Ruha Benjamin, associate professor of African American studies at Princeton University, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, assistant professor of African American studies, have been named among the first cohort of Freedom Scholars, an initiative supporting progressive academics who are at the forefront of movements for economic and social justice.
The Marguerite Casey Foundation and Group Health Foundation, which partnered to create the award, announced the $3-million initiative that will support 12 academics, each with a $250,000 award over two years.
The awards were established due to the limited financial resources and constraints that scholars, especially progressive scholars, frequently face. Freedom Scholars lead abolitionist, Black, feminist, queer, radical and anti-colonialist studies — critical fields of research that are often underfunded.
Benjamin, who joined the faculty in 2014, studies the social dimensions of science, technology and medicine with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequity, health and justice, and knowledge and power.