In 2019, The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies partnered with the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP) to offer up to two (2) Postdoctoral fellowships per academic year. The purpose of this postdoctoral fellowship program is to advance excellence through a commitment to diversity and equity in the fields supported by the Bunche Center. These Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (CPF) recipients are housed within the broader Bunche Fellows Program.
As a part of the UCLA Rising to the Challenge initiatives, the Bunche Center will administer the selection of five UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows, whose research focuses on Black life and the Black experience. UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows will be appointed broadly across departments and campus units and will work directly with their prospective UCLA faculty mentor. These Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows will be affiliated with the Bunche Fellows Program. The Bunche Center is excited to move forward with developing the first round of this transformative 5-Year UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows initiative (2020-2021 to 2024-2025).
The UCLA Office of Research and Creative Activities and the UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC) with the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will offer up to four (4) Chancellor’s Postdocs at UCLA (with a possibility of renewal for a second year). These fellows will form a cohort and be affiliated with the IAC’s organized research units: the American Indian Studies Center, the Asian American Studies Center, the Bunche Center for African American Studies, and the Chicano Studies Research Center. Learn more about the UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (Research and Creative Activities and Institute of American Cultures).
To be considered for Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, all interested candidates must first apply to the PPFP. Fellows are selected from a list of PPFP applicants who were ranked as alternates or unranked finalists and had indicated potential mentors at UCLA. CPFs participate in all PPFP activities and are entitled to the UC hiring incentive. Selections will be made in the spring with fellows beginning the fall of the next academic year.
Qualified candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through their teaching, research or service and who will have a doctorate awarded by the start of the appointment on July 1st.
The award provides a salary staring at approximately $54,540 depending on field and experience, benefits including health insurance and paid vacation/sick leave and up to $5,000 for research-related and program expenses.
For more information about the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and to apply, please click here.
Current Bunche Postdoctoral Fellows
Dr. Yonatan Binyam
Dr. Yonatan Binyam primary research interests investigate the intersections of religion, race, and ethnicity. Yonatan studies the dynamic interplay between these categories in the context of the ancient Mediterranean world and how ancient identities are repatterned and reinvented in subsequent historical contexts. Yonatan focuses on constructions of Jewish and Christian identities within late antique and medieval sources, as well as constructions of whiteness and blackness across the long history of Christianity. Yonatan is currently working on analyzing the apocalyptic dimensions of racial identities.
Dr. Kenyon Lee Whitman
Dr. Kenyon Lee Whitman received his PhD in Higher Education Administration and Policy at UC Riverside. Kenyon has over 10 years of experience working in student affairs, most recently he directed the Office of Foster Youth Support Services at UC Riverside for six years. Kenyon’s research is interdisciplinary, he focuses on underrepresented students in higher education, specifically, the racialized college-going experiences of foster youth. Kenyon’s research also interrogates the structural nexus of racism within education, child welfare, policing, and the criminal justice system—he confronts the upstream forces that marginalize students. As a former foster youth, he understands first-hand the challenges foster youth face as they work toward earning a college degree. Kenyon also holds a B.S. and M.A. from Fresno State.
Dr. Deshonay Dozier
Dr. Deshonay Dozier received her Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology at the City University of New York. Dozier’s research broadly focuses on cultures of resistance in the urban landscape. During her time as a UC Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, she will revise her dissertation into a book manuscript entitled Another City is Possible: Skid Row and the Struggle for a Better Los Angeles. The book examines how unhoused and poor people across multiple intersectional identities have reshaped the penal organization of their lives through alternatives visions for the city since the 1930s. Dozier has published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography (forthcoming), and Housing Studies. Dr. Dozier’s work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of Pennsylvania Doctoral Excellence Award, and the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora at the City University of New York.
Dr. Dozier is also an Assistant Professor of Geography at the California State University, Long Beach. She is currently on leave for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Dr. Jackson Smith
Dr. Jackson Smith completed his Ph.D. in American Studies at New York University’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. Jackson research on race, policing, and urban capitalism in Philadelphia has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. As a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Department of History at UCLA, Jackson is working to complete his book manuscript. Dirty Capital: Vice Police, Nuisance Property, and the Long War on Drugs in Philadelphia will trace the history of vice policing in Black Philadelphia from Prohibition to the contemporary War on Drugs. Jackson’s academic work draws from interdisciplinary urban studies scholarship, critical prison studies, and socio-legal perspectives on policing and punishment.
Dr. David C. Turner III
Dr. David C. Turner III is an activist scholar from Inglewood, California. David received his doctorate in the Social and Cultural Studies in Education program at UC Berkeley, where his research focuses on youth-based social movements, political identity, and resistance to the prison regime. David has published in Abolition: a Journal of Insurgent Politics, the Journal of Critical Studies in Higher Education and Student Affairs, a book chapter about youth organizing in Routledge, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Berkeley Review of Education. As a seasoned student organizer and educator, David brings over a decade of experience to the classroom and community organizing, having helped students at various universities establish cultural centers, negotiate and win demands for racial justice, secure funding, divest resources from punitive and harmful institutions, and coordinate direct actions across the state of California and the nation, all while teaching at both the K-12 and the postsecondary level. David currently works with Boys and Men of color in Los Angeles County as the Manager of the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition, a coalition of community-based organizations working to end the school-to-prison pipeline and decriminalize communities of color.
Dr. David Brown
Dr. David B. Brown completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests are heat transfer, energy systems, and materials science. During his Ph.D., he used ultrafast lasers to investigate the thermal transport in two-dimensional materials and thin films for thermal management of electronic devices and other energy systems. David received multiple fellowships including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. After graduation, he joined Raytheon Intelligence and Space in El Segundo, CA where he performed thermal analysis of spacecraft hardware. His current research focuses on high temperature thermal properties and cooling of hypersonic leading edges.
Past Bunche Postdoctoral Fellows
Dr. Philana Payton
Dr. Philana Payton is a Scholar-Activist who will be a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles in fall of 2020. She is a graduate of the Cinema and Media Studies master’s and doctoral program at the University of Southern California and received her bachelor’s degree from Claflin University. Her research focus uses Black Studies, Performance Theory and Film Theory to explore blackness and visual culture through Black women’s performances. Dr. Payton has also done extensive archival research on early 20th century Black Silent Cinema and has conducted race and gender analyses on classical era films through today’s cinema, television, and media.
Dr. Farzana Saleem
Dr. Farzana Saleem was a UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow with Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her Ph.D. in the Clinical-Community Psychology program at the George Washington University. Dr. Saleem’s research examines the impact of racial stress and trauma on the mental health of Black and Brown children and adolescents. She uses a strengths-based lens to understand culturally relevant protective factors against racial discrimination at the family and community levels. In particular, Dr. Saleem is interested in the psychological and academic benefits of parents’ and teachers’ ethnic-racial socialization. She also investigates how community and school processes, such as neighborhood cohesion and school racial climate, impact the effects of racial discrimination. Dr. Saleem is dedicated to applied research focused on eradicating racial disparities in mental health and promoting the overall health and well-being of marginalized and racially diverse youth, families, and communities.
Dr. Saleem accepted an assistant professor position at Stanford University, beginning January 1, 2021.