The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced the 20 latest recipients in its fellowship program, commonly referred to as “genius grants.” MacArthur fellows receive a grant of $800,000 over five years to spend however they want on their academic or creative endeavors.
Of this year’s 20 winners, five are Black scholars with current ties to the academic world.
E. Tendayi Achiume is the Alicia Miñana Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Achiume received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a juris doctorate from Yale Law School. Before coming to UCLA in 2014, she worked as a legal clerk in the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Andrea Armstrong is the Dr. Norman C. Francis Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans. Her scholarship focuses on state and federal law governing incarceration and detention policies. Armstrong earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master of public affairs degree from Princeton University, and a juris doctorate from Yale University.
Courtney Bryan is an associate professor of music and jazz studies at Tulane University in New Orleans. She also serves as the Albert and Linda Mintz Professor of Music and composer-in-residence at Opera Philadelphia. Dr. Bryan is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. She earned a master’s degree in music from Rutgers University in New Jersey and a second master’s degree and a doctorate in music from Columbia University.
María Magdalena Campos-Pons is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair and professor of fine arts at Vanderbilt University, where she founded the Engine for Art, Democracy & Justice Program. Her artistic practice spans photography, performance, sculpture, drawing, painting, and video. She holds degrees from the National School of Art and the Higher Institute of Art both in Havana, Cuba.
Imani Perry is the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute. She is also the Henry A. Morss, Jr., and Elisabeth W. Morss Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and of African and African American Studies and co-founder of the Black Teacher Archive at Harvard University. Professor Perry is a graduate of Yale University, where she majored in literature and American studies. She earned a Ph.D. in American studies from Harvard University, a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree in law from Georgetown University.