*The work each founding member does with Antiracist Electoral Action is as a private citizen.
Tehama Lopez Bunyasi is a political scientist and educator. Her scholarship is broadly concerned with matters of race, racism and antiracism in the United States, with specialization in public opinion, political behavior, racial ideologies, and racial marginalization. She is the co-author of Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter (New York University Press, 2019). Her next book project Breaking the Racial Contract: Privilege Awareness and the Politics of Whiteness (under contract with New York University Press) redirects the study of racial attitudes to address the under-articulated side of racial inequality—racial advantage—and maps out a constellation of critical resistance to the hierarchical racial order.
Andrea Benjamin is a political scientist and educator. Her research interests include race and politics, local elections and voting behavior, and public opinion. Her new work is concerned with community representation in a local context and political mobilization. Outside of research and teaching, she is very active in her local community. She is the author of Racial Coalition Building in Local Elections: Elite Cues and Cross-Ethnic Voting (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which explores the potential for Black and Latino Coalitions in local politics. Using the Co-Ethnic Elite Cues Theory, the book shows that Blacks and Latinos rely on endorsements from co-ethnic leaders when casting their ballots. This is especially true when race and ethnicity are salient in the campaign.
Andy Shallal is an artist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Busboys and Poets, a group of restaurants in the Washington Metropolitan area where art, culture and politics intentionally collide over mindfully sourced food, drinks and programming that feeds the mind, body and soul. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Mayor’s Arts Award, Employer of the Year from the Employment Justice Center, the Mayor’s Environmental Award, Washingtonian of the Year (Washingtonian Magazine) and DC Hall of Fame among others. More recently he was tapped to be a member of the ReOpen DC task force during the coronavirus pandemic. He holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business at The University of Maryland.
Sekou Franklin is a political scientist and educator. He is the author of After the Rebellion: Social Movement Activism and Popular Mobilization among the Post-Civil Rights Generation (New York University Press, 2014), co-author of Losing Power: African Americans and Racial Polarization in Tennessee Politics (University of Georgia Press, 2020), and editor of State of Blacks in Middle Tennessee (Urban League of Middle Tennessee, 2010/2011). He is the President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (2019-2021) and is a facilitator for the James Lawson Institute, a training center that focuses on movement building and strategic nonviolent action.