Lauren Threatte

Lauren ThreatteRacial Justice Educator

Lauren Threatte is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Policy at The Heller School of Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University.  She has held positions as Diversity Management Specialist, Diversity Project Assistant, and has served as a member of the Diversity Working Group and the Disability Working Group at The Heller School.  She has also worked as Teaching Assistant for a course at Brandeis titled “Race and the Law.” Prior to coming to Brandeis, she practiced law in Chicago, (her hometown), in the public sector where she represented and counseled indigent clients in civil and criminal cases.  Lauren entered the Ph.D. program with a passion for advocacy, criminal and racial justice, social equity, women’s empowerment and solving structural barriers to equal protection under the law.  

Lauren identifies as a Black American woman with diverse ancestry who experiences disAbility.  She has published work on mental stigma and sanism and is an advocate for disability rights.  She is an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and a member of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.  As a scholar influenced by Critical Black Feminism, Intersectionality, and Queer Theory, she hopes to elevate BLM to a Black Bodies Matter (BBM) movement through interrogating the devaluation of Black beauty, objectification of Black bodies, and subjugation of Black peoples to the disapproving gaze of nonblack others.  

During her studies, Lauren gained experience conducting qualitative interviews with vulnerable populations and designing anti-oppressive research on experiences of Black American students in predominantly White institutions of higher education.  Lauren’s current research interests are on intersectional, institutional, cultural and systemic racism, exclusion and marginalization.  Her dissertation constructs theory about ideologies of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policy in elite higher education. 

Lauren plans to further her career in DEI through teaching, research and practice.  Her lived experience, self-identity construction and education position her and qualify her to facilitate dialogues that speak to the unique and diverse experiences of BIPOC and people living with a disAbility.  She is especially well situated to design curriculum for programs to advance anti-racism in its many forms and to support the interests of Black women and other women of Color in predominantly White institutions.