Co-Founder/Organizer & Podcast Co-Host
Casey Boyd-Swan, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Kent State University. Dr. Boyd-Swan has a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Policy.

Her research focuses on public policy issues related to parental employment, early education labor markets, and child and family well-being.

Co-Founder/Organizer & Podcast Co-Host
Ashley Nickels, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University. Dr. Nickels has a Ph.D. in Public Affairs with a specialization in Community Development.

Her research focuses on urban politics, local governance, and community-based organizations/ nonprofits.

Podcast Co-Host & Research Co-PI (Race and Democracy in Northeast Ohio)

Dr. Shemariah J. Arki identifies as an educator, an activist and an organizer. Currently serving as an assistant professor in the department of Africana Studies, the director of the Center for Pan African Culture, both at Kent State University, and the Founder and Program Director of the Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy, she is an intersectional feminist scholar with expert knowledge and skills to develop, implement, facilitate and evaluate curricula that promote institutional equity, communication, and access for traditionally marginalized students and families. Her latest publication, Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls, is an ethnographic anthology that amplifies the voices of Black girls in the classroom through the process of counternarratives, constraining teachers and school administrators to speak back to the culture of silence inherent in today’s diverse classrooms.

Podcast Co-Host & Research Co-PI (Race and Democracy in Northeast Ohio)

Dr. Anuj Gurung serves as the postdoctoral research fellow at School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University. His research interests include refugee integration, refugee and immigrant identities, and community-based conflict resolution. His academic pieces have been featured in International Area Studies Review and Peace and Conflict Studies. He also works as the Development Associate for North Hill Community Development Corporation. His previous engagements include work with International Institute of Akron, ActionAid (Washington DC), and United Nations Refugee Agency (Nepal).

Fall 2021 – Intern (Race & Democracy)

Jo Cottrill is a third-year undergraduate student at Kent State studying Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science. This past spring, she acted as an assistant to Kent professor Jacquelyn Bleak in organizing the university’s PeaceJam conference, an event that hosted keynote speaker Rigoberta Menchú. She is currently continuing research work with Dr. Sara Koopman on a digital humanities project that focuses on the peacebuilding tactic of accompaniment. In spring 2022, she will be participating in a Geographies of Peace conference session organized by Dr. Koopman and through the American Association of Geographers.


Podcast Sound Engineer
Gheramy Demery, Golden Ox Studio