What I do
May is a community-rooted researcher and educator who supports social movements led by those most impacted by systemic injustices. As a research associate for Californians for Justice, she helped design and conduct multi-methods research to strategically advance youth-led educational and racial justice campaigns. Her other collaborative research informs social movements' work such as mental health needs in schools; gender neutral restrooms; integrated voter engagement; and youth governance. May has also been involved in grassroots organizing against gentrification in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, graduate student unionizing, and critical consciousness/ leadership development in Taiwanese and Asian American communities. Her dissertation, Emotional Counterpublics, shows how Black, Latinx, and Southeast Asian youth harness emotions to redefine and expansively enact social change. She has published her research on Asian American and immigrant young adult political engagement and health equity frames in community organizing in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Health Affairs. May received her PhD in Sociology, with a Certificate in Public Policy and emphasis in Gender Studies, from the University of Southern California. She also has prior degrees and grounding in Ethnic Studies.