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2023 News


Professors Alvin B. Tillery Jr. and Tabitha Bonilla | Preserving Corporate DEI Efforts after the SCOTUS Ruling on Affirmative Action in College Admissions

July 19, 2023 – from 2040 Strategy Group
On June 29, 2023, the new rightwing majority on the Supreme Court of the United States overturned 45 years of legal precedents that have allowed American colleges and universities to pursue ethnic and racial diversity on their campuses by considering the race of applicants as one factor among many in their admissions decisions.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Aid to Ukraine | What will the House with a Republican majority do?

July 10, 2023 – from Actual News Magazine
Associate professor in the department of political science at Northwestern University in Illinois, Laurel Harbridge-Yong believes that the passage of new legislation could come up against more obstacles than in December 2022. “The Chamber plays the role of guardian of the legislation and it is obviously easier when the majority of this Chamber is from the same party as the president,” she said. Now, a wing of Republicans, the House Freedom Caucus [44 représentants ultraconservateurs, selon les plus récents décomptes] is very averse to spending. This makes negotiations more difficult, especially with the Democratic-majority Senate.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | Will Chicago Politicos be Ousted for Failing to Address Violent Crime?

July 10, 2023 – from Law Officer
Crime—particularly violent crime—was one of the primary points of focus during the most recent mayoral election cycle, and will most certainly have as-yet-unforeseen significance in the 2024 race for the city’s top prosecutor. Jaime Domínguez—a political science professor at Northwestern University—told the Associated Press that the 2022-2023 campaign was the “first time in 20 years that he’s seen public safety be ‘front and center’ in a Chicago mayoral election.


Professor Tabitha Bonilla & Amanda Sahar d'Urso, Ph.D. | Religion or Race? Using Intersectionality to Examine the Role of Muslim Identity and Evaluations on Belonging in the United States

June 15, 2023 – from Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
How do White Americans evaluate the politics of belonging in the United States across different ethnoreligious identity categories? This paper examines this question through two competing frameworks. On the one hand, given the salience of anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States, we consider whether White Americans penalize Muslim immigrants to the United States regardless of their ethnoracial background. On the other hand, Muslim identity is often conflated by the general public with Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) ethnoracial identity. We argue MENA-Muslim identity should be understood through the lens of intersectionality. In this case, White Americans may penalize MENA-Muslims immigrants to the United States more than Muslims from other ethnoracial groups.


Professor Sally Nuamah | NEPC Talks Education: Discussing the Causes and Potential Consequences of Declining Enrollment

May 30, 2023 – from National Education Policy Center
In this month’s episode of NEPC Talks Education, Christopher Saldaña discusses the causes and potential consequences of declining enrollment in K-12 public schools with Thomas Dee, the Barnett Family Professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Education, and Sally Nuamah, a professor of Urban Politics in Human Development, Social Policy, and Political Science at Northwestern University. Nuamah details findings from her new book, Closed for Democracy, which highlights the impact of school closures on Black families and communities in Chicago and Philadelphia's K-12 public schools. She argues that closing schools removes key democratic organizations from communities, and she explains that even when communities successfully stop a school from closing, the victory often comes at a cost, resulting in disillusionment and distrust in the democratic process.

Professor James Druckman | Working Paper: How to Study Democratic Backsliding

May 30, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research
The twenty-first century has been one of democratic backsliding. This has stimulated wideranging scholarship on the extent and causes of the erosion of democracy. Yet, an overarching framework that identifies levels of analysis, specific actors, particular behaviors, and psychological processes is lacking. Druckman offers such a structure that envelops elites (e.g., elected officials, the judiciary), societal actors (e.g., social movements, interest groups), media (e.g., television, social media), and citizens. He discusses erosive threats stemming from each actor and the concomitant role of psychological biases. He concludes by discussing various lessons, and suggestions for how to study democratic backsliding.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Voters want compromise in Congress – so why the brinkmanship over the debt ceiling?

May 30, 2023 – from The Conversation
The difficulty that Congress and the White House are having in reaching compromises highlights two aspects of contemporary politics. The first: Since the 1970s, both the House and Senate have become much more polarized. Members of the two parties are more unified internally and further apart from the opposing party. You don’t have the overlap between parties now that existed 50 years ago. Even as we’ve had rising polarization, we still have important differences within the parties. Not every Democrat is the same as another and not every Republican is the same. This relates to a second point: Members’ individual and collective interests shape their behavior. For Republicans in more competitive districts, their own individual electoral interests probably say, “Let’s cut a deal. Let’s not risk a default that the Republicans get blamed for."

Professor Wendy Pearlman | Muzoon: A Syrian Refugee Speaks Out

May 24, 2023 – from Penguin Random House
This eye-opening memoir tells the story of a young girl’s life in Syria, her family’s wrenching decision to leave their home, and the upheaval of life in a refugee camp. Though her life had utterly changed, one thing remained the same. She knew that education was the key to a better future—for herself, and so that she could help her country. She went from tent to tent in the camp, trying to convince other kids, especially girls, to come to school. And her passion and dedication soon had people calling her the “Malala of Syria.” Muzoon has grown into an internationally recognized advocate for refugees, for education, and for the rights of girls and women, and is now a UNICEF goodwill ambassador—the first refugee to play that role. Muzoon’s story is absolutely riveting and will inspire young readers to use their own voices and stand up for what they believe in.

James Druckman | Media use and vaccine resistance

May 22, 2023 – from PNAS Nexus
Public health requires collective action—the public best addresses health crises when individuals engage in prosocial behaviors. Failure to do so can have dire societal and economic consequences. This was made clear by the disjointed, politicized response to COVID-19 in the United States. Perhaps no aspect of the pandemic exemplified this challenge more than the sizeable percentage of individuals who delayed or refused vaccination. While scholars, practitioners, and the government devised a range of communication strategies to persuade people to get vaccinated, much less attention has been paid to where the unvaccinated could be reached. We address this question using multiple waves of a large national survey as well as various secondary data sets.

Professor Kim Suiseeya | Students and faculty present research on Indigenous peoples at fifth annual CNAIR symposium

May 22, 2023 – from The Daily Northwestern
Out of the more than 21,000 students who graduated from medical school in 2022, only 193 self-identified as American Indian or Alaska Native, according to the American Academy of Medical Colleges. Financial costs, a dearth of available mentors and a lack of early STEM education pathways, among other factors, prevent Indigenous people from matriculating to and graduating from medical school, Giger said. “It’s a very, very common experience of just the isolation of being the only one and the difficulty of cohort building,” Giger said. “(We should think) about how we can build a cohort across the country across new students at different schools to make some change.” At the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research’s fifth annual symposium Thursday, Giger presented on a community focus group. The study examined the underrepresentation of Indigenous people in medical school.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | Our Chicago: City's new mayor and City Council changes

May 16, 2023 – from ABC 7 Eyewitness News
"I think the challenge for Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson is going to be how does he move successfully from his multi-racial electoral coalition into a multi-racial governing coalition," said Dominguez, "So right now I give him an A in terms of just how he's put this team together. He did say that he's going to put together a team that reflects the city of Chicago and I think so far he's done that." The new City Council will be more diverse with more women including two Asian Americans on the council, LGBTQ-plus members will make up a fifth of the council and there will be 20 Black alderpeople. "As someone that welcomes civic engagement and the inclusion of different voices and perspectives, I think that's great for the city of Chicago," said Dominguez.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | Top-Four Primaries Help Moderate Candidates via Crossover Voting: The Case of the 2022 Alaska Election Reforms

May 8, 2023 – from The Forum
Concerns about polarization and the difficulty moderate candidates have in winning primary elections have driven several electoral reform efforts in recent decades. In this article, we leverage reforms prior to the 2022 elections in Alaska to assess whether the top-four primary is likely to help moderate candidates succeed. We evaluate three mechanisms by which the top-four might help moderates: by allowing them to advance from the primary and compete for votes from the more moderate general electorate, by changing the composition of the primary electorate and/or by facilitating crossover voting during the primary. Our analysis suggests that the top-four primary creates opportunities for cross-party voting that can enhance the electoral prospects of moderate candidates.

Professor Laurel Harbridge-Yong | The Bipartisan Path to Effective Lawmaking

May 8, 2023 – from The Journal of Politics
We confront the puzzle of why bipartisanship is alive and well in Congress, despite notable increases in party polarization and rising primary election threats. The answer is remarkably simple—bipartisanship unambiguously helps individual legislators who seek to advance their policy goals. We show that members of the House and Senate from the 93rd to 114th Congresses (1973–2016) who attract a larger portion of their bill cosponsors from the opposing party are much more successful at lawmaking. We show these patterns to be remarkably robust to both majority-party and minority-party lawmakers, under changing legislative and electoral conditions and over time. Moreover, a clear path to attracting bipartisan cosponsors involves reciprocity, making cosponsoring others’ bills across party lines attractive.

Professor Kimberly Marion Suiseeya | Manifesting, Measuring, and Mitigating Climate Change

May 3, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research
While scientists at Northwestern and other institutions are working on the processes of climate change, IPR researchers are approaching it from an equally important perspective, that of the social sciences. Their questions tackle deep-seated social and political issues, such as: How does climate change affect how people live, in the U.S. and across the globe? How does it widen inequities among people? How do we measure and address its impacts? Which policies will prove more effective in healing the planet and bettering its people’s health?


Professor James Druckman and Jennifer Lin, Ph.D. Candidate | A 50-state survey study of thoughts of suicide and social isolation among older adults in the United States

April 25, 2023 – from Journal of Affective Disorders
We aimed to characterize the prevalence of social disconnection and thoughts of suicide among older adults in the United States, and examine the association between them in a large naturalistic study. We analyzed data from 6 waves of a fifty-state non-probability survey among US adults conducted between February and December 2021. The internet-based survey collected the PHQ-9, as well as multiple measures of social connectedness. We applied multiple logistic regression to analyze the association between presence of thoughts of suicide and social disconnection. Exploratory analysis examined heterogeneity of effects across sociodemographic groups. The effects of emotional support varied significantly across sociodemographic groups.

Professor Reuel Rogers | Seven honored with University Teaching Awards

April 24, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
In his teaching, Reuel Rogers examines the racial injustices and political disparities Blacks and other people of color experience in the United States. As he explains, he guides students to use “empirical evidence and social science theory to identify progress, problems, and puzzles in [these groups’] quest for democratic representation and equality,” his nomination states. He prompts students to “engage with counterarguments …when they make empirical claims,” with the aim of challenging them to “cultivate a nuanced perspective on how power operates in the American political system to harness or hinder its multiracial democratic potential.”?His chair notes that Rogers’ courses “challenge students to look boldly at issues that can be as uncomfortable as they are urgent.” Rogers strives to foster a “shared intellectual journey” in his classes.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | ‘It is a new day in our city’: Brandon Johnson is elected Chicago mayor

April 12, 2023 – from WBEZ Chicago
Tuesday was a nail-biter of a night, ending with Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson beating former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas in a narrow race for mayor. Current tallies show Johnson holding a lead of about 16,000 votes. Reset turns to a panel of political experts to analyze election results and discuss what local mayor-elect Johnson and a fresh-faced City Council will face under a new administration.

Professor James Druckman | The state of our nation? Stressed.

April 11, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March of 2020, Northwestern University political scientist James Druckman was exchanging emails with a small group of social scientists from Harvard, Northeastern and Rutgers about how they were navigating COVID’s impact on their work and lives. When California became the first state to lockdown, they decided to collectively embark on a state- and federal-level survey and make data available to the public on a range of topics such as mask-wearing, remote learning, vaccinating and voting by mail. “We knew there would be national surveys that policymakers and the media would be looking to, and we felt those surveys would be incomplete because there would be important differences across states, both in how people were reacting to what an individual state was doing and then just individual state cultures,” said Druckman.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | In Historic First, Former President Trump Is Arraigned In Manhattan Today

April 10, 2023 – from LAist
An extraordinary moment in U.S. history will unfold in a Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday: Former President Donald Trump, who faces multiple election-related investigations, will surrender and be arraigned on criminal charges stemming from 2016 hush money payments. The booking and appearance before Judge Juan Merchan should be relatively brief — though hardly routine — as Trump is fingerprinted, learns the charges against him and pleads, as expected, not guilty. Merchan has ruled that TV cameras won’t be allowed in the courtroom. Trump, who was impeached twice by the U.S. House but was never convicted in the U.S. Senate, will become the first former president to face criminal charges. The nation’s 45th commander in chief will be escorted from Trump Tower to the courthouse by the Secret Service and may have his mug shot taken.

Professor Daniel Krcmaric and Jacqueline McAllister, Ph.D. | The International Criminal Court Takes Aim at Vladimir Putin

April 10, 2023 – from Political Violence at a Glance
The International Criminal Court (ICC) shocked the world on March 17 by issuing arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova. The ICC indicated it has reasonable grounds to believe that each bears criminal responsibility for unlawfully deporting and transferring children from occupied Ukraine to Russia—considered war crimes under international law. Rather than starting its ongoing investigation in Ukraine with arrest warrants for “small fry” war criminals, the ICC rolled the dice by going after its most prominent target ever: Vladimir Putin. Often considered the “most powerful man in the world,” Putin is the first leader with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council—and the first leader with an arsenal of nuclear weapons—to face an ICC arrest warrant. What does all of this mean going forward?

Professor Daniel Krcmaric | Does the International Criminal Court Target the American Military?

April 3, 2023 – from American Political Science Review
American policymakers have been wary of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its founding. United States’ opposition is largely due to the fear that the ICC might initiate biased investigations that target members of the American military scattered across the globe. The recent ICC investigation into war crimes committed on Afghanistan’s territory during the American occupation has produced a new surge of interest in this topic. But do ICC investigations, in fact, target America’s military? Using a global sample of cases the ICC could plausibly investigate and data on the locations of all US foreign military installations, I examine how the presence of American troops in a country affects the likelihood of an ICC investigation. Contrary to the common narrative of anti-American bias, the estimated effects of US military presence are statistically indistinguishable from zero.


Professor Karen Alter | Morning Shot: Is China's role as peacemaker between Russia and the world working?

March 29, 2023 – from Breakfast with Lynlee Foo and Ryan Huang
It's a wrap to China President Xi Jinping's state visit to Moscow to meet with its President Vladimir Putin. But still no clear sign whether China's efforts to play the role of peacemaker is yielding results. Karen Alter, Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations at Northwestern University weighs in with her perspectives on the Chinese leader’s peace mission to the Kremlin, and the optics of that meeting in the grand scheme of things.

Professor Tabitha Bonilla | Harshest Chicago Mayor Race in Years Is Being Fueled by Citadel Donors and Unions

March 29, 2023 – from Bloomberg
Chicago’s mayoral runoff could be swayed by executives at Citadel and Madison Dearborn Partners as well as the country’s largest teachers unions. Paul Vallas, the city’s ex-schools chief who pledged to be tough on crime and restaff the police force, is backed by personal donations from executives at hedge fund Citadel and private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. He has raised $6.3 million — more than any other candidate except Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who lost her reelection bid on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Brandon Johnson, the Cook County commissioner and the only candidate who didn’t vow to rebuild the depleted police force but denied plans to defund it, has collected $4.2 million. Labor groups led the way, with three unions accounting for more than half that total.

Professor Jaime Dominguez | New Poll Explores Key Issues for Latino, Black Voters in Chicago Mayoral Election

March 29, 2023 – from WTTW News Chicago
A new poll conducted by Northwestern University’s Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy and a coalition of Black and Latino nonprofits—including the Hispanic Federation, Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative, Latino Policy Forum and Latino Victory Project—found Black and Latino voters have common ground on key issues in the upcoming Chicago mayoral election. The study found that Black and Latino voters are no longer rallying behind the candidate of their race or ethnicity. In a city like Chicago, which has seen its fair share of racial tension, this is not surprising to some community leaders. Jaime Dominguez is a political science professor at Northwestern University and helped conduct the study. He said that this time around, voters want a candidate who cares about solving key issues in the city. Police reform and public safety are among the main issues.

Professor Mary McGrath | Collaboration Induces Debt-Motivated Altruism

March 29, 2023 – from IPR Working Paper Series
Collaboration with others—even a minimal instance—increases willingness to sacrifice on their behalf. What is the mechanism underlying this relationship? An increased willingness to sacrifice could arise from a general desire to improve the other’s wellbeing, from a norm-bound sense of debt owed to one’s collaborator, or (even after controlling for other egoistic concerns) from an aim towards a “warm glow” feeling from making the sacrifice. Understanding the mechanism at work is not simply a matter of theoretical interest, but of crucial importance in understanding broader implications of the collaboration effect and how it alters our relationships with others. This paper presents results from four randomized experiments investigating this mechanism. Taken together, the evidence from these experiments suggests that collaboration produces a bounded form of altruism.


Professor James Druckman | Survey: Half of Americans uncertain about ability to identify false political claims

February 28, 2023 – from Northwestern Now
Belief in inaccurate political claims was most common among those who endorsed vaccine misperceptions. The survey found 71% of those also believed false vaccine claims also believed inaccurate political claims. In contrast, just 32% of those who correctly identified all false vaccine claims believed inaccurate political statements. “We suspect that the relative prevalence of political misperceptions versus vaccine related misperceptions stems from politics being a more contested domain without consensus experts,” said political scientist James Druckman, one of the project’s principal investigators.

Professor Alvin Tillery | Is Lori Lightfoot's Loss a Win for the GOP?

February 28, 2023 – from Newsweek
The election was defined by voter concerns about crime, which has become a major issue in mayoral races across the country. Lightfoot faced scrutiny from both the left and right over her record on crime and policing, as she sought to stake out the center in the sharply divided race. Vallas, who received the most votes Tuesday night, ran on a platform of expanding the city's police force. Tillery told Newsweek that concerns about crime grew following the COVID-19 pandemic. Following widespread shutdowns across the United States, several cities saw increases in crime, though these numbers have since dropped. Furthermore, a focus on crime by local media and political candidates has fueled voters' concerns, he said.

Professor Chloe Thurston | How Should We Govern Housing Markets in a Moral Political Economy?

February 28, 2023 – from Daedalus (2023) 152 (1): 194–197.
Building on Debra Satz's argument that we can design our way out of noxious markets, this essay shifts toward questions of process, paying particular attention to the constraints posed when noxious markets generate supportive political constituencies. Using the case of U.S. housing policy, I make two claims. First, even intentional efforts at using market design to harness the capacities Satz identifies can produce cross-cutting effects, strengthening democracies on some dimensions and weakening them on others. Second, noxious markets can generate supportive constituencies that may undermine reform efforts. Ultimately, a moral housing market requires political supports that can help to broaden communities of fate, build political capacities of those who are persistently underrepresented in local deliberations, and encourage participants to reflect on the consequences of market design.

Professor Alvin Tillery | Recession or not, Americans feel like they’re poorer

February 27, 2023 – from The Hill
The nation may not be in recession, but Americans are reckoning with a classic recessionary symptom: feeling poorer. “People don’t like to fire sitting presidents, even vulnerable ones,” said Alvin Tillery, Jr., a political scientist and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University. “It’s only happened three times in the modern era,” with Carter, George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Donald Trump in 2020.

Professor James Druckman and Suji Kang, Ph.D. Candidate | Correcting Exaggerated Meta-Perceptions Reduces American Legislators’ Support for Undemocratic Practices

February 3, 2023 – from Institute for Policy Research
There is substantial concern about democratic backsliding in the United States. Evidence includes notably high levels of support for undemocratic practices among the public. Much less is known, however, about the views of elected officials – even though they influence democratic outcomes more directly. In a survey experiment with state legislators, the researchers show that these officials exhibit much lower levels of support for undemocratic practices than the public. However, legislators vastly overestimate the undemocratic views of voters from the other party (though not the views of their own party’s voters). These inaccurate “meta-perceptions” are significantly reduced when legislators receive accurate information about the views of voters from the other party, suggesting legislators’ own support for undemocratic practices are causally linked to their inaccurate meta-perceptions.


Alvin B. Tillery | The Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling could hurt workplace diversity efforts. Experts share how to prepare: ‘The next 3 months will be crucial’

January 20, 2023 – from Fortune
“It’s really shocking,” says Professor Alvin B. Tillery Jr., director of the Center for the Study of Democracy and Diversity at Northwestern University. “I’ve been telling all of my clients that the next three months will be crucial for developing alternate pathways to continue to do their equity work when the court rules,” he says. “No one’s talking about what’s coming down the pipeline.” What’s coming is a decision, likely this June, that’s almost certain to be a watershed moment. The Supreme Court is widely expected to overturn, or at least radically redefine, race-conscious admissions practices for colleges and universities, a move that could have wide-ranging and unpredictable consequences outside of academia.

Tabitha Bonilla | “Latinx”, “Field”: Why experts say word bans do more harm than good

January 19, 2023 – from Canada Today
“This is a really complicated issue of intersectional identities,” Tabitha Bonilla, associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, told Yahoo News. “Some people use ‘Latin’ with a ‘e‘ at the end instead of a ‘x,’ to account for the idea, which is perhaps less alien to the Spanish [or Portuguese] language,” explained Bonilla. “And there are also people in the community who are deeply divided because they don’t understand or disagree with the idea that someone could be trans or non-binary.”

Professor Karen J. Alter | New Book Review, Veiled Power: International Law and the Private Corporation 1886–1981

January 17, 2023 – from American Journal of International Law
Doreen Lustig, an associate professor of law at Tel Aviv University, frames her book Veiled Power: International Law and the Private Corporation 1886–1981 as an effort to get beyond the “failure narrative” that focuses on how corporations escape responsibility for actions that if undertaken by a state would be a violation of international law. She sees law schools’ curricula as perpetuating the failure narrative and reinforcing the idea that: “Sovereignty is a concept of political or public law and property belongs to civil or private law" (p. 2). Lustig wants to bring in a historical understanding that demonstrates the longstanding interaction between corporations and international law.

Tabitha Bonilla | Thursday’s Mini-Report, 1.12.23

January 12, 2023 – from MSNBC
Some Republicans have odd priorities: “Within hours of being sworn in as the new governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order Tuesday banning the term “Latinx” from official use in the state government. It is one of the first, if not the first, executive order of its kind, Tabitha Bonilla, an associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, told NBC News.”

Tabitha Bonilla | Sarah Sanders bans use of ‘Latinx’ in Arkansas state documents

January 12, 2023 – from The Guardian
Tabitha Bonilla, an associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, said: “My biggest question is: Who does this affect the most?” Pointing to the use of Latinx as an LGBTQ+ inclusive term, and to Republican policies targeting such groups which Morales called an “anti-woke agenda”, Bonilla said: “It’s really about transgender individuals and nonbinary individuals.” According to Pew, “monthly Google searches for ‘Latinx’ rose substantially for the first time in June 2016, following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida”.

Tabitha Bonilla | Sanders’ anti-woke executive order draws eye rolls from Latinx scholars

January 12, 2023 – from Arkansas Times
"Morales said Sanders appears to have tried to use “the one Pew Hispanic report as evidence that people find it offensive or that they reject it” without considering that there have been subsequent studies that point to a small rise in the use of the term and the emergence of other gender neutral alternatives such as “Latine.” When citing the Pew report in the executive order, Sanders did not say the study also found that 76% of Hispanics had not even heard of the term “Latinx” before, Bonilla pointed out."

Tabitha Bonilla | Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders bans term 'Latinx' on her first day in office

January 11, 2023 – from NBC News
Within hours of being sworn in as the new governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order Tuesday banning the term "Latinx" from official use in the state government. It is one of the first, if not the first, executive order of its kind, Tabitha Bonilla, an associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, told NBC News. It was one of seven orders signed by Sanders, a Republican, right after taking the oath. The other ones focused on prohibiting Arkansas schools from teaching critical race theory, budgeting and spending as well as other government affairs. Most of these executive orders are consistent with the rhetoric Sanders campaigned on — except for the one banning Latinx, a gender-neutral alternative to Hispanic or Latino. "That was nothing that I had seen from her until then. So, it felt surprising," Bonilla said.