Introducing Nina Monet Reynoso and Shakari Byerly, our Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. Teaching Fellows

by UCLA Labor Studies

The Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. Teaching Fellowships support UCLA graduate students whose research and teaching practice foster critical understanding of Black workers in the United States, racial capitalism, social movements for racial and gender and LGBTQIA equity, and the theory and practice of nonviolence in social movements.

Learn more about our two Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. Teaching Fellows and the classes they will teach in Winter 2021!

Nina Monet Reynoso

Nina Monet Reynoso is a doctoral candidate in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences focusing on race/ethnicity in education. Her research interests include the militarization of education, critical theory and pedagogy, Black studies, and more. She has worked with the Labor Studies department for three years, and has taught with many of the department’s faculty members.

In addition to her graduate studies, Nina Monet facilitates project management with Million Dollar Hoods, a community driven research project that maps the cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. The use of open source data and mixed methods are closely aligned with her own research on mapping military academies across the country.

The themes of her coursework focus on histories of the Black radical tradition in the face of labor exploitation and an examination of global perspectives on labor movements. When not aiding her students in community grounded research, she can be found with her dog, Canelo, and a good book.

Nina will be teaching LBR STD 97, SEM 1 – Compulsory Labor and Racial Capitalism: Exploration of and proposal of methods of teaching and knowledge production in Black communities historically and today. Close readings, analytical writing, and community engaged research based on critical inquiry engage participants in topics like prison labor, Black feminisms, policy and more. As such, students are suggested to broadly approach all subjects but contemplate one or a few themes for deeper understanding and further exploration.

Shakari Byerly

Shakari Byerly is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Political Science and is pursuing her M.S. degree in the Department of Statistics. Shakari’s research covers a range of issues, including California politics and public policy, Black political behavior, and public opinion. Her dissertation addresses how the media represents the political attitudes of people of color in the context of campaigns and elections.

Shakari earned a Masters degree in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a B.A. from Dartmouth College. Before returning to graduate school for her Ph.D, she enjoyed a 20 year career in California politics and public affairs as a political strategist and pollster for dozens of cities, counties, local school districts, and candidates for public office across California and nationally.

Her most recent work includes polling for U.S. Senator Kamala Harris in her Presidential Primary bid and serving as the lead researcher for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the County of Los Angeles, LA Metro, and the United Way of Greater LA on issues such as reforming school policing, ending homelessness, increasing youth civic engagement, and increasing health equity for undocumented Californians and BIPOC communities. Shakari will be teaching a course on Black Workers, Black Wealth, and Black Power during the Winter and Spring Quarter.

Shakari will be teaching LBR STD 97, SEM 2 – The History and Politics of Black Workers and Social Justice: America’s sense of citizenship, its notion of liberty, its understanding of justice for all owes a great debt to the freedom and labor struggles of people of African descent living within its borders. More specifically Black Americans are people who have believed in the promise of America, and who, by their struggles, have helped hold the country accountable for making that promise more accessible to all. This course will explore and examine the connection between the work of Black people in the United States, the moral and political foundations of social justice, and how these themes intersect with the broader struggle for justice and freedom for all Americans.

Check out the full Labor Studies Winter 2021 Course List here!