Published: Feb. 3, 2021

Martin Luther King, Jr.

During Black History Month, experts from the University of Colorado Boulder are available to discuss various elements of Black history in America, from the impacts of the criminal justice system to cultural and protest movements and diversity in science. 

This list will be updated as new experts become available. 

Race and criminal justice 

Aya Gruber, a professor of law, is a former public defender and frequent commentator on criminal justice issues and can speak on: mass incarceration, racial profiling, Black Lives Matter and race and gender. She has appeared on ABC, NBC and PBS, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Denver Post and Associated Press.

History and culture 

Reiland Rabaka, professor in the department of ethnic studies, is a specialist in the history of black protest movements and black popular culture. He teaches courses on and can speak about the Black Lives Matter movement, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power movement and Black Women's Liberation movement. He also created the first Hip Hop Studies class at CU Boulder in 2005 and can discuss African American music from spirituals and blues to rap music.

Patty Limerick is the faculty director and chair of the board of the Center of the American West. She can discuss the history and migration of Black communities in the West. Interview availability is limited, advance notice required. 

Representation in STEM

Jessica Rush Leeker is the director of Undergraduate Education and Stephen Dunn Professor of Engineering Management at CU Boulder’s Engineering Management Program (EMP). She can discuss the underrepresentation of people of color and the role of diversity, equity and inclusion in engineering and science professions.

To schedule an interview with any of these experts, contact CU Boulder media relations at