Davena Jackson

Assistant Professor

Dr. Davena Jackson is an assistant professor of urban education who focuses on English education, language, and literacy. Her research interests include critical literacy, culturally responsive teaching theories, justice, equity, anti-Blackness in English education, and Black language. Dr. Jackson situated her dissertation work in a high school English classroom where she worked with a Black teacher and Black youth in thinking deeply about the implications of anti-Blackness, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy in the classroom and beyond. 

In 2017, she was awarded Michigan State University’s Excellence-In-Teaching Citation for her work as a graduate assistant. She served as an adjunct instructor at Wayne State University and as a consultant for Southfield Public Schools and the Oakland Schools ISD in Michigan. As a classroom teacher for 24 years, she created learning spaces that affirmed her students’ cultural identities, languages, and experiences. Finally, she is a former middle and high school English teacher who worked to ensure that justice, equity, and care were centered on her students’ learning. Dr. Jackson was a recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color fellowship.

Ph.D., Michigan State University, Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education, 2019. Graduate certificate in urban education.

CT 526: Family and Community Engagement

EN 500: Pre-Practicum in English Education

EN501/701: Methods in Teaching Classic and Contemporary Texts

EN 507/508 - English Education Practicum Seminar

EN 630: Educating for Equity and Literacy in the Humanities






Jackson, D. (2020). Relationship Building in a Black Space: Partnering in Solidarity. Journal of Literacy Research, 52(4), 432-455.

Carter Andrews, D., Brown, T., Castillo, B., Jackson, D., Vellanki, V. (2019). Beyond damage-centered teacher education: Humanizing pedagogy for teacher educators and preservice teachers.Teachers College Record,121(6), 1-28.

Baker-Bell, A., Paris, D., Jackson, D. (2017) Learning black language matters: Humanizing research as culturally sustaining pedagogy. International Review of Qualitative Research, 10 (4), (pp. 360-377).

Book Chapter

Dao, V., Farver, S., D., Jackson, D. (2018). Getting down to identities to trace a new career path: Understanding novice teacher educator identities in multicultural education teaching. In J. Sharkey & M.M. Peercy (Eds.), Self-Study of language and literacy teacher education practices across culturally and linguistically diverse contexts. V (30) (pp. 55-72). London: Emerald Publishing Group. Advances in Research on Teaching.

Jackson, D., Brownell, C., Coles, J., Everett, S., Moten, T. (2020, November). Decolonizing Literacy Practices: Using Multiliteracies as a Medium. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research. Denver, Co.

Kynard, C., Martinez, D., Baker-Bell, A., Johnson, L., Lee, A., Jackson, D., McMurtry, T. (2020, November). Linguistic Justice: Scholars of Color Converge on Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research. Denver, Co.

Jackson, D. & Johnson, L. (2020, April). A Justice-Oriented Pedagogical Mutuality: Teaching and Learning Together to Disrupt Anti-Blackness. American Educational Research Association. San Francisco, CA.

Jackson, D. & Johnson, A. (2020, February). Promoting Possibilities for Justice-Oriented Learning in English Education. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research. Nashville, TN.

Jackson, D. (2019, November). We, Us, and Ours: Building an Alliance that Seeks to Sustain Blackness in an Eleventh Grade English Classroom. National Council Teachers of English. Baltimore, MD.

Jackson, D. (2019, October). Engaging in Critical Conversations That Center, Race, Racism and Language. Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, MA.

Carter Andrews, D., Brown, T., Castillo, B., Jackson, D., & Vellanki, V. (2019, April). Thinking Beyond Damage-Centered Teaching: Enacting a Humanizing Pedagogy in Teacher Education. American Educational Research Association. Toronto, ON.

Jackson, D., & Presberry, C. (2019, April). Radical Mothering as Pedagogy. American Educational Research Association. Toronto, CA.

Jackson, D. (2018, April). Culturally Sustaining Talk: African-American Youth Use Discourse to Make Sense of Race, Racism, and Language. American Educational Research Association. New York, NY.

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