- Community Organizing and Theories of Social Change
- Immigration and Refugee Policy
- Religion and Discourses of Faith
- Politics of Public Education
Regions of Study
- United States
- South Africa
- Amherst College (BA)
- University of California at Santa Cruz (MA, PhD)
Leah. “Models for Migrant Leadership: The Cape Town Women’s Platform.” African Human Mobility Review 2(2):
Leah, Lisa J. Hardy, Roxana De Niz and Michelle Thomas. “Defying Displacement: Organizing for a Beautiful Life in
Flagstaff, Arizona.” Practicing
2010 Mundell, Leah. “A Theology of Presence:
Faith Partnerships with U.S. Public Schools.” In Not By Faith Alone: Social Services, Social Justice, and Faith-Based
Organizations in the U.S., edited by Julie Adkins, Laurie Occhipinti, and
Tara Hefferan.Lanham, MD: Lexington
2004 Gold, Eva, Elaine Simon, Leah Mundell, and Chris Brown.
Community Organizing into the School Reform Picture.” Nonprofit
and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 33S(3):54S-76S.
2004 Bulkley, Katrina, Leah Mundell, and Morgan
Riffer. Contracting Out Schools: The First Year of the Philadelphia Diverse
Provider Model. Philadelphia, PA: Research for Action.
As an applied anthropologist, my
research interests intersect directly with my experience as a community
organizer. My current research focuses on the experiences of African refugees
in Cape Town, South Africa, where I am working with the Scalabrini Centre of
Cape Town in developing a cross-national Women’s Platform. I explore the
organizational challenges and life experiences of women attempting to act
collectively in a context of increasing xenophobia and restrictive immigration
At NAU, I facilitate the
Immigration Action Learning Team, an opportunity for students to conduct
community-based research and engage locally in issues of immigration. Students
in the Immigration ALT and my course on Global Migration take a multi-day field
trip to the U.S./Mexico border to discuss issues such as immigration detention,
border security, labor issues, migrant deaths, and environmental effects of our
current immigration policies. Recently, the Immigration ALT helped develop a
photo exhibit, “Migrant Lives and Leadership,” which combines photos and
interview excerpts to compare the experiences of migrants in Cape Town, South
Africa and Flagstaff, Arizona.
I am the coordinator for the NAU
Civic Engagement Minor, which can be combined with any NAU major to give
students hands-on skills in democratic action to help bring about change at
local, national, and global levels.
I am also a faculty
advisor for Community University Public Inquiry, an interdisciplinary.
undergraduate research collaboration with Flagstaff organizations. My research
pod works with Northern Arizona Interfaith Council, where I previously served
as Director of Organizing, to conduct research on immigration policy and issues
of local concern.