Deconstructing Race Impact Outcomes

Deconstructing Race

Students in the Deconstructing Race Lab, with faculty from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and the School of International Letters and Cultures, investigated racialization in a transnational framework. They reflected on works of art such as Fred Kuwornu's Blaxploitalian and Nnedi Okorafor's "Mother of Invention," colonial legacies, and philosophical texts to understand the experiences of racialized groups. They then worked closely with their instructors to create interventions and research projects that examined the intersection of race and a variety of other cultural phenomena with the goal of promoting a more inclusive vision of humanity for the 21st century.

For a bibliography of the research resources used for these impact outcomes, see the Lab's Zotero page here.

Thought Partners

Fred Kuwornu

As part of Humanities Week in October, filmmaker Fred Kuwornu met with Deconstructing Race students to examine global conceptions of race with his film documentary Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema. The documentary, a revealing series of interviews with African-American, African, and Caribbean actors from Italian filmography and international film scholars, served as a foundation for students to reflect on the frequently forgotten experiences of the black diaspora in Italy and the rest of Western Europe.

Nnedi Okorafor

In the middle of the semester acclaimed Africanfuturist author Nnedi Okorafor visited the Deconstructing Race Lab as a thought partner. Students had read her short story "Mother of Invention" and, using inquiries developed from the story, discussed with Okorafor intersections of race and futurism, storytelling, and ways of communicating truth.

Racial Representation in Video Games

At the beginning of December, Deconstructing Race students David Jonathan Jaulus, Claire Hetrick, Edwin Wong, and Anthony Rosas organized an online Zoom panel centered around race in the gaming industry. They invited Dr. Kishonna L. Gray, Nicolas Guérin, Dr. Tanner Mirrlees, and Taha Ibaid to discuss how the industry has treated race, attitudes toward race in gaming culture, and hate speech among a vast array of topics. See the full panel discussion in the video to the right.

Race and Disability Film

Understanding that individuals who are both disabled and members of racialized groups face exceptional challenges, three students worked, to conduct filmed interviews with disabled students of a variety of backgrounds. They then compiled these interviews in a final video that aims to engage the ASU community in a conversation on disability, justice, and accessibility.

Disability and Race Film Team

Disability and Race Film Team

Disability and Race Film Team

Disability and Race Film Team

Race and Marijuana

A team of students held a social media campaign to disseminate information about the racialization of marijuana. The team investigated the history of marijuana-related imprisonment, discrimination, and injustice and shared their findings on Instagram to advocate for the decriminalization of the substance.

See their posts and Instagram account here.

Race and COVID-19

Students concerned with racial justice created a Canva slideshow recounting examples of xenophobic and racist media coverage and cultural attitudes during the COVID-19 pandemic by country. See their work here.

Race Neutrality in Higher Education

Students from the Race Neutrality in Higher Education team partnered with the JyOba! Project to hold a transnational Zoom discussion on the impact of race-neutral policies on students of color in higher education institutions. They also created a supplementary blog as well as social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram.

Race and Education

A team of students focused on race in education assembled a comprehensive curriculum for teaching educators about systemic racism in the high school setting. They created ice breaker reflections, a course syllabus, and nine modules on topics ranging from the history of racial formation to anti-Semitism to modern Islamophobia. See their e-portfolio here.


In order to earn the funds needed to initiate these projects, our Deconstructing Race students applied for and received the following grants:

– Margaret Sarbacker, Mellissa Richardson Hall, and Riley Forman (left) were awarded an Amplifier Mini-Grant for their Race and Disability project.

– David Jaulus, Anthony Rosas, Edwin Wong, and Claire Hetrick (right) were awarded an Amplifier Mini-Grant for their Racial Stereotyping in Video Games project.

Collaborative Partners

 - Fred Kuwornu: Filmmaker of Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema
 - Nnedi Okorafor: Author of "Mother of Invention"
 - Dr. Clément Akassi: International Symposium Chair, Howard University
 - Dr. Hervé Tchumkam: Professor of World Languages and Literature, Southern Methodist University
 - Alois Mlambo: Professor Emeritus, Heritage and Historical Studies, University of Pretoria
 - Gilbert Ndi-Shang: Professor of Romance Literature, University of Bayreuth
 - Jean-Pierre Karegeye: Visiting Scholar of Philosophy, Dickinson College
 - Ruben Espinoza (CMRS)
 - Ciara: Fulbright Post-Doctoral Scholar

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