SED Announces Author & President of Spencer Foundation, Dr. Na’ilah Nasir, as Commencement Speaker


Dean ad interim Dr. Catherine O’Connor announced last week that author, researcher, and current President of the Spencer Foundation, Na’ilah Nasir, PhD, has been named speaker for the School of Education’s 2018 Commencement weekend.

Dr. Nasir comes to BU with experience in both higher education and nonprofit organizations, primarily analyzing relationships of race, identity, and schooling. Her book, “Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement among African American Youth,” published by Stanford University Press, “investigates how various constructions of identity can influence educational achievement for African American students, both within and outside school,” per the publisher’s site.

The Spencer Foundation also features a short biography detailing Dr. Nasir’s background and accomplishments:

“[Dr. Na’ilah Nasir] was a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley from 2008-2017 where she served as Vice-Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley from November 2015. Nasir earned her PhD in Educational Psychology at UCLA in 2000, and was a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Stanford University from 2000 – 2008.

Her work focuses on issues of race, culture, learning, and identity. She is the author of Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement for African-American Youth and has published numerous scholarly articles. Nasir is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In 2016 she was the recipient of the AERA Division G Mentoring Award.”

Commencement takes place Saturday, May 19th at 3pm in Walter Brown Arena and will follow a reception gathering on the 18th, inviting friends, family, and students to celebrate the achievements of those graduating. A big thank you to Dr. Na’ilah Nasir for joining us and congratulations to the Class of 2018!