DaShanne Stokes

Fresh, visionary, and known for digging deep beneath the surface, Dr. DaShanne Stokes (Wiki/IMDb, pronounced Duh-Shane) is an accomplished sociologist, internationally recognized public intellectual, and respected social justice advocate. A scholar of politics, race, and LGBT issues, he is a sought-after speaker, political commentator, and analyst featured on NPR, the BBC, MSN, Sky News, and other media. Through his work, Dr. Stokes has deepened our understanding of inequality, power, and politics and has advanced a bold and inclusive vision of social justice.

Dr. Stokes is visiting lecturer and research associate at the University of Pittsburgh and frequently teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Stokes's penetrating thinking has been quoted globally by world leaders, overseas elected officials, former members of the U.S. Congress, political candidates, celebrities, social movement leaders, religious leaders, and hundreds of times around the world in books, scholarly journals, and major outlets like People, USA Today, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, and MSN.

Independent research found that Dr. Stokes' work influenced public debate surrounding the Donald Trump presidency. His analyses and commentaries have also appeared numerous times in publications like HuffPost, The Advocate, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.

Dr. Stokes' research investigates the hidden intricacies of power and its complex intersections with politics, race, and LGBT issues. This approach deepens our understanding of power and the processes and mechanisms involved in inequality and the abuse of power.

His peer-reviewed work has appeared in scholarly books as well as academic journals like the International Review of Sociology and the American Indian Culture and Research Journal. His work has appeared in university textbooks. Dr. Stokes has also presented his original research numerous times at prestigious academic conferences like the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Dr. Stokes has served as a strategic adviser to businesses and social movement leaders. In 2016, Stokes' work originating the idea and original design elements of the #MeToo emoji raised the visibility and impact of the global #MeToo movement, which was featured as Time magazine's 2017 Person of the Year. Dr. Stokes also served as a campaign surrogate for the successful Biden-Harris 2020 presidential election campaign.

Prior to completing his doctorate, Dr. Stokes served as the founding Executive Director (2005-2008) of Religious Freedom with Raptors (RFR). In this role, Dr. Stokes led the organization, oversaw strategic efforts, directed communications and organizing, and oversaw public education efforts for the first social justice organization to fight for state and federally recognized Native American tribes' religious freedom with hawk and eagle feathers needed for spiritual practices nation-wide.

Under DaShanne’s leadership, RFR informed national discourse about Native American rights and made a significant and lasting impact. Dr. Stokes’ work was instrumental in mobilizing opposition that successfully changed the language of California State Senate bill AB1729 (2007) to protect the religious freedom of over 400,000 Native American people.

Dr. Stokes' work was also cited as an authority in the appellant brief and motion for summary judgment in McAllen Grace Brethren Church v. Salazar (764 F.3d 465, 5th Cir. 2014), a ground-breaking court case which opened the door for Native American members of state-recognized tribes to acquire eagle feathers for religious and spiritual needs. In 2020, Dr. Stokes was also quoted in a writ petition issued by the High Court of Madras, India (W.P.No.13189/2020), in advancement of collective rights and privileges.

As a college student from 2001 to 2003, Stokes founded and managed his own company, Indigenous Creations, before entering graduate study in 2003.

Stokes received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, a master's from Minnesota State University in sociology, a second master's in psychology from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from The University of South Dakota.

Dr. Stokes' inspirational story of overcoming discrimination, abuse, trauma, crises, poverty, and homelessness has been featured multiple times on the front page of HuffPost, where he is a contributor, and is the subject of his forthcoming memoir, Recomposition.



For media inquiries, please contact media (at) dashannestokes (dot) com.

For speaking inquiries, please contact speaking (at) dashannestokes (dot) com.


Education and Training

Ph.D.      University of Pittsburgh, Sociology

M.A.      Minnesota State University, Sociology

M.A.      Boston University, Psychology

B.S.       University of South Dakota, Biology


Courses Taught

Race, Class, and Gender

Political Sociology

Social Problems

Wealth and Power

Elementary Statistics

Elementary Statistics (Honors Independent Study)


Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology (Honors)

Social Research Methods



Curriculum Vitae

DaShanne Stokes Vitae pdf


Research Interests

Race and Ethnicity

Sociology of Sexualities

Political Sociology



Empire and Postcolonialism

Cultural Sociology

Comparative and Historical Sociology

Sociological Theory

Native American Studies

Global Studies

Sociology of Law

Social Movements


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Learn More About DaShanne Stokes's Story

"What Accidentally Discovering I Was Adopted Taught Me About Religious Freedom"**

"Coming Out in the Midst of the Orlando Massacre"**

"A Life in America Without Religious Freedom"**

"From Abused and Homeless to Ph.D."

**Note: Featured on the Front Page of HuffPost.