During her time of employment with GenForward, Terri Smith was a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. She was also an APSA Minority Fellow. Terri received a BA in Political Science from Louisiana State University where she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar.
Her research interests have included Black politics, gender and sexuality, and social movements. Terri has studied Black Queer Feminism — a political praxis within radical Black-led social movements — and the dynamics of power that exist within movement work and community organizing. In particular, she has been interested in how Black Queer Feminist politics of care and accountability shape activist’s interaction with the state.
Prior to attending the University of Chicago, Terri was a scholar-activist who conducted research and community-based activism surrounding racial attitudes and state-sanctioned violence against Black and Brown communities. For GenForward, Terri was a pre-doctoral scholar for public-facing data and served as the director of the Data Liberation project. Here, she bridged connections between the academy and activist communities by managing and conducting webinars, panel discussions, and seminars that think with community organizers about how they might operationalize GenForward data. The Data Liberation project seeks to prevent the use of data from being siloed within the academy and also to promote the use of data as a tool within liberation-focused movement work.