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Donia Human Rights Center Future Leaders in Human Rights Panel

Charles Crabtree, Volha Chykina, and Tamy Guberek
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
5:00-7:00 PM
355 Weiser Hall Map
Donia Human Rights Center Future Leaders in Human Rights Panel showcases cutting edge research in human rights conducted by young scholars from various disciplinary backgrounds. It is also a forum for University of Michigan students and scholars interested in human rights issues to come together for interdisciplinary intellectual engagement and to promote innovative and impactful research in human rights. Please RSVP for the panel here:


Charles Crabtree
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science
"How Public Opinion Shapes Discriminatory Policing"

Why do the police discriminate against racial minorities? Unlike existing studies, which focus on explicit or implicit biases among the police, I argue that racial discrimination depends in a conditional way on the extent of egalitarian views among the police and the public. To test the implications of my theory, I conduct an innovative survey experiment with American law enforcement administrators and elected officials who oversee the police. As predicted, elected politicians exhibit less racial discrimination in law enforcement oversight when informed that the public supports racial equality in policing. Contrary to my theory, though, police do not react to perceived public demand for egalitarianism. Overall, my results suggest that public attitudes toward racial equality influence police discrimination only indirectly, through the institutions that monitor and check their power. My paper contributes to the growing inter-disciplinary literature on the politics of policing by illuminating how public opinion shapes law enforcement outcomes.

Charles Crabtree is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. His substantive research focuses on various aspects of repression and discrimination in comparative, American, and international politics. Methodologically, he is interested in research design, experiments, and using computational tools to better understand the social world. He has published work on these topics in the British Journal of Political Science, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Electoral Studies, International Interactions, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Experimental Political Science, the Journal of Peace Research, Political Research Quarterly, Political Analysis, Political Science Research and Methods, PS: Political Science & Politics, Research & Politics, State Politics & Policy Quarterly, and in several journals in other fields.

Volha (Olga) Chykina
Postdoctoral Fellow, Donia Human Rights Center
“Public Opinion Towards Immigrants and the Educational Experiences of Immigrant Students: Evidence from Europe and the United States”

In my work, I examine whether heightened levels of anti-immigrant sentiment negatively affect the academic outcomes of immigrant youth. More specifically, I conduct a cross-national examination of the achievement and educational expectations to attain a college degree of first and second-generation immigrant youth in Europe as well as a sub-national examination in the United States. As part of it, I analyze data from traditional and new immigrant destination countries in Europe. In line with my theory, I find that an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment is associated with a decrease in student math achievement and student expectations to attain a college degree. I also analyze data from standardized state assessments in California. I find that an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment is associated with a reduction in student scores on these tests. To conduct these analyses, I create a novel measure of sub-national anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States. Prior studies have largely ignored that students might be influenced by discrimination that occurs outside the schoolhouse. My work addresses this gap in the literature by showing that anti-immigrant sentiment might hamper immigrant educational outcomes. These findings are especially important in light of heightened anti-immigrant sentiment in both Europe and the United States.

Volha Chykina is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Donia Human Rights Center at the University of Michigan. Previously, she was a Ph.D. student in the Educational Theory and Policy program and the Comparative and International Education program at the Pennsylvania State University. Broadly defined, her research attempts to answer the question of what drives educational inequality in the United States and cross-nationally. A significant portion of this research examines how the educational policies and characteristics of immigrant and minority students’ communities affect their educational outcomes. Her research has been published or is forthcoming in Sociological Science, the British Journal of Sociology of Education, Socius, The Social Science Journal, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, Globalisation, Societies and Education, and European Education. She also has a number of working projects that can be found on her website,

Tamy Guberek
Ph.D. Candidate, School of Information
“Data Dilemmas: The Impact of Communicating Uncertain Numbers in Human Rights Decision-making”

Data about crime, violence and human rights abuses is shrouded with uncertainty. Missing data is high, rarely randomly distributed, and ground truth is almost never attainable. How does communicating the limitations of these data impact decision-making? While human rights scholars recommend that advocates transparently communicate data limitations to audiences, existing studies from cognitive science and science communication disagree about whether doing so is effective, counterproductive, or something in between. In this talk, I will present early results from experimental research where I find strong evidence that the content of conveying uncertainty in data matters. As predicted, simple caveats have no impact on decisions, while more informative expressions of uncertainty do. These findings suggest that those who include numeric information about such difficult to observe phenomena should carefully review and consider the impact of their communication strategies.

Tamy Guberek is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information. Her research focuses on various challenges as data, archives and technology intersect with advancing human rights and protecting vulnerable communities. She has published in Archival Science, Statistics Politics and Policy, and the ACM Human Factors in Computing (CHI) peer-reviewed proceedings, as well as co-authored various reports with and for human rights practitioners. Prior to graduate school, Guberek led work in Latin America for the Human Rights Data Analysis Group.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: European, Human Rights, immigration, Politics, Research
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Donia Human Rights Center, International Institute