September 26, 2023

Marguerite Casey Foundation announces 2023 Freedom Scholars

Honorees receive $250K in unrestricted funds to advance social justice scholarship and movement leadership

SEATTLE — Today, Marguerite Casey Foundation announced the 2023 Freedom Scholars, six progressive academics who are leading research and engaging in movement organizing that advances racial and economic justice. Now in its fourth year, the Freedom Scholars initiative provides a one-time, unrestricted award of $250,000 to each honoree to advance their work. 

“The 2023 Freedom Scholars are at the forefront of teaching, researching, and writing about shifting the balance of power in society,” Marguerite Casey Foundation president and CEO Dr. Carmen Rojas said. “Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Freedom Scholars award is committed to providing social and economic justice scholars room to deepen their relationship with movement leaders fighting for a multiracial democracy and just economy.”

The 2023 Freedom Scholars highlight the vital role of academics in social movements.

  • Charmaine Chua, Ph.D., (she/they) is an assistant professor in the department of global studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her scholarship and organizing confront the global regimes of production and distribution that configure race and class inequalities, with a focus on how these inequalities are lived, contested and overcome by anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and abolitionist freedom struggles. Chua is currently writing two books, “The Logistics Counterrevolution: Fast Circulation, Slow Violence and the Transpacific Empire of Circulation,” and “How to Beat Amazon: The Struggle of America's New Working Class” (co-authored with Spencer Cox).
  • Adom Getachew, Ph.D., (she/her) is a professor of political science and race, diaspora and indigeneity at the University of Chicago. She is a political theorist with research interests in the history of political thought, theories of race and empire, and postcolonial political theory. Her work focuses on the intellectual and political histories of Africa and the Caribbean. She is author of “Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination” (2019) and co-editor, with Jennifer Pitts, of “W. E. B. Du Bois: International Writings” (2022).
  • Dayo F. Gore, Ph.D., (she/her) is an associate professor in the department of African American studies at Georgetown University. She previously taught in the department of ethnic studies and critical gender studies program at the University of California, San Diego where she was also the founding director of the Black Studies Project. Professor Gore is the author of “Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War” and a co-editor of "Want to Start A Revolution? Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle.”
  • Mimi E. Kim, Ph.D., (she/her) is an associate professor of social work at California State University, Long Beach and a longtime activist and engaged scholar at the intersections of racial and gender justice, abolition and social movements. Her work investigates the historical development of carceral feminism and the persisting phenomenon she calls the carceral creep. Her scholarship also chronicles and analyzes the evolution of abolition feminism through the lens of transformative and restorative justice. She is a collaborative creator of the Creative Interventions Toolkit and companion workbook and is co-editing a forthcoming book on abolition and social work.
  • Premilla Nadasen, Ph.D., (she/her) is the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of History at Barnard College and co-director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women. A social justice organizer for many decades, she has published extensively on the multiple meanings of feminism, alternative labor movements, and grass-roots community organizing. Professor Nadasen is past president of the National Women’s Studies Association and a member of the Society of American Historians. Her new book, “Care: The Highest Stage of Capitalism” will be published Oct. 11, 2023.
  • Chandan Reddy, Ph.D., (he/his) is associate professor in the departments of gender, women and sexuality studies and the comparative history of ideas, and an affiliate faculty member in South Asia studies and geography, at the University of Washington. His scholarship and activism focus on disrupting and ending colonial systems of power and violence that are foundational to and reproduce U.S. society, with a focus on migration, racialized genders and queer of color sexualities. He is the author of “Freedom with Violence: Race Sexuality and the U.S. State” (2011), co-editor of numerous collections on racial capitalism, including “Abolishing Poverty: Towards Pluriverse Futures” (2023) and co-editor-in-chief, with C. Riley Snorton (University of Chicago), of “GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.”

The Freedom Scholars awards were created in 2020 as part of Marguerite Casey Foundation’s commitment to scholarship focused on shifting the balance of power in society to those who have long been excluded from having it and benefiting from its rewards. Recipients of the award are involved in research on a range of social justice issues, including prison abolition, racial capitalism, queer liberation and anti-colonialist studies, critical fields of research that are underfunded or ignored. 

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