Tehama Lopez Bunyasi
Tehama Lopez Bunyasi is Assistant Professor at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. A political scientist by training, her scholarship is broadly concerned with matters of race, racism and antiracism in the United States, with specializations in structural inequality, racial attitudes and ideologies, racial marginalization, and the politics of whiteness.
In her book Stay Woke: A People's Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter (NYU Press, 2019), she and co-author Candis Watts Smith illuminate lessons from the current Movement for Black Lives to equip people to become effective racial justice advocates and antiracists. Blending together a wealth of scholarly work with critical reflections from popular culture, Stay Woke sheds light on the precarious nature of Black lives in the United States by unmasking structural racism and explaining how even well-meaning people can reproduce racial inequality. Created as a toolkit and written in accessible language, Stay Woke empowers its readers to become more knowledgeable participants in public dialogue, activism, and American politics.
Lopez Bunyasi's second book project Breaking the Racial Contract: Conscious Egalitarianism and the Politics of Whiteness (under contract with NYU Press) utilizes nationwide survey data and in-depth interviews with antiracist activists to explore the relationship between whites' perceptions of racial privilege and support for racially egalitarian policies and practices. In redirecting the study of racial attitudes to address the under-articulated side of racial inequality—racial advantage—this book maps out a constellation of critical resistance to the hierarchical racial order and brings attention to the not-fully-realized potential of privilege-cognizant politics.
Her article-length peer-reviewed research has been published in a number of academic journals, including Perspectives on Politics; Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics; Politics, Groups, and Identities; Polity; Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; The Black Scholar; Chicana/o Latina/o Law Review; and Radical Teacher.
Dr. Lopez Bunyasi engages a broader audience on matters of American politics, racial disparities and racial violence by contributing commentary to a variety of national and international media outlets, including PBS, The New York Times, C-SPAN, NBC News, Voice of America, and the Scene on Radio podcast.
Prior to joining S-CAR, Dr. Lopez Bunyasi was a faculty member at Ohio University, and held the Samuel DuBois Cook Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University's Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences. She is a recipient of the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and a supportive alumna of the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. Most recently, she received the Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation & Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She has a B.A. in American Government from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.
PhD, Political Science, University of Chicago
MA, Political Science, University of Chicago
BA, American Government, University of Virginia
Faculty Rank: Assistant Professor
In the News
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Presentations & Performances
Elections 2016: Could America Go Fascist? And What Can We Do About It?
Feb 28 2016 | Washington DC
Civil Rights Event Series: Understanding Privilege
Jan 19 2016 | Arlington Campus
Colorblindness and unconscious racism
Jan 21 2015 | Metropolitan Building