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Graduate Students of Color Dinners


The Graduate Students of Color Dinner Series allows for informal conversations between faculty and graduate students of color over dinner. This program that provides an intimate opportunity to graduate students of color from across the university to hear from a faculty member of color about their individual journeys and experiences in navigating academia and other professional arenas. This program is in partnership with the Office of Graduate Student Life at the Student Resource Center.

Space is limited! Click here to RSVP now!

Fall 2013 Dinners

  • Tuesday September 17 - Featuring Alexander Santiago-Jirau and Dr. Deirdre A. Royster
    • Alexander Santiago-Jirau is an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Mysic and Performing Arts Professions at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Santiago-Jirau is an educator, advocate and theatre artist committed to the use of theatre for youth and community development. He is Associate Director of the Career Development Program at The Center for Arts Education (, where he counsels youth pursuing arts careers and leads professional development workshops for New York City public school educators. Santiago-Jirau holds a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and an M.A. in Educational Theatre from New York University Steinhardt.
    • Dr. Deirdre A. Royster is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She earned her B.S. in Sociology and Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and her M.A. and Ph. D. from Johns Hopkins University. Previously, she taught at UMass-Amherst, where she was an award-winning teacher, and most recently at the College of William and Mary, where she chaired the Department of Sociology and directed the Center for the Study of Inequality and the Black Studies Program. Dr. Royster's first book, Race and the Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue Collar Jobs (University of California Press, 2003) received the 2004 Oliver Cromwell Cox Best Book Award. Her research interests cross-cut sociological areas including Racism and Racial Stratification, Economic Sociology/Urban Political Economy, Public Policy, Race/Class/Gender Studies, and Work/Labor/Labor Markets.
  • Wednesday October 9 - Featuring Dr. Jason King
    • Jason King is a cultural critic & journalist, musician (performer, vocal arranger, producer, musical supervisor), manager, strategist & consultant to artists and labels, and live event producer. Founding full-time faculty member of the department; served as interim chair in 2002; and associate chair from 2003-2006, and Artistic Director from 2006-2012. He teaches classes on: record producing, music entrepreneurship, branding, rock music, hip-hop, r&b, soul, jazz, Asian American and African American culture. Research interests: music, cinema, popular culture, identity, globalization, 20th and 21st century geopolitics. As an Affiliated Faculty in NYU's Global Network, he now divides his time between New York and Abu Dhabi, where he has taught since the launch of NYU's campus in 2010. In the Middle East, he has pioneered innovative classes on global music making and transcultural approaches to recording and producing with software. In 2010, he also taught a class on producing international music business ventures to the inaugural group of Internal Media Producing students at the Tisch Asia campus in Singapore.
  • Tuesday November 5 - Featuring Meleko Mokgosi
    • Meleko Mokgosi is an artist who works within an interdisciplinary framework to create large-scale project-based installations. By working across figurative painting, cinematic tropes, psychoanalysis, and post-colonial theory, his practice interrogates the specificity of regionalism in order to address questions of nationhood, colonial and anti-colonial sentiments, and the perception of historicized events. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Botswana National Gallery, The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Center.

Spring 2014 Dinners

  • Wednesday February 12 - Featuring Dr. Paula Chakravartty (Gallatin) and Dr. Charlton McIlwain (Steinhardt)
    • Paula Chakravartty is an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications of New York University. Her research and teaching interests span comparative political economy of media industries, postcolonial and critical race theory, and social movements and global governance. She is the co-editor of Race, Empire and the Crisis of the Subprime (with Denise Ferreira da Silva, Johns Hopkins Press, 2013), the co-author of Media Policy and Globalization (with Katharine Sarikakis, University of Edinburgh Press and Palgrave, 2006), and co-editor of Global Communications: Towards a Transcultural Political Economy, (with Yuezhi Zhao, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Her writings have been published in a number of journals, including American Quarterly, International Journal of Communication, Media Culture and Society and Political Communication. Her current two main research projects include: a book manuscript on the politics of digital inclusion in Brazil and India; and a second collaborative research project funded by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) on mediated activism in India, China and the Middle East.
    • As a researcher, writer and teacher, Charlton McIlwain's primary interests focus broadly on issues of race and media, particularly within the social and political arena. His previous work centered on how political candidates construct, mobilize, benefit or suffer damage from race-based appeals. In 2011, he co-authored the book Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns (Temple University Press). In 2012, the book won the prestigious Ralph Bunche Award, given by the American Political Science Association for the best book addressing ethnic pluralism. The same year, the American Library Association recognized the book as one of theBest of the Best books among academic publishers. In addition to authoring/coauthoring four additional books and close to thirty scholarly journal articles and chapter in edited volumes, and regularly providing expert commentary for local, state, national and international media, he continues to pursue research about racial appeals through collaborative work focused on analyses of individuals’ real-time perceptions of race-based appeals in political advertising, as well as a variety of cognitive/physiological responses to racialized communication. His recent interests, however, have turned to the intersections of race and digital media, principally as they relate to three primary questions: to what degree can/has the internet and other forms of digital media use lead to increased political participation, voice and influence for people of color?; in what ways might internet use provide greater access to social, professional and economic mobility for people of color?; and in what tangible ways do forms of racial discrimination, disparate treatment and denial of opportunity take place in online environments? He is currently working on four specific projects: mapping and analyzing race-blogger hyperlink networks; mapping and analyzing race-worker networks and information flow on Twitter; analysis of white, black, and Latino LinkedIn users; and a bibliometric project analyzing work in race-media-communication from the late 1800s to the present. He has incorporated these projects under the RaceWorkProject.
  • Tuesday March 11 - Featuring Dr. Ngina Soyini Chiteji (Gallatin) and Piper Anderson (Gallatin)
    • Ngina Chiteji's teaching and research interests include public policy, macroeconomics, economic inequality, crime, and the distribution of household wealth in the United States. She is co-editor of Wealth Accumulation and Communities of Color in the United States (with Jessica Gordon Nembhard, University of Michigan Press, 2006). Her research also has been published in several scholarly journals, including the Journal of Black Studies , the Journal of Family and Economic Issues , and Labour Economics . She currently is engaged in two research projects. The first examines defined contribution pensions and the Great Recession's effect on retirement savings. The second analyzes the effect that incarceration has on wealth accumulation and an individual's ability to prepare for retirement. She is an associated faculty member of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
    • Piper Anderson is a Company Member with American Place Theater and Master Teaching-Artist providing Theatre-in-Education programming to schools and communities organizations nationally. Anderson served as National Program Director of Black Arts Collective, a national network of artists, educators and activists of color. During her tenure with BAC she organized four national Lyrics On Lockdown Tours, mobilizing communities in over 20 cities nationwide in response to prisons and policing in communities of color. She has guest lectured and facilitated workshops at Harvard University, the University of California-
      Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Columbia University. She holds a BA from the New School where she was a Riggio Writing Democracy Fellow and an MA in Applied Theatre from CUNY-School of Professional Studies. For more information visit
  • Wednesday April 9 - Featuring Dr. Sophie M. Balzaora (NYU Medical School) and Dr. Edward Fergus (Steinhardt)
    • Dr. Balzora earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton, and her MD from the George Washington University School of Medicine. She then completed residency training at Columbia University Medical Center, followed by a gastroenterology fellowship at NYU. Dr. Balzora has a special clinical interest in colorectal cancer and prevention, inflammatory bowel diseases, celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, irritable bowel syndrome, and minority and women's health. As a physician-educator, her clinical research interest is in enhancing doctor-patient communication, cultural competency, and shared decision-making. She is an active member of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and American College of Gastroenterology. As a member of the NYU faculty, she routinely lectures to medical students, residents, and fellows at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Balzora is board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. She is proficient in French and conversational in Haitian Creole.
    • Eddie Fergus is a practitioner and researcher. His work explores the effects of educational policy and practice as it intersects the lives of populations living in vulnerable conditions. More specifically his work is on the educational outcomes of boys of color and disproportionality in special education and suspensions. This work involves examining the ways in which leaders can develop schools as protective environments for vulnerable populations. Since 2004, Fergus has been the Principal Investigator of a multi-million dollar state contract with the New York State Department of Education on disproportionality. Fergus is a former social studies teacher, and received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Education from Beloit College and a Doctorate in Education Policy and Social Foundations from University of Michigan in 2002.

  • Michael Dumas, Assistant Professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • Shankar Prasad, Clinical Faculty, The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
  • Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Professor and the Director, Doctoral Program; Silver School of Social Work
  • Ann Morning, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Robert Teranishi, Associate Professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • Millery Polyné, Assistant Director, Gallatin School of Individualized Study
  • Alejandro Velasco, Assistant Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study
  • Kimberly DaCosta, Associate Dean of Students, Associate Faculty, Gallatin School of Individualized Study


Faculty members that are interested in participating should contact Selima Jumarali at for more information on the program.



If you have questions or you need more information contact Selima Jumarali at or 212.998.4324. 


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