currently works as the Associate Director of Programs at a college access organization where she oversees a near-peer mentorship program that supports first generation students to and through their postsecondary journeys. She is also the founder of a budding creative arts organization that put on their first production So Lucky in March 2020. Sandy wrote, produced, and performed in the show.

In her community work as well as in her art, she likes to explore cultural identity, leadership development for students of color, community building, mental health + illness, increasing access for communities of color, and how society interacts with art.

Research Interests

Asian American Studies, Media Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Organizational Development, Writing, Theatre, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Academic Background

B.A. in English and B.A. Psychology, University of Texas at Austin

Maria Morales

Maria Morales was born and raised in the state of Texas. She joined the military right after high school years to become a combat medic in the U.S. Army. Through civilian life, she continued working as a certified Medical Assistant until she decided to continue her path for higher education. In 2015, she graduated with her BA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Global Studies and a Minor in Human Rights through the University of Washington, Bothell Campus. Her interests remain in Emergency Medicine, but knows the importance of cultural education where she can advocate and become an source of agency for marginalized populations.

Research Interests

Impact of women roles in medicine and culture throughout history

Academic Background

Medical Assistant Certificate and BA, Interdisciplinary Arts and Global Studies, (Minor in Human Rights), University of Washington Bothell

Sam Prudente

Sam (He/They) grew up in Guam, the Philippines & Papua New Guinea. He currently works full-time supporting the hospitality industry online.

Previous experience in performance, advertising, PR & marketing communications helps him create compelling narratives to liberate & transform oppressed cultures into cultures of agency. He is interested in exploring Critical Race/Cultural Studies; Environmental Justice & Social Change.

Their 2 fellowships for Poetry were for writing in 2 different languages – not English. They continue to be published; they also write screenplays, produce plays & films because the languages we speak transform within multiple media.

Sam’s meditation practice stems from a Roman Catholic nun’s mastery of Zen. They incorporate mindfulness, theatre, & practice groups in exploring the question: “How does Culture translate across borders?

”They will attempt to make this liminal “border” the site for their capstone.

Research Interests

Emergent/Media Studies; Poetry; Intersectional identities: Queer/Postcolonial/Diaspora; Futurism

Academic Background

B.A. in Culture, Literature & the Arts, University of Washington Bothell (Faculty Honors); Certificate MITx u.Lab: Leading from the Emerging Future

Amber Tafoya

Amber Tafoya centers her work on understanding how stories are shared and shaped across borders and cultures. Driven by her experience moving to several states with her family as a child and working for local newspapers in her career, she enjoys collaborating with organizations to create narratives that represent and serve BIPOC communities through writing, editing, and graphic art creation. Amber’s research focuses on how Chicana and Latina stories are produced, framed, and consumed in the media: Who has the power to tell and see these stories and how do they impact women in Chicanx/Latinx communities?

Amber fell in love with the Pacific Northwest after moving to Seattle in 2006 from San Antonio, Texas. One of her favorite activities is exploring the outdoors with her two children and partner.

Research Interests

Media Representation and Culture, Chicana and Latina Narratives, Chicana Feminism, Critical Race Theory, Borderland Narratives, Postcolonial Media Studies, Food Culture and Sovereignty

Academic Background

A.A., San Antonio College; B.A. in Journalism, University of Texas at Arlington; B.A. in Chicana/Chicano Studies with a minor in Native American Studies, University of New Mexico; Social Media Strategy, Technologies and Implementation Certificate Program, University of Washington.

Türkan Urmulu

Türkan was born in Iran. She is an Azerbaijani poet and feminist. Azerbaijani people are one of the oppressed ethnic minority groups in Iran. Her mother language has been banned by the state. So Türkan never had any chance to be educated in her mother language in the home country. Persian is the only official language of the country.

Seven years before her birthdate, the Islamic revolution happened in Iran, a revolution which directly has targeted women’s life and freedom. Being in the intersection of ethnic discrimination and gender inequality pushed Türkan to think deeply about the reasons and possible solutions of these two major problems in the Iranian society.

Research Interests

Studying the interaction of gender and ethnic inequality

Academic Background

Bachelor’s degree in law from Iran, MA degree in International Private Law from Ankara University of Turkey, and a Bachelor’s degree in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies from UW, Seattle.


Alumni Ambassadors are alumni representatives who embody the values and aims of the M.A. in Cultural Studies program. As alumni working across diverse roles and sectors, they support prospective students, current students, and fellow alumni by sharing how they’ve translated their degrees and navigated their careers.

Learn about our Alumni Ambassadors and email to get connected.

Nafasi Ferrell, ’15

Nafasi Ferrell is a bridge builder, facilitator and consultant with over 8+ years’ experience working to transform and advance racial equity and social justice. Hailing from Altadena, California, a place rooted deep in diversity of race, place and experiences, she is deeply committed to creating spaces of dialogue across cultures and generations.

For her Cultural Studies capstone project, Nafasi developed and facilitated a three-hour workshop with community members of varying ages in partnership with the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA). Let’s Talk!! Race and Class Through Hip-Hop and Poetry challenged participants to redefine their understandings of race and class using the mediums of hip-hop and poetry. Nafasi’s capstone intended to demonstrate the value of cross-generational, interracial community spaces and advocate for them as a site in which to imagine new ways of engaging with and understanding current circumstances and issues.

Since graduating, Nafasi has served as the DNDA Cultural Events Project Coordinator running a nine event series, and as a Project Specialist where she developed the Let’s Talk Race Series for the Delridge community to connect organizations and individuals through film, dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice. She is currently the Restorative Justice Program Manager for DNDA where she manages a Trauma Informed Restorative Justice Program across Interagency Academy school aimed to expand understandings and methods of trauma healing and restorative practices to support the dismantling of racism and the growth and leadership of staff and scholars.

Nafasi has also begun to expand her work to encompass Financial Literacy and Economic Equity. In January 2019 she formed Narratives Unbound LLC, a consulting and education company dedicated to advancing racial and economic equity through financial coaching, community workshops and youth leadership trainings. Through her one-on-one financial coaching and Stages of Wealth Building Program she equips clients and groups with the knowledge and confidence to understand the colonial history of money, develop a positive relationship with money, tackle debt and create a solid financial future. Her work focuses on working with organizations, working adults, scholars, and their families to support them in decolonizing their wealth building through education, saving, investing, and redistribution.

Savita Krishnamoorthy, ’20

Savita Krishnamoorthy is a graduate of the M.A. Cultural Studies program (MACS 2020), and also holds a Master’s in Fine Art (History of Art) from the University of Bangalore, India.

Savita’s MACS capstone research investigated how orality and storytelling are vital methodological tools of disruption for social justice, resistance, community building, and social advocacy within the socio-cultural/political context of the South Asian community in Seattle. Yoni ki Baat narratives are autobiographical testimonies performed by cisgender female, trans, and gender non-conforming South Asian women presented annually by Seattle nonprofit Tasveer. Her study explores how Yoni ki Baat addresses and challenges discourses on female sexuality, gender/sexual identities/fluidity, gendered violence, choice, and grief.

Parsing her mediations with theoretical concepts helped her understand the multiplicity of meaning embedded within our stories. How we tell our stories and how we use our voices from the archived memories of one’s own lived experiences.

Her training as a Cultural Studies scholar and a community organizer reinforces the importance of mindfully bridging one’s scholarship and research interests between academia and beyond the institution; how to thoughtfully engage with inclusive and intentional community engagement + community building.

A longtime volunteer with Tasveer, Savita also sits on the on the board of the Redmond Arts and Culture Commission and is founding member and co-organizer (Programs + Operations) for Black Cinema Collective, a Seattle based arts organization that screens, examines, and celebrates the works of African + African diasporic filmmakers. She is the recipient of the competitively awarded Alpha Kappa Alpha Merit Scholarship 2019-2020.

Marcus Johnson, 16

Marcus Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate at the UW Department of Communication, where he researches and teaches Black Cultural Studies. He recently co-authored the article “Black Cultural Studies is Intersectionality” with Dr. Ralina Joseph, published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies. Johnson earned a B.A. in Global Studies and minor in Human Rights at UW Bothell (’13). His Cultural Studies capstone project, “The Multi Dimensions of Blackness: Cultural Hegemony in the United States and Abroad,” investigated different formations of Blackness in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the United States.