Assistant ProfessorUniversity of California, Los Angeles Department of Sociology and American Indian Studies
Lame Deer, Montana
Dr. Desi Small-Rodriguez is a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and Chicana. She is an assistant professor of sociology and American Indian studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a social demographer, she applies critical quantitative and mixed methods to research at the intersection of race, indigeneity, data, and inequality. Small-Rodriguez specializes in survey research in partnership with Indigenous communities and other marginalized populations. As an Indigenous woman, she believes that she cannot be a good researcher and teacher without being a good relative. Building strong relationships with Indigenous communities, organizations, Native nations, and students requires humility, flexibility, and honoring the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples—past, present, and future. She nurtures these relationships by directing the Data Warriors Lab, which is an Indigenous social science laboratory. The Data Warriors Lab connects researchers, students, and Indigenous communities to build data that support strong, self-determined Indigenous futures.