Writers, artists, poets, a virologist, activists, and filmmakers are among the luminaries named as this year’s MacArthur fellows. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Tuesday announced 25 people will each receive $625,000 over five years to use as they please. The Chicago-based foundation has awarded the "genius grants" every year since 1981 to help further the pursuits of people with outstanding talent. Via the AP, the 2021 fellows are:
- Hanif Abdurraqib, 38, Columbus, Ohio, music critic, essayist, and poet forging a distinctive style of cultural and artistic criticism through the lens of popular music and autobiography.
- Daniel Alarcón, 44, New York, writer and radio producer chronicling the social and cultural ties that connect Spanish-speaking communities across the Americas.
- Marcella Alsan, 44, Cambridge, Mass., physician-economist investigating the role that legacies of discrimination and resulting mistrust play in perpetuating racial disparities in health.
- Trevor Bedford, 39, Seattle, computational virologist developing tools for real-time tracking of virus evolution and the spread of infectious diseases.
- Reginald Dwayne Betts, 40, New Haven, Conn., poet and lawyer promoting the humanity and rights of individuals who are or have been incarcerated.
- Jordan Casteel, 32, New York, painter capturing everyday encounters with people of color in portraits that invite reciprocal recognition of our shared humanity.
- Don Mee Choi, 59, Seattle, poet and translator bearing witness to the effects of military violence and US imperialism on the civilians of the Korean Peninsula.
- Ibrahim Cissé, 38, Pasadena, Calif., 38, cellular biophysicist developing microscopy tools to investigate the subcellular processes underlying genetic regulation and misfunction.
- Nicole Fleetwood, 48, New York, art historian and curator elucidating the cultural and aesthetic significance of visual art created by incarcerated people.
- Cristina Ibarra, 49, Pasadena, Calif., documentary filmmaker crafting nuanced narratives about borderland communities, often from the perspective of Chicana and Latina youth.
- Ibram X. Kendi, 39, Boston, American historian and cultural critic advancing conversations around anti-Black racism and possibilities for repair in a variety of initiatives and platforms.
- Daniel Lind-Ramos, 68, Loiza, Puerto Rico, sculptor and painter transforming everyday objects into assemblages that speak to the global connections inherent in Afro-Caribbean and diaspora legacies.
- Monica Muñoz Martinez, 37, Austin, Texas, public historian bringing to light long-obscured cases of racial violence along the US-Mexico border and their reverberations in the present.
- Desmond Meade, 54, Orlando, Fla., civil rights activist working to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated citizens and remove barriers to their full participation in civic life.
- Joshua Miele, 52, Berkeley, Calif., adaptive technology designer developing devices to enable blind and visually impaired people to access everyday technologies and digital information.
- Michelle Monje, 45, Palo Alto, Calif., neurologist and neuro-oncologist advancing understanding of pediatric brain cancers and the effects of cancer treatments with an eye toward improved therapies for patients.
- Safiya Noble, 51, Los Angeles, digital media scholar highlighting the ways digital technologies and internet architectures magnify racism, sexism, and harmful stereotypes.
- J. Taylor Perron, 44, Cambridge, Mass., geomorphologist deconstructing the physical processes that create landforms on Earth and other planetary bodies.
- Alex Rivera, 48, Pasadena, Calif., filmmaker and media artist exploring issues around migration to the United States and exploitative labor practices with an activist orientation.
- Lisa Schulte Moore, 50, Ames, Iowa, landscape ecologist implementing locally relevant approaches to improve soil and water quality and strengthen the resilience of row crop agriculture.
- Jesse Shapiro, 41, Providence, RI, applied microeconomist devising new frameworks of analysis to advance understanding of media bias, ideological polarization, and the efficacy of public policy interventions.
- Jacqueline Stewart, 51, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures/University of Chicago, Los Angeles, cinema studies scholar and curator ensuring that contributions of overlooked Black filmmakers and communities of spectators have a place in the public imagination.
- Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, 49, Princeton, NJ, historian analyzing the political and economic forces underlying racial inequality and the role of social movements in transforming society.
- Victor J. Torres, 44, New York, microbiologist investigating how bacterial pathogens overcome the immune system and identifying potential therapies.
- Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, 70, Tallahassee, Fla., choreographer and dance entrepreneur using the power of dance and artistic expression to elevate the voices of Black women and promote civic engagement.
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