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Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik (Co-PI) is a scholar of race and ethnic studies, American studies, women’s and gender studies, and religious studies. Her research focuses on the junctures of race, gender, and religion in struggles for justice in the U.S., with a focus on the history of Islam in America, Black American Islam, and Black-Asian intersections. She is a core faculty member in the Departments of American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and affiliate graduate faculty for the Department of Religion at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is the author of Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color and American Islam (NYU Press, 2018), and is currently working on two book projects: (1) A Part of Islam: A Journey through Muslim America, which offers an essential history of Islam and Muslims the U.S. for a general audience, and (2) The Soul of Liberation: Race, Religion, and Struggles for Freedom in America, which examines the role of the soul and spirit in 20th-21st-century U.S.-based racial liberation movements. She speaks frequently on issues of U.S. Muslim politics and culture, Islam and gender, and racial and gender politics in the U.S., with her writing and commentary appearing in The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, Slate, The Intercept, Middle East Eye, PRI, HuffPost, Patheos, Religion News Service, and more. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College (2001) and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (2009).


Photo of Prof. Radhika BalakrishnanDr. Radhika Balakrishnan (Co-PI) is a Professor of Women’s and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Rutgers University. Formerly, she held the role of Faculty Director at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers. Radhika currently sits on the board of the Global Initiative of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) and is a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of the Care Economy. Throughout her career, her roles include serving as a Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equity for the City of New York and participating in the Global Advisory Council for the United Nations Population Fund. She was President of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) from 2020 to 2021. She has chaired the Board of the United States Human Rights Network and the Board of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Her prior academic experience includes a Professor of Economics and International Studies position at Marymount Manhattan College from 2003 to 2009. Additionally, she contributed her expertise to the Ford Foundation as a program officer in the Asia Regional Program from 1992 to 1995.

Radhika Balakrishnan is the co-author of Rethinking Economic Policy for Social Justice: The radical potential of human rights with James Heintz and Diane Elson (Routledge, 2016). She is the co-editor with Diane Elson of Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account (Zed Books, 2011). She edited The Hidden Assembly Line: Gender Dynamics of Subcontracted Work in a Global Economy (Kumarian Press, 2001) and co-edited Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the World’s Religions, with Patricia Jung and Mary Hunt (Rutgers University Press, 2000). She is the author of Why MES with Human Rights: Integrating Macro Economic Strategies with Human Rights (Marymount Manhattan College, 2005) and has authored numerous articles in books and journals. Her research and advocacy work has sought to change the lens through which macroeconomic policy is interpreted and critiqued by applying international human rights norms to assess macroeconomic policy.


Prof. Noura Erakat (Co-PI) is a human rights attorney and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice. Her research interests include human rights law, humanitarian law, national security law, refugee law, social justice, and critical race theory. Noura is an editorial committee member of the Journal for Palestine Studies and a co-Founding Editor of Jadaliyya, an electronic magazine on the Middle East that combines scholarly expertise and local knowledge. She is the author of Justice for Some: Law and in the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019).

Noura’s scholarly publications include: “Racism, whiteness, and burnout in antiracism movements: How white racial justice activists elevate burnout in racial justice activists of color in the United States” in Ethnicities; “New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense” in the Arizona Law Review; and “Overlapping Refugee Legal Regimes: Closing the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement,” in the Oxford Journal of International Refugee Law. Her multimedia productions include the Black Palestinian Solidarity video and website as well as the Gaza In Context Pedagogical Project, featuring a short documentary. A full list of her scholarly publications can be found here. Her current research seeks to examine the activist praxes in contemporary renewals of Black-Palestinian solidarity as well as technologies of surveillance and counter-surveillance in greater East Jerusalem.

Noura served as Legal Counsel for the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives from 2007-2009. Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, Noura received a New Voices Fellowship to work as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Noura worked as the Legal Advocacy Coordinator for the Badil Center for Refugee and Residency Rights from 2010-2013. In that capacity, she drafted their submissions to the human rights treaty bodies and lobbied the US Congress as well as diplomatic missions at the United Nations on their behalf.

Noura has appeared on CBS News, CNN International with Becky Anderson, CNN with Don Lemon, MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” “All In With Chris Hayes,” “Ronan Farrow Daily,” Fox’s “The O’ Reilly Factor,” NBC’s “Politically Incorrect,” PBS News Hour, NPR, BBC World Service, Democracy Now, and Al-Jazeera America, Arabic, and English. Her publications have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Review of Books, The LA Times, The Nation, USA Today, The Hill, Foreign Policy, Jezebel, Al Ahram English, Al Shabaka, MERIP, Fair Observer, Middle East Eye, The Interdependent, IntLawGrrls, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and Jadaliyya.

Noura earned her J.D. and undergraduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa) and a LLM in National Security from Georgetown University Law Center (Distinction & Dean’s List). She also earned a LLM in Legal Education by completing the Abraham L. Freedman Teaching Fellowship at Temple University, Beasley School of Law.


Dr. Brendane A. Tynes is is a queer Black feminist scholar and storyteller from Columbia, South Carolina and our 2023-24 Mellon Sawyer Postdoctoral Scholar in Black Liberation Studies at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Her dissertation examined the affective responses of Black women and nonbinary people to multiple forms of violence within Black liberation movements. Her research interests include Black feminist anthropology, Black feminist critical theory, gendered violence, Black political movements, abolition, memory, and affect studies.

Her scholarship has received generous support from the CAETR, Ford, and Wenner Gren Foundations. She has published essays in Feminist Media Studies, SAPIENS, and in the edited volume Researching Gender-Based Violence: Embodied and Intersectional Approaches (NYU Press, 2022).  She was the co-host of Zora’s Daughters Podcast, a Black feminist anthropological intervention on popular culture and issues that concern Black women and queer and trans people.  

She received her Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Education from Duke University and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University.


Mich Ling (Dissertation Fellow) is a PhD candidate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University. They study East Asian racialization and sexuality as logics of settler colonialism in the Pacific. Through a comparative lens, they think through critical race and Native feminist analytics of whiteness as property to critique multicultural liberal politics and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. Mich Ling is the recipient of a Global Asias Pedagogy Grant, an Institute for Research on Women Fellowship, and a Mellon Sawyer Graduate Fellowship. They have lived and worked for the last twelve years in Lenapehoking.




Diana Farin Molina (Dissertation Fellow) is a PhD candidate in Literatures in English at Rutgers University. Diana researches twentieth and twenty-first century African American and Ethnic literatures, critical food and eating studies, and anticolonial thought. She uses Black feminist approaches to investigate the intersection between food and literature. Her dissertation project, “The Poetics of Eating: Deciphering Black Experimental Being,” focuses on the writings from the African American Women’s Literary Renaissance to examine the ways African American women have historically used food as a vehicle for social action and experimented with the culinary’s political and imaginative potentials. Diana is an inaugural recipient of the Dr. Cheryl A. Wall Memorial Fellowship and is a 2023-2024 Mellon Sawyer Graduate Fellow.