Protests across the country have shined a spotlight on racial inequality. UWM experts can assist media on a range of stories related to the public dialogue about race, ethnicity and social justice. Please contact the UWM Media Services team at if you need help scheduling an interview.

Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu
Associate professor
College of Nursing
Can discuss topics including: Violence in the lives of African women and community health nursing; history of distrust among African Americans and Native Americans of the mainstream medical establishment.

Erin Winkler
Associate professor, African and African diaspora studies
Can discuss topics including: Tips about talking to children about racism and diversity; impact of gender, skin tone and other demographic factors on racial identity development and responses to racism.

Gladys Mitchell-Walthour
Associate professor, African and African diaspora studies
Can discuss topics including: Issues related to race and inequality in the United States and Brazil; research interests include racial identification, black group identity and affirmative action. She is the author of The Politics of Blackness: Racial Identity and Political Behavior in Contemporary Brazil.

Paru Shah
Associate professor, political science
College of Letters & Science
Can discuss topics including: Broad issues of inequality and policing policy; immigration policy; the Voting Rights Act and states’ rights. Shah works in the areas of race, ethnicity and politics; urban governance and politics; and public policy analysis and outcomes in the educational arena.

Kirk Harris
Associate professor, urban planning
School of Architecture and Urban Planning
Can discuss topics including: Racial and economic equity, specifically from the standpoint of strengthening families, developing communities and giving voice to black men who he says are often overlooked when building solutions through planning and government intervention; promoting engagement of African American fathers in the lives of their children, families and communities; historical, systemic and policy-based practices that undermine racial and economic justice in the African American community.

David Pate
Associate professor and chair, social work
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
Can discuss topics including: How black men are affected by the social welfare system and challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security; low-income African American men, fatherhood and child support. Pate’s research projects examine life course events of black men and boys.

Joseph A. Rodriguez
Professor and chair, history
College of Letters and Science
Can discuss topics including: Latino history, immigration history and public policy; urban history and policies related to race and ethnicity; urban transportation history and policies related to mass transit and the automobile’s impact on society. Rodriguez’s research involves the impact of the automobile on cities and minority communities. He is affiliated with the Urban Studies and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies programs.


Rachel Ida Buff
Professor, history
College of Letters & Science
Can discuss topics including: Contemporary and historical immigrant populations in Wisconsin and across the United States; histories of deportation policy and immigrant rights. Her upcoming book is “A is for Asylum Seeker: A Glossary of Terms for People on the Move.”

Alberto Maldonado
Director, Roberto Hernández Center Can discuss topics including: Maldonado helps lead the Chancellor’s Committee for Hispanic Serving Initiatives at UWM and has helped draft university policy for undocumented students. Also chair of the Undocumented Student Task Force at UWM, Maldonado can speak to how the campus responds to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals issues as well as the university’s efforts to recruit and support students. He can do interviews in either English or Spanish.

James Peoples
Professor, economics
College of Letters & Science
Can discuss topics including: How globalization and a strong economy have pressured U.S. employers to hire workers, particularly immigrants, at low wages; Growing share of immigrants in the U.S. labor market and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s ban on individuals traveling to the United States from Muslim-majority nations; how the decision is affecting the percentage of immigrants in the American workforce, from low-skill, low-wage jobs to health care and academia.

Public Health

Mustafa Hussein
Assistant professor, public health policy and administration
Zilber School of Public Health
Can discuss topics including: Models of the spread of coronavirus and the health care system capacity; how disease spread may be exacerbated by social and economic inequality, how it may widen disparities, and the government policy response.

Joel RastAssociate professor, political science
College of Letters & Science
Can discuss topics including: Association between coronavirus spread in Milwaukee with race and patterns of segregation. Rast is director of the Center for Economic Development at UWM, which recently released a study on the subject. In 2019, the center released a study looking at what researchers called an “enduring ecosystem of disadvantage” in Milwaukee’s 53206 ZIP code.

Anika Wilson
Associate professor and chair, African and African diaspora studies
College of Letters and Science
Can discuss topics including: Cultural responses to epidemics and informal flow of information about health and health care through channels such as gossip, rumor and conspiracy theory.