Adam Musser [he/him/his] is a doctoral student in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis in Language, Literacy, & Culture. Adam is committed to humanizing research methods that respond to the questions which disenfranchised and dispossessed communities want to answer. Within teacher education, he asks teachers to center the brilliance and curiosities of youth and to resist educational systems of racialized oppression. Before graduate school, Adam was a high school English teacher in Cleveland, a middle school Humanities teacher in Seattle, and a language/literacy teacher in the Belize Central Prison. He sees the work of TJE as critical to the struggle for liberation, justice, and joy.
Maya Sudarkasa is a rising senior, double History and French/Francophone studies major, and Africana Studies minor at Vassar College, located in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York state. As a recipient of the university’s Tananbaum Family Leadership Fellowship Grant, Maya will be spending her summer working with the School of Education at the University of California, Davis, as the first official TJE Center Undergraduate Research Intern.
Born in Silver Spring, Maryland and having grown up in Johannesburg, South Africa, Maya happily identifies as a well-traveled and cultured young woman. She also recently spent her Spring semester abroad in Paris with the Vassar-Wesleyan language immersion program, developing in her French ability while investigating French conceptions of race, discrimination and oppression through a study of the nation’s colonial history; through participating in frequent dialogue with Parisian natives; and, in witnessing this year’s political election. With an international perspective, Maya seeks to comprehend the ways in which systems of power, privilege and prejudice manifest themselves in different historical and geographical contexts.
As a future educator, Maya is interested in how hierarchies of social identity often inform inequity in, around and beyond academic spaces. As a student organizer, she is interested in imaginative and productive ways to combat these inequities. So, it is the work of Restorative Justice that gives Maya the vocabulary and the tools to best understand and apply both the transformative educational pedagogies as well as the radical, revolutionary practices which will fuel her work both in the short and long terms. Upon graduating from Vassar College, Maya will hopefully complete her Teaching Credential and M.A. with the Teachers Education Program at UC Davis; ultimately to achieve her PhD in History with a specialization in African-American Studies.