Uzma Chowdhury (she/hers) identifies as a sociologist researching love, and probably always has been, even if she didn’t know it yet! She has worked in race and gender theory and praxis for ten years. After studying race and gender creatively through literature and poetry, theoretically through sociology, and practically in public education, political and nonprofit organizations. Following four years teaching and running school gardens in Newark, New Jersey, Uzma began to focus on the unique intersection of education, learning, community, and anti-racism. She has launched two inaugural DEI programs at two separate school networks, launched and run a national 15-month fellowship for aspiring anti-racist education leaders, and worked as a strategist, analyst, facilitator, program designer, and consultant designing and executing DEI education and strategy for organizations such as Facebook, RFK Human Rights Foundation, DC Public Schools, and Columbia University. Over the past three years, she has shifted her focus to becoming a professional sociologist using data as a tool rather than a weapon to bring rigor and love to anti-racism and anti-sexism practices. Using queer black feminist theories about love (bell hooks, James Baldwin, Angela Davis) she studies love as the practice of freedom by developing full cycle data tools to measuring love and lovelessness quantitatively and qualitatively in individuals, personal and professional communities, and the institutions and systems that determine how society functions. Her latest project is a systematic literature review of bell hooks’ prolific works, and the works of her influences and those she has influenced to define what hooks’ six dimensions of love look like in practice to offer communities a framework for practicing a love ethic daily and long-term.
She is also a writer, and her work focuses on love, accountability, and practicing personal commitments to anti-racism and disrupting anti-Blackness as a non-Black person, but for fun she is also working on a coming of age vaguely biographical comedy about coming of age as a Muslim in the post 9/11 deep south.