Introducing People of Color Also Know Stuff
By Danielle Casarez Lemi, Michigan State University, Maricruz Osorio, University of California, Riverside, and Tye Rush, University of California, Los Angeles
Political science has a fraught history with the study of race and the treatment of the people who study race (Ferguson 2016; McClain et al. 2016). This is a long-standing issue that has been discussed at length in many venues. In PS, our colleagues have written about the racial climate in political science and the challenges that scholars of color—particularly junior scholars—may encounter while pursuing this path (Alexander-Floyd 2008; Lavariega Monforti and Michelson
2008; Preston and Woodard 1984; Sinclair-Chapman 2019). The underrepresentation of scholars of color, coupled with the climate we may face, has left many without invaluable mentorship and support within their own departments. This has inspired leaders in the discipline—many of whom are scholars of color—to confront the lack-of-mentorship problem by outlining best practices for mentors (Alex-Assessnoh et al. 2005; Jordan-Zachery 2004); creating funds to support scholars of color (Michelson 2006); and creating groups that harness the power of social media to address disparities in the field, most notably Women Also Know Stuff (Beaulieu et al. 2017).