Jamila Lyiscott is currently a visiting assistant professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she also serves as an affiliated faculty member of the W.E.B. Du Bois Afro American Studies department. Coupled with these appointments, Jamila was recently named a SeniorResearch Fellow of Teachers College, Columbia University’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME).
Across these spaces, her research, teaching, and service focus on the intersections of race, language, and social justice in education. The recently awarded Cultivating New Voices among scholars of color fellow also serves a spoken word artist, community organizer, consultant and motivational speaker locally and internationally. Her scholarship and activism work together to prepare educators to sustain diversity in the classroom, empower youth, and explore, assert, and defend the value of Black life. As a testament to her commitment to educational justice for students of color, Jamila is the founder and co-director of the Cyphers For Justice (CFJ) youth, research, and advocacy program, apprenticing inner-city youth, incarcerated youth, and pre-service educators as critical social researchers through hip-hop, spoken word, and digital literacy. She is currently preparing a book manuscript about her work within Predominantly White Institutions across the nation, helping educators to confront white privilege within and beyond the classroom.
Jamila was featured on Ted.com where her video, “3 Ways to Speak English,” was viewed over 3 million times. She has been featured in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up,” on NPR, Huffington Post, Lexus Verses and Flow, Upworthy, The Root, and many other media outlets. Her poetry and scholarly work have been published in Review of Research in Education, English Education, English Journal, and Teachers and Writers Collaborative Magazine. Through her community, scholastic, and artistic efforts, Jamila hopes to play a key role in forging better connections between the world of academia and communities of color outside.