Shay-Akil McLean (@Hood_Biologist) is a Queer Trans man racialized as Black, on stolen Indigenous land, an educator, organizer, writer, public intellectual, human biologist, anthropologist & sociologist. Shay-Akil is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the UIUC School of Integrative Biology’s Program for Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation (PEEC). Shay-Akil studies Du Boisian sociology, STS/HASTS, race/ism, human health demography, evolutionary genetics, & theoretical population genetics. He holds degrees in biological anthropology (BA & MA) & sociology (BA & MA) which he uses to study bioethics, medical ethics, philosophy of biology, population genetics, evolutionary theory, health inequities, & knowledge production. As a developing scholar, Shay-Akil studies how systems of human practices produce the differential distribution of health, illness, quality of life, and death. He is also the founder of the free political education website decolonizeallthethings.com & the scientific ethics website decolonizeallthescience.com.
Shay-Akil’s Master’s work in biological anthropology looked at the effects of food insecurity, poverty, & racial residential segregation on the dental health of low-income Black people in the 4th poorest city in the United States. It is through this work that Shay-Akil began developing community-based grassroots interventions that focus on changing marginalized’s people’s relationships to knowledge & power.
The goal of Shay-Akil’s work is to create spaces for strategic gains toward organizing communities against the structural violence that heavily effects disease risk & life determinants. Shay-Akil has developed & facilitated workshops, teach-ins, Saturday school programs, designed curricula, & given guest lectures on a range of topics including:
- Taking Social Constructionism Seriously
- Science That Unsettles
- Best Practices for Democratizing Research
- A Primer on Race/ism
- The People’s Science Panel UIUC GEO
- Health Inequities
- Black Feminism & Intersectionality
- Colonialism & Gender
- Political Education As Resistance
- Black Feminism & Hip Hop
- Intersectionality & Controlling Images In Hip Hop
- Pan Africanism & African Liberation
- Bio- & Necro-politics
D.A.T.T. is a political education website for the purposes of fostering digital spaces of de-colonization. The goal is for theories to match practice & progressively transform how we think about the world & live in it. Here Shay-Akil comments on anything from academia to theory, pop culture, social critique, & organizing but all with a critical analysis of settler colonialism. Shay-Akil posts reading lists, discussions of critical issues relating to marginalized communities, & tips on the role of political education in everyday decolonial practice. With D.A.T.T., Shay-Akil aims to provide a free platform for decolonial scholarship that provides people with political education & critical thinking resources to foster empowerment & critical awareness outside of the repressive confines of colonial norms & regimes of truth.
FOR INQUIRIES, BOOKINGS, &/OR ACADEMIC CONSULTATION CONTACT SHAY AKIL AT: firstname.lastname@example.org