Black History Month


As Black History Month is celebrated throughout February, experts at the The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss a range of topics from the intersection of race and politics to health and educational outcomes for African Americans. 

If you are seeking expertise on other subjects, please call University Media Relations at 512-471-3151 or consult our general Media Experts Guide.



Black History Month


Kevin O Cokley

Kevin O Cokley

Department Chair , Department of Educational Psychology , College of Education
+1 512 471 7498, kcokley@austin.utexas.edu

Cokley's research can be broadly categorized in the area of African American psychology, with a focus on racial and ethnic identity development, academic motivation and academic achievement. A theme of much of his research is understanding the psychological and environmental factors that impact African American student achievement

Media Contact: Amanda Karr, amanda.karr@austin.utexas.edu, 3234221739

Michele Y Deitch

Michele Y Deitch

Distinguished Senior Lecturer , Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
+1 512 232 2562, +1 512 296 7212, michele.deitch@austin.utexas.edu

Deitch is nationally recognized expert on correctional oversight, prison conditions and juveniles in the adult criminal justice system. Deitch is Soros Senior Justice Fellow and attorney with more than 30 years of experience working on criminal justice and juvenile justice policy issues with state and local government officials, corrections administrators, judges and advocates. She holds a joint appointment between the LBJ School of Public Affairs and School of Law.

Media Contact: Tori Yu, victoriajyu@austin.utexas.edu, 512-232-4054

Edwin  Dorn

Edwin Dorn

Professor , Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
+1 512 232 4007, eddorn@utexas.edu

Dorn is a professor of public affairs and former dean of the LBJ School. He’s an expert on the relationship between race and immigration policy. During 20 years in Washington, D.C., he worked on civil rights and education policy in the Carter administration and served as undersecretary of defense (Personnel & Readiness) in the Clinton administration.

Media Contact: Tori Yu, victoriajyu@austin.utexas.edu, 512-232-4054

Peniel E Joseph

Peniel E Joseph

Professor , Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
+1 512 475 7241, peniel.joseph@austin.utexas.edu

Joseph serves as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. His research focus has been on "Black Power Studies", which explore the interdisciplinary fields of Africana studies, women's and ethnic studies, law and society and political science. His commentary has been featured in a wide variety of national media, including the New York TimesCNN, and Washington Post

Media Contact: Tori Yu, victoriajyu@austin.utexas.edu, 512-232-4054

Lee Ann  Kahlor

Lee Ann Kahlor

Professor , Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations , Moody College of Communication
+1 512 791 5726, kahlor@austin.utexas.edu

Kahlor's research interests include cultural and racial norms related to health behaviors and message processing. She is the Stan Richards School for Advertising and Public Relations’ minority liaison, working extensively with students from underrepresented backgrounds. She is also the faculty lead for the school’s Diversity in Advertising and PR (DAPR) student group.

Media Contact: Natalie England, natalie.england@austin.utexas.edu, 512-471-7209

Charlton N Lewis

Charlton N Lewis

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs , School of Architecture
, charltonlewis@austin.utexas.edu

Charlton Lewis is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Margaret McDermott Centennial Teaching Fellow in Architecture at the School of Architecture. He leads the school’s Committee on Diversity and Equity and co-edited PLATFORM: Convergent Voices, which proposed new approaches to advancing equity in the design disciplines.

Media Contact: Kelsey Stine, kelsey.stine@austin.utexas.edu,

Minkah  Makalani

Minkah Makalani

Director , John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies
+1 512 471 4745, makalani@austin.utexas.edu

Makalani's work and teaching focus on intellectual history, black political thought, radical social movements, Caribbean independence, Black Power, race and racial identity, and hip-hop. He is currently working on a collection of essays, titled Words Past the Margin: Black Thought and the Impossible, on black radical thought as it appears in black politics and popular culture, including the 2014 Ferguson uprising, the cinema of Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, the Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths, and freedom in hip-hop sampling.

Michele A Rountree

Michele A Rountree

Associate Professor , School of Social Work
, mrountree@austin.utexas.edu

Rountree has created an interconnected body of research, teaching, leadership, and service that focuses on health and wellness of Black women, at the nexus of experiences related to disparities including maternal mortality and morbidity, substance use, intimate partner violence, and HIV/AIDS health outcomes. 

Media Contact: Andrea Campetella, campetella@austin.utexas.edu, 512-471-1458

Cherise  Smith

Cherise Smith

Associate Professor of Art and Art History and of African and African Diaspora Studies , African and African Diaspora Studies Department , College of Liberal Arts
+1 512 471 1784, cherise_smith@austin.utexas.edu

Cherise Smith specializes in American art after 1945, especially as it intersects with the politics of identity, race, and gender. Her book, "Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deavere Smith" (2011), examines how identity is negotiated in performance art in which women artists take-on the characteristics and manners of a racial, ethnic, and gender "other". 

Media Contact: David Oppenheimer, oppenheimer@utexas.edu, 512-475-9712

Eric  Tang

Eric Tang

Director, Center for Asian American Studies , African and African Diaspora Studies Department , College of Liberal Arts
, erictang@austin.utexas.edu

A former community organizer, Tang has published several articles on race and urban social movements. He is at work on a second book, Fire In the Streets, which revisits the urban rebellions of the late-1960s. Locally, Tang's research focuses on the past and present of racial segregation in Austin, Texas, paying particular attention the gentrification-driven displacements of the city's longstanding African American residents. 

Media Contact: David Oppenheimer, oppenheimer@utexas.edu, 512-475-9712

Fatima A Varner

Fatima A Varner

Assistant Professor , Department of Human Development and Family Sciences , College of Natural Sciences
+1 512 471 8580, fvarner@utexas.edu

Varner looks at the role of discrimination on parenting, adolescent academic achievement, socioemotional health and family dynamics. For example, she has written about and researched how African-American families can communicate effectively with their children about race, and she has investigated the importance of mentors outside the family for teens in African-American communities.”
 

Media Contact: Christine Sinatra, christine.sinatra@austin.utexas.edu, 512-471-4641

For more information, contact: University Communications, Office of the President, 512-471-3151.