Public Engagement

In addition to my traditional scholarly work, I am an active participant in public intellectual projects focused on topics including race, language, education, and citizenship. I regularly conduct community consultations, professional development seminars, and trainings with students, teachers, administrators, and non-profit organizations. In this work, I promote asset-based models that push beyond conventional views of “cultural competence” to embrace a broader vision of community empowerment and transformation. I also contribute to a range of public dialogues, some of which are featured in the links below.


Appearance on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, MSNBC, August 2014. “Evaluating the notion of a ‘war on whites’”; “The state of racial equality in America”; “Missouri teen’s shooting inflames tensions.”

Appearance on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, MSNBC, July 2013. “Was Juror B-20 ready to be the modern day juror 8, holding out against the group?”; “Moving the race conversation beyond black and white”; “Tim Allen’s thoughts on the ‘n-word’? It’s complicated.”

Appearance on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, MSNBC, April 2013. “AP’s immigration style change is no small thing”; “How language around immigration can be problematic”; “Immigration line to US could soon get tougher for families.”

Appearance on Huffington Post Live, April 2013. “AP Drops ‘Illegal’ Term.” 

Interview by Elizabeth Flock, U.S. News and World Report, April 2013. “Some Lawmakers Will Continue to Say ‘Illegal Immigrant.’” 

Interview by Zach Dyer, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, April 2013. “AP drops ‘illegal immigrant’ from Stylebook.” 

Interview by Cindy Rodriguez, CNN, January 2013. “Language like ‘illegal immigrant’ seen as a challenge during immigration debate.” 

Interview by Gene Demby, National Public Radio, January 2013. “In Immigration Debate, ‘Undocumented’ Vs. ‘Illegal’ Is More Than Just Semantics.”

Interview by Mike Vuolo, Valley, November 2012. “From ‘Wetbacks’ to ‘Illegals’ to ‘Undocumented’ to…?” 

Interview by Sarika Mehta, KBOO News (Portland, OR), October 2012. “Drop the I-Word!” 

Interview by Cristina Costantini, ABC News/Univision, September 2012. “Linguists Tell New York Times that ‘Illegal’ is Neither ‘Neutral’ nor ‘Accurate.’”