Professor Dana Fisher

Dana R. Fisher is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on studying democracy, civic participation, activism and environmental policymaking.  Recent studies focus on the youth climate movement, the movement against systemic racism, and the American Resistance. She has authored over sixty peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters, and has written six books, including Activism, Inc (Stanford University Press 2006) and American Resistance (Columbia University Press 2019). 

 Professor Fisher has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS Newshour, and various programs on BBC, CBC, and National Public Radio. She has written about her work for the Washington Post, TIME, Politico, Business Insider, the American Prospect, and other outlets. She has presented her work to federal agencies, foundations, and other organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.  Fisher is currently serving as a Contributing Author for Working Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment Review (IPCC AR6) writing about activism and citizen engagement.

Project: The Current Mass Mobilization Against Systemic Racism: Effects on Democracy and Politics

Authors(s): Dana R. Fisher, Michael T. Heaney, and Stella Rouse


This study investigates the mass mobilizations sparked by the murder of George Floyd as a pivotal moment in organizing against systemic racism in America. Drawing on original surveys conducted with people engaged in protest before and after Floyd’s death, this research asks whether and how activists changed their views and participation over time. It focuses on issue priorities, tactical approaches, support for political violence, satisfaction with democracy, prioritization of intersectional activism, the changing nature of mass mobilizations, and organizational ties as critical indicators of social movement activities. Analysis of these factors will reveal the extent to which the post-Floyd mobilizations reflect a new phase in racial justice organizing in the United States, if at all. The results promise to be informative to theories of social movements, protest, and racial politics, as well as democratic practice at the grassroots level in America.