Joyce E. King, Ph.D.

Joyce E. King holds the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, Professor of Educational Policy Studies and she is affiliated faculty in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Institute for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University.  Her Ph.D. in the Social Foundations of Education and B.A. Degree in Sociology (with Honors) are from Stanford University (1969, 1974). She also holds a Certificate in Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is former Provost, Spelman College; Associate Provost, Medgar Evers College (CUNY), Associate Vice Chancellor, the University of New Orleans, Director of Teacher Education, Santa Clara University, and Head of the Department of Ethnic Studies, Mills College. She has also taught on the faculty in the School of Education, Stanford University (Visiting Assistant Professor). Dr. King is the President of the Academy for Diaspora Literacy, Inc., an education and training organization she established in 2005. 

King’s research documents how mainstream American education produces dysconsciousness —a term she coined to describe a habit of mind that resists a critically transformative understanding of race and racialized inequity. Her publications demonstrate cultural well being as a necessary goal in successful education for all students (and teachers), who are mis-educated by school curricula that alienate people of color—preventing them from seeing themselves accurately. Such alienation obstructs Black people’s human right to a culturally affirming education and this racialized knowledge distorts other people’s humanity as well. King’s research notes that textbooks routinely start the history of Black people in the Americas in slavery, not in Africa, and teach that Egypt—a site of classical African achievement—is located in the Middle East or Asia not Africa! Whether intentionally or not, students are taught that abandonment of all Black cultural identity is key to school success at all levels.  King raised these issues when she served on California’s Curriculum Commission in the 1990s. Her publications examine and her training workshops enable educators, parent and community leaders to support a transformative role for culture in research-based Afrocentric educational praxis. This includes teacher preparation, culturally authentic assessment, parenting, Black Studies curriculum theorizing, the Blues epistemology of community-mediated “critical studyin,’” diaspora literacy and heritage knowledge to undo dysconscious racism. 

Her international experience includes teaching and providing professional development and training for educators and community leaders in Brazil (using Portuguese translations of her publications), Canada, China, England, Jamaica, New Zealand, Mali, Kenya, and Senegal. A recipient of the W.K. Kellogg National Fellowship and the American Council on Education Fellowship, she is also member of the National African American Reparations Commission and past-president of the American Educational Research Association.

As an undergraduate, King received the prestigious Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education at Stanford University and in October, 2015 she was inducted into the Black Community Services Center and the Stanford National Black Alumni Association’s Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame.

King chaired the American Educational Research Association’s Commission on Research in Black Education (CORIBE), which produced the landmark volume: Black Education: A Transformative Research and Action Agenda for the New Century (J. King, Editor, published for AERA by Routledge). This initiative brought scholars and community practitioners and leaders together to examine best practices in education serving African Americans and other under-served communities. (See examples of the work on the website:

A global web-seminar at Georgia State University presents her research, education and training approach for undoing anti-black racism: “Staying Human: Critical Literacy Interventions for the New Millennium” (2013)

Publications Highlights

King’s publications can be found in the Educational Researcher (AERA), Harvard Educational Review, The Journal of Negro Education, The Journal of Black Studies, Teaching Tolerance Magazine, Womanist Theory and Research, numerous refereed book chapters as well as seven books: 

  • Teaching Diverse Populations—Formulating a Knowledge Base (Etta Hollins, Joyce King, & Warren Hayman, editors, SUNY Press); 
  • Black Mothers to Sons: Juxtaposing African American Literature with Social Praxis (with C. A. Mitchell, Peter Lang); 
  • Preparing Teachers for Diversity (Etta Hollins, Joyce King & Warren Hayman, editors, Teachers College Press) 
  • Black Education: A Transformative Research and Action Agenda for the New Century (J. King, editor, Routledge); 
  • Re-membering History in Student and Teacher Learning: An African-centered Culturally Informed Praxis (with Ellen Swartz, Routledge);
  • The Afrocentric Praxis of Teaching for Freedom: Connecting Culture to Learning (with Ellen Swartz, Routledge); 
  • Dysconscious Racism, Afrocentric Praxis and Education for Human Freedom—Through the Years I Keep on Toiling—The Selected Works of Joyce E. King (Routledge);
  • Heritage Knowledge in the Curriculum: Retrieving an African Episteme (with Ellen Swartz, Routledge, in press).

Selected Refereed Articles

Education research in the Black liberation tradition: Return what you learn to the people. 2016 Charles H. Thompson Lecture, Howard University. J. of Negro Education, 86(2), 2017, pp. 95-114.

Morally engaged research/ers dismantling epistemological nihilation in the age of impunity. AERA 2015 Presidential Address. Educational Researcher. 46(5), 2017, pp. 211-222.

A Reparatory Justice Curriculum for Human Freedom:  Rewriting the story of our dispossession and the debt owed. Journal of African American History, 102 (2), 2017, pp. 213-231.

We may well become accomplices: To rear a generation of spectators is not to educate at all.  Educational Researcher, 45(2), 2016, pp. 159-172.

Taking culture seriously. In Robert S. Boege (Ed.). Ed Tech revolution in education: The state of digital and distance learning 2103 (pp. 242-246).  Washington, D.C.:  (ASTRA) The Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America, 2013.

Education, community and racial-ethnic relations: Experiences in the United States and Mali. Revista Eletrônica de Educação, 6 (2), Nov. 2012. Federal University of São Carlos.

“Who dat say (we) too depraved to be saved?” Re-membering Katrina/Haiti (and beyond):  Critical studyin’ for human freedom. Harvard Educational Review, 81(2), 343-370. Summer, 2011.

White teachers at the crossroads: A moral choice for White teachers. Teaching Tolerance Magazine. Fall, 2000, pp. 14-15

Diaspora literacy and consciousness in the struggle against miseducation in the Black community. Journal of Negro Education, 61(3), 1992, pp. 317-340.

Dysconscious racism: Ideology, identity, and the mis-education of teachers. Journal of Negro Education, 60 (2), 1991, pp. 133-146.

Research Reports

“Liberatory Research Practice & Ethics Beyond Epistemic Nihilation.” Unsettling Research Ethics: A Collaborative Conference Report (N. Baloy, S. Sabati, R. Glass, Eds.). UC Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. Santa Cruz, CA. February, 2015.

Transformative Curriculum Praxis for the Public Good: Intersections of Pan-Ethnic Identity, Policy Frameworks and Research Paradigms.  Invited Presidential Paper AERA annual meeting. 2012 (Website publication – 

Lectures/Keynote Presentations/Training Workshops

Parent Training/Workshop: Beyond Abdication, Revolutionary Parenting. Rochester Teacher Center, June 1, 2017, Rochester, New York.

Lecture / Training: Inaugural Equity in Education Lecture/Graduate Student Workshops, January 26, 2017, Univ. of South Carolina.

Workshop/Presentation. “Heritage Knowledge for Academic and Cultural Excellence.” Cole Harbor School District: Emergent Cultural Competence in the Classroom, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Sept. 30, 2016.

Featured Session: “Critical Reflections on Curriculum, Culture, and Community in a ‘No Excuses’ Climate.”  The “New Orleans Model” of Urban School Reform: A Guide or Warning for Cities across the Nation? A Community-centered Education Research Conference Marking the Ten-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the Impact on Public Schools Nationwide, August 4-5, 2015, New Orleans, LA.

AERA Presidential Address, “Morally Engaged Research/ers Dismantling Epistemological Nihilation in the Age of Impunity.” Chicago, IL, April 18, 2015.

Keynote Address, Georgia Association of Teacher Educators, “Liberating Education for the Praxis of Human Freedom: The Power of Our Overcoming Spirit.” Young-Harris, GA., Oct 30, 2014.

Invited Research Presentation, Federal University of Parà, Belèm, Brazil. 8th Biennial Congress of Black Researchers, “Affirmative Action or Reparations,” July 28, 2014.

Invited Research Presentation. Beijing Normal University Conference, “A Global Issue: Promoting STEM Learning for Disadvantaged Students,” July 13, 2014.

Presidential Session, AERA. Re-Writing the Anti-Apartheid Struggle for Human Freedom from the Bottom Up: A Global Epistemology for Transformative Citizenship Education, Curriculum and Research Praxis, Philadelphia, PA. April, 2014

Invited Keynote Address (Joint International Video Conference with Medgar Evers College, CUNY). Liberty Hall, Kingston, Jamaica. “Liberating Education for Human Freedom,” February 27, 2014.


 2014 Association of Blacks in Higher Education Advocacy Award 

 2011 “The Living Treasure of Africans in the Diaspora in Education and Social Sciences” Award for 20 Years of Participation in the Black Studies Research Center at the Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil.


2009       Distinguished Lecturer, University of South Carolina 


2008       Distinguished Fellowship Award for Research and Leadership in Critical Studies, University of Auckland 

2002       Multicultural Educator of the Year Award, National Assoc. of Multicultural  Education (NAME), Georgia Chapter


2000        American Educational Research Association (AERA) Distinguished Career Award

Joyce E.  King, Ph.D. Professor

Joyce E. King, Ph.D.


Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Civic Engagement
E - Media Learning
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