Davena Jackson

Assistant Professor

Davena Jackson

Dr. Davena Jackson is an assistant professor of urban education in the Teaching & Learning Department at BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, where she focuses on English education, language, and literacy. A 20+ year veteran English educator, her research-practice partnerships have sought to disrupt anti-Blackness, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy in secondary English education and classrooms. Her research centers on teachers’ justice-oriented commitments, curricula, and pedagogical choices that lead to the transformation and liberation of English classrooms. Her research interests also include critical literacy, culturally responsive teaching theories, justice, equity, and Black language.

Dr. Jackson’s work has been published in the Research in the Teaching of English (2022), Conference on College Composition & Communication (2020) Journal Literacy Research (2020), Teachers College Record (2019), and the International Review of Qualitative Research (2017). She serves as the faculty lead for the Affiliates Program at the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University and a faculty affiliate at the Center on the Ecology of Early Development at BU Wheelock. She is also a member of the ELATE Executive Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).


PhD, Michigan State University, Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education

Graduate certificate in urban education

EN 711: Critical Literacy as a Lens: Exploring Theories, Processes, and Strategies

ED 206: Family and Community Engagement

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

Dr. Jacksons current research expands her conception of justice-oriented solidarity (JOS) (Jackson, 2020) with regard to supporting and affirming (e.g., ethnically, racially, and linguistically) youth who have been historically marginalized. She will be working in solidarity with a group of five diverse English Teacher Design Fellows across five English classes to center the knowledge, identities, experiences, and languages of Black and Brown students in an urban school setting.

Book Chapters

Jackson, D. (forthcoming, 2022). Black Joy, Love, and Resistance: Using Digital Storytelling to Center Black Students’ Full Black Humanity. In Contemporary Perspectives on Semiotics in Education: Signs, Meanings, and Multimodality. Information Age Publishing Group.

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. (2022). Making Sense of Black Students’ Figured Worlds of Race, Racism, Anti-Blackness, and Blackness. Research in the Teaching of English, 57(1), 43-66. 

Baker-Bell, A., Williams-Farrier, B., Jackson, D., Johnson, L., Kynard, C., & McMurtry, T. (2020). This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice! Conference on College Composition & Communication.  

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).

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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