College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Political Science > Faculty > Christina R. Rivers

Christina R. Rivers

Dr. Rivers is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a Vincent DePaul Professor. Her teaching and scholarship are in the areas of African-American politics and political thought, as well as voting rights, redistricting, and representation. She is the author of The Congressional Black Caucus, Minority Voting Rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court (U. of Michigan, 2011). Her current work explores the intersections of voting/representation with incarceration/conviction. She has written, testified, and presented numerous times on ballot access for pretrial detainees, felony disenfranchisement laws, and prison-based gerrymanders. Since 2016 Dr. Rivers has taught at Stateville Correctional Center as part of DePaul's Inside-Out Prison Exchange program that provides college course instruction at Stateville and at Cook County jail to a combination of incarcerated and traditional students. She also coordinates the "DePaul Behind the Walls Participatory Civics Collaborative" at Stateville. This group, comprised of alumni of Inside-Out courses and members of local voting rights organizations, wrote a bill that was signed into state law in 2019 as the Re-Entering Citizens Civic Education Act. It mandates voter and civic education as part of the exit process from Illinois' Department of Corrections, and is the first such law in the U.S. Dr. Rivers also volunteers with voter registration and poll-watching at Cook County jail and serves on the "Freedom to Learn" campaign to legislate more college opportunities in Illinois' prisons. In 2023 she was appointed as the inaugural director of the new DePaul Institute for Restorative Educational Engagement(IREE). IREE seeks to: 1) expand DePaul academic programming for incarcerated students, 2) provide support services for system impacted students and students with incarcerated loved ones, and 3) collaborate with incarcerated individuals on promoting civic knowledge and engagement amongst themselves and their communities