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Jamila Lyiscott, Ph.D

Black. Relevant. Poet. Professor. Academic Activist. Harry Potter Enthusiast.

Jamila Lyiscott is currently a visiting assistant professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Coupled with this appointment, Jamila was recently named a Senior Research 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. Jamila also serves a spoken word artist, community organizer, consultant and motivational speaker locally and internationally and was recently awarded with a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad grant for educational justice work in Ghana during the Summer of 2018. Her scholarship and activism work together to sustain diversity across educational contexts, and to explore, assert, and defend the value of Black lives. 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 9-12 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.