Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at UCLA, was recently awarded the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation honors 25 luminaries, who each receive $625,000 over five years. The Chicago-based foundation has awarded these “genius” grants every year since 1981 to help further the pursuits of people with outstanding talent and extraordinary creativity.

“This is an unexpected and thrilling recognition that I hope shines a light on the dangerous, antidemocratic, and unjust technologies that need to be abolished or regulated. I hope to use this grant to further my own work and amplify the work of other Black women.”

Dr. Noble is the co-founder and faculty director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, an interdisciplinary research center working at the intersection of civil and human rights, social justice, democracy, and technology. Her scholarship focuses on digital media and its impact on society, as well as how digital technology and artificial intelligence converge with questions of race, gender, culture, and power. In her best-selling book, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, she explores how AI and algorithms harm vulnerable people, and undermine the public good.

LA Social Science congratulates Professor Safiya Umoja Noble on this well-deserved honor.

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