Lauren Barber is a senior psychology major at Wake Forest University, where she is exploring the ways in which psychological science can inform public policy and social justice work. She is particularly passionate about issues around mental health, reproductive justice, gendered violence and mass incarceration. Upon matriculation, Lauren hopes to promote justice through writing and engaging the non-profit sector.
Mankaprr Conteh is a senior at Wake Forest University, where she formally studies politics, concentrating in educational policy, identity, and social inequity. Informally, she studies hip-hop, media, and jollof rice.
Alex Dean is a senior at Wake Forest University from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. She is studying politics & international affairs, with minors in sociology and interdisciplinary writing. Emphasis on the writing. She is passionate about all things words and lipstick.
Erica Jordan is a sophomore at Wake Forest University from Charlotte, North Carolina. Erica is excited to join the ELLE.com scholars cohort and continue writing and learning about the experiences of women and girls of color. Erica is also a political junkie and raisin enthusiast. She’s hoping her work with ELLE.com will give her a chance to explore her passions.
Ann Nguyen is a senior at Wake Forest University, striving everyday to justify her sociology and studio art double major to business-oriented yuppies. Constantly in search of making sense of society’s -isms and the hyphen in Vietnamese-American. A sharer of stories, emotion, and French fries.
Melissa V. Harris-Perry is Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, where she directs the Anna Julia Cooper Center on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South and is Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute. Melissa is Editor-at-Large at Elle.com. Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges. Her work is published in scholarly journals and edited volumes and her interests include the study of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, and social and clinical psychology.
Sherri Williams is a post-doctoral fellow at the Anna Julia Cooper Center and a professor at Wake Forest University. She studies social media, social television and how people of color use and are represented on social media and how people of color and marginalized people are represented in the media. Williams’ dissertation focuses on images of women of color on reality television and Twitter. She taught journalism writing, media diversity and women/gender studies classes at Syracuse University and she incorporated social media into her courses. Before entering academia Williams was a print journalist for a decade including at The Associated Press. Her work has appeared in Essence, Ebony, Upscale, Heart & Soul, The Source and The Quill magazines.
Candice Benbow is a writer and educator. She has appeared on Huff Post Live and is a columnist with Urban Cusp Magazine. In addition to her own blog, her work has appeared in ShePreaches Magazine, Ebony.com, For Harriet and Patheos. Candice is the creator of the 2016 Lemonade Syllabus, a collection of works that centers around the lives of Black women and compliments Beyonce’s visual album Lemondade.