Hayes, Robin J

Robin J. Hayes
PhD, African American Studies and Political Science, Yale University
Assistant Professor, Non Profit Management, Media Studies and International Affairs

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Areas of Expertise:
Social Movements; Cuba; Race and Politics; Race in Transnational Context; The Sixties; Documentary Filmmaking; Race and Film
Robin J. Hayes is a scholar and filmmaker who was the first person at Yale University to earn a combined doctorate in African American Studies and Political Science. With the help of a scholarship from the A Better Chance (ABC) program, she graduated from the prestigious St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island at the age of 16. After completing her bachelor’s degree at New York University with honors, she supervised a legal clinic for homeless families at the Urban Justice Center and facilitated human rights delegations and aid shipments to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Chiapas, Mexico as a national coordinator of the Inter-religious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO). She produced and directed the documentary Beautiful Me(s): Finding our Revolutionary Selves in Black Cuba. She is currently finishing up Black Reconstructions, a documentary feature that explores how African Americans and AfroCubans can learn from one another about building community, forging coalitions and openly discussing racism. In addition to publishing scholarly articles in Souls: a Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society and Maroon: the Yale Journal of African American Studies, Hayes has received funding for research from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation. She has given lectures about her work on the politics of the African diaspora at the University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Southern California, Indiana University, the University of Washington-Seattle and Middlebury College among others. She is also working on a book manuscript titled African Liberation, Black Power and a Diasporic Underground.
Courses Taught:
  • Black Social Movements
  • Social Justice Cinema: Marginalized Realities and Transnational Advocacy in Documentary Film
  • Making a Difference
Recent Publications:
Beautiful Me(s): Finding our Revolutionary Selves in Black Cuba (documentary) 2008

“A Free Black Mind is a Concealed Weapon”: Institutions and Social Movements in the
African Diaspora. Souls: a Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society 9 (2007): 223-234

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