Tabia Shawel grew up in Southern California and received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles in African American Studies in 2011. In 2012, she relocated to the Bay Area to begin an AmeriCorps program known as Public Allies, which placed her on the Campus of San José State University (SJSU). She went on to pursue her master’s in Justice Studies at SJSU and graduated in 2017. Her current research has broadly centered on hip hop as a political expression. Specifically, she examines the re-emergence of political hip hop in mainstream media outlets and how it serves as an entry point for human rights discourse. Ms. Shawel has presented her research at several national conferences including the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the Western Society of Criminology (WSC). Her other research interests include the intersection of Black popular culture, media, and politics in addition to social movements for racial justice in the 21st century.