Jasmine Benjamin is a fourth year PhD candidate in American Politics. Her general research interests include race and politics, cultural trauma, racial violence, and political attitudes.

Her dissertation uses a lens of cultural trauma to examine how events of highly publicized racial violence impact African Americans beliefs in government institutions. Previous research in political science has examined public opinion and political mobilization around similar events such as the HIV/AIDS crisis, the beating of Rodney King and Hurricane Katrina. Researchers in political science have yet to examine the trauma these recent events can elicit for African Americans and how these deaths impact their beliefs about government institutions. Her dissertation asks the following research questions. First, how do African Americans process events of highly publicized violence against others in their racial group? Second, what are the political implications for Black people continuously witnessing events of highly publicized violence? Third, since many of these deaths occurred in public while engaging in innocuous activities how does witnessing these events of violence through news and social media impact how African Americans engage politically? She will investigate these questions through a survey experiment, interviews, and focus groups.

Jasmine is also a UChicago Urban Doctoral Fellow and participated in the University of Pennsylvania Predissertation Fellowship for the Summer Institute on Inequality. She is currently a Higher Education Intern for Diversity and Inclusion for UChicagoGRAD and has a leadership role on the Diversity Advisory Board.

Jasmine was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, participated in Leadership Alliance, and received a BA from Claflin University in Politics and Justice Studies in 2013.