About Shay-Akil

dr shay_select4Dr. Shay-Akil McLean, Ph.D. (IG: @Hood_Biologist & @DrShayAkil) is a Queer Trans masculine & genderqueer man (THEY/he) racialized as Black, on stolen Indigenous land, an educator, organizer, writer, public intellectual, human biologist, geneticist, biological anthropologist & sociologist. Dr. McLean earned their Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) School of Integrative Biology’s Program for Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology (PEEC).

Dr. McLean 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 free scientific ethics website decolonizeallthescience.com.

Dr. McLean studies Du Boisian sociology, STS/HASTS, race/ism, human health demography, evolutionary genetics, & theoretical population genetics. They hold degrees in both biological anthropology (BA & MA) & sociology (BA & MA). Dr. McLean uses this training to study bioethics, medical ethics, philosophy of biology, theoretical population genetics, evolutionary theory, human ecology, health inequities, & knowledge production.

Dr. McLean’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 Dr. McLean began developing community-based grassroots interventions that focus on changing marginalized’s people’s relationships to knowledge & power. The goal of Dr. McLean’s work is to produce otherwise alternative by creating the conditions required to achieve strategic gains toward organizing communities against the structural violence killing colonized & racialized peoples & the earth.

As a public educator & scientist, Dr. McLean has developed & facilitated workshops, teach-ins, Saturday school programs, designed curricula, & given guest lectures on a wide range of topics including:

About D.A.T.T.:

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.




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