Shontoria Pratt was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently a graduate student at Syracuse University in the African American/ Pan African Studies department. Shontoria received her BA in African American Studies, from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Shontoria plans on continuing her graduate school journey and pursuing her PhD in Women and Gender studies and African American Studies. Shontoria’s personal inspirations stem from her upbringing in a Chicagoland urban environment. Her current research, Institutional Death: effects of Carceral state and Education on black men, looks at the city of Chicago and how these two institutions may have affected the quality of life of black men. Currently, Shontoria’s main focuses also include an investigation of Afrocentricity, the black lives matters movement, and gender. Shontoria’s long term goal is to become a professor of African American Studies at a liberal arts college, and alter the way many aspiring youth understand one of the most monumental races and cultures of this world.