Valencia Scott

University of California, Davis

Valencia Scott graduated from UC Davis with Honors in Sociocultural Anthropology (BA) and International Relations (BA). She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Her work and research was made possible by the support and mentorship of faculty in Anthropology and African American & African Studies Departments. She is an advocate and organizer whose passion for Black immigrant liberation was shaped by her experience as the first Mental Health & Cultural Identity Advocate at the UC Davis AB540 & Undocumented Students Center.

Valencia's research focuses on Black immigrant experiences of incarceration, exploring a range of issues stemming from racial disparities in surveillance, detention/incarceration abuse, and law enforcement. Her undergraduate honors thesis explored the use of language in legal, social media, and political rhetoric about immigrant exclusion. Her thesis drew connections between the Islamophobic discourse used to uphold the U.S. 2016 Travel (Muslim) Ban to the racialized/anti-Black exclusion of Haitian asylum seekers in the 1980s and 90s. In support of her work, Valencia was awarded the Provost Undergraduate Fellowship the Department of Anthropology Research Grant. She also received the UC Davis Beyond the Barriers Carceral Justice Award in recognition of her research in 2020.

As a Marshall Scholar, she will pursue an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Oxford. She hopes to continue on to earn her DPhil in Criminology before pursuing a career in the legal field. For her Masters, she plans to write a dissertation that draws connections between the disproportionate use of solitary confinement against Black immigrants to legacies of prison and corporal punishment during enslavement and colonial periods.