Jessica Bray

Jessica Bray is one of the Graduate Fellows at the Center for Civic Leadership. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in Anthropology with certificates in Teaching and Learning; the study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality; and Critical and Cultural Theory. As a writing consultant, teaching assistant, and instructor at Rice University, her entire academic career shows a commitment to fostering the role of higher education in the community and educating students committed to social justice.

Jessica's dissertation research tracks the relationship between trust, transparency, and technology with particular attention to the unevenness of technological innovations when it comes to gender, race, and sexuality. Her research explores the ways that surveillance, particularly facial recognition, becomes a tool for lawyers and organizers to argue against the state’s imperative to make citizens legible. This research is rooted in 18-months of ethnographic fieldwork with organizers, police officers, and government officials. Her methods employed principles of ethical engagement to engage partners in mutually beneficial projects. 

Jessica is passionate about the role of higher education in and beyond the classroom. At the CCL, she enjoys advising and working with the undergraduate community engaged learning programs and events.