Institute for Urban and Minority Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content


Join Us for the 2nd Annual Edmund Gordon Lecture

In collaboration with the Program in History and Education at Teachers College as well as the Center on History and Education, IUME is excited to highlight the "Educating Harlem" lecture series in 2014-2015, which is part of a larger initiative to better explore the forces that shaped education in Harlem. Esteemed scholar, Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker, will kick off this year's lecture series at the 2nd Annual Edmund Gordon Lecture. Make sure to save the date: October 2nd, 2014, from 9:00am to 7:3pm -- click here to RSVP!

The lecture will conclude the Educating Harlem public conference, which is being held prior, with the goal of discussing the history of education in Harlem by bringing together leading voices in the history of education field. For more information about the Educating Harlem conference, click here.

Learn More About IUME's Literacy Teachers Initiative (LTI) Project

 IUME was excited to announce the launch of the Literacy Teachers Initiative (LTI) Project in spring, 2012. Since then, we have partnered with dynamic elementary and middle school teachers from Harlem and Brooklyn in an effort to collaboratively work toward finding increased pedagogical methods for students. The LTI Project is led by Dr. Jodene Morrell of Teachers College. We have grown in number and ideas each year, received competitive research grants, presented at Teachers College and state, national, and international conferences, and written for publication.

Check out our LTI page for more information and check out the biographies of the Teacher Fellows here!

Welcome to our newest IUME Postdoctoral and Faculty Fellows!

We are excited to welcome our newest group of accomplished and innovative IUME Fellows who will be working with us this year. Our IUME Faculty Fellows include Dr. Brian Lozenski, from Metropolitan State University, and Deron Wallace, from the University of Cambridge. In addition, Teachers College's Minority Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Monique Lane, from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), will also be be a part of IUME research this year.

Learn more about them on our Faculty Fellow page and Postdoctoral Fellow page.


A Historic Evening at the Inaugural Edmund Gordon Lecture

On October 10th, 2013, IUME, in co-sponsorship with the Program in History and Education, hosted Professor Charles M. Payne who delivered the Inaugural Edmund Gordon Address at Teachers College in honor of IUME Founder and legendary figure Dr. Edmund Gordon. The address entitled, “Whatever Happened to the Negro Question? Educational Discourse and the Lost Question of Race”, drew a standing-room-only audience of nearly 200 to Milbank Chapel and helped illustrate how historical understanding is crucial for thinking about contemporary school improvement. In his address, Dr. Payne presented a broad critique of the educational community’s modern perceptions and attitudes towards school achievement, poverty, and race.

Click here to view the lecture on the IUME YouTube channel and here for pictures.

Learn More about the Youth Historians in Harlem Program!

The Youth Historians in Harlem (YHH) project, sponsored by IUME, is a new critical approach to teaching history in urban schools in Harlem, focusing on empowering minority youth through their own cultural experiences, involving students in the practice of "doing" history through guided projects, programs, and participatory action research. YHH seeks to increase students' interest in history through innovative and engaging pedagogical approaches that help them become historians, researching the rich historical past of ‘their’ Harlem community. While YHIH seeks to advance the historical knowledge of education in Harlem, above all, our project seeks to make history relevant to urban students and help increase academic achievement. To learn more about this exciting project, visit the official website here.

Subcribe to the new IUME Newsletter!

In 2013-2104, IUME redesigned its monthly newsletter in a way that not only increases dissemination, but most importantly, better shares all the events and news with the world. The newsletter is available in PDF format, but also available via hard copy at the IUME office at Teachers College. Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter and e-mail list on the bottom right-hand side of this IUME homepage.

For more information and to download/view past IUME newsletters, click here.

Getting Real III Public Videoconference Series Recap

This past fall over the span of 16 weeks, IUME partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and New York University Hip-Hop Education Center to launch an innovative online seminar series called Getting Real III. Seminal scholars and leaders in the growing field of Hip-Hop studies focused their attention on how Hip-Hop culture, culturally relevant pedagogy and youth participatory action research can successfully be used to close the education gap in America's public schools.

This online public videoconference series was highly successful. The final four lectures were at Teachers College, and can be viewed in full HERE -- so check them out! The TC speakers featured Professor Chris Emdin, Professor Ernest Morrell, Jen Johnson, and Sam Seidel with Dave "TC" Ellis. (Original lineup here.)

Subscribe to our IUME YouTube Channel!

Have you visited the official IUME YouTube page recently? Want to learn more about IUME? Make sure to stop by our YouTube page here and watch a few of our videos and subscribe!. Not only do we keep a collection of IUME events and Colloquia, but our video team prepares short clips on critical research. The most recent Beyond Bullying presentation is now available, as is our December Colloquium and other great clips that should be shared!

In our increasingly digital and mutlimodal era, we believe strongly in collaborative educational content, so make sure to check back often and subscribe to your channel.




About Us > People & Leadership

People & Leadership

      IUME

                                                The IUME Team
                                                           at the Gordon Campus Library


  • Director

    Ernest Morrell
    em2822@columbia.edu

    Ernest morrellERNEST MORRELL is the Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) and Professor of English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has also been elected as the incoming Vice-President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and will assume the presidency of this 50,000-member organization in 2013. For nearly twenty years Dr. Morrell’s research has focused on drawing upon youth’s interest in popular culture and participatory media technologies to increase motivation and to promote academic literacy development, civic engagement and college access. He is also recognized nationally for developing powerful models of teaching and learning in classrooms and non-school environments and for engaging youth and communities in the project of educational reform. Professor Morrell has written more than 50 articles that have appeared in journals such as Teachers College Record, the Journal of Teacher Education, Reading Research Quarterly, English Education, the English Journal, the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Action in Teacher Education, and the Annual Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. He has written numerous book chapters and four books including The Art of Critical Pedagogy: Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools (with Jeff Duncan-Andrade) and Critical Literacy and Urban Youth: Pedagogies of Access, Dissent, and Liberation. He is a sought after speaker by universities, school districts, professional organizations, and private foundations. Morrell has also received several commendations for his teaching including being recognized five times by Who’s Who Among America’s High School teachers and receiving UCLA’s Department of Education’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Morrell received his Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of California, Berkeley and was the recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation award.

  • Assistant Director

    Veronica Holly
    holly@tc.edu

    Veronica hollyVERONICA HOLLY, is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME), Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University and her M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently a doctoral student in the Organization and Leadership Department at Teachers College. Her research interests include school/community partnerships, positive youth development, parent involvement, and school governance.   Ms. Holly's professional background bridges New York City's politics, community and education. She was an Assistant to Governor Mario Cuomo's Advisory Committee for Black Affairs; and served as a Program Analyst for the New York State Division for Youth. Prior to joining IUME, Ms. Holly served as Research Coordinator for the National Center for Children and Families, at Teachers College, where she coordinated its national child and family policy summer fellowship program for graduate students, entitled "Putting Children First." She has directed and developed academic enrichment and out-of-school-time programs for youth; provided technical assistance and evaluation to community-based organizations; served as manager for a successful District Leader political campaign; and serves as a consultant and proposal writer for education initiatives. She has organized numerous community and charitable events and chaired the New Democratic Club's Education Committee in Harlem.   Ms. Holly has presented at numerous conferences and events, most notably, Keynote Address for the Robert Bowne Foundation Fellows Annual Luncheon, of which she was a Fellow, and the CEJJESS Institute’s Annual Graduates Awards Ceremony in 2008, and an encore address in 2009. She’s currently on leave from Upper Manhattan Rotary, International. Ms. Holly is an avid tennis player, and a homeowner in Harlem.

  • Graduate Assistant Fellows


    Cati V. de los Ríos
    cvd2110@columbia.edu

    Cati V. de los Rios is a PhD student in the Program of English Education. Her research interests include the aesthetic contours of Chicana/o-Latina/o critical literacies, immigration & curriculum studies, emergent bilingualism, sociocultural theories of learning, feminist and critical pedagogies, youth activism, and high school Ethnic Studies. She received her B.A. in Chicana/o Studies and Spanish Literature from Loyola Marymount University, an M.A. in Theological Studies &  Secondary Education from Harvard University, and an Ed.M. in Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College. Cati’s roots in education arise from four generations of women critical educators in the highlands of Chihuahua, México. A previous Spanish, ESL, and Ethnic Studies Teacher, she created and implemented one of the first College Preparatory “Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies” high school courses and programs in Southern California which she taught in for many years. Her work included the bridging of her classroom with local Day Laborer Centers and university level Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies courses at the Claremont Colleges to produce community action research projects, Social Justice Posadas, K-12 Raza Studies "Encuentros," and spaces for empowered youth identity development. She also worked as an Adult ESL instructor in both California and Massachusetts for several years. Cati currently supervises TESOL M.A. candidates through the Teaching Residency @ Teachers College Program and is a Core Member of New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE). Her writing has most recently been published in The Urban Review and the Journal of Latinos and Education.

    Crystal Belle
    cb2847@tc.columbia.edu

    CRYSTAL BELLE is an educator, freelance writer and poet. She has done extensive research on hip-hop as a Watson fellow, in which she traveled around the world exploring the significance of hip-hop in urban communities. Her travels took her throughout West Africa, South America, Europe and the Caribbean. She performs at performance poetry events in New York City and beyond on a regular basis. Belle is the author of Woman on Fire, a collection of poetry, which explores issues of body image, self-love, urban education, feminism and Africa/Diaspora relations. She is currently working on her second collection of poetry and a novel. Her poetry is featured on her blog at http://crystalbellepoet.blogspot.com Belle is currently working on a multimedia project called Testing the Waters with the Hip Hop Theater Festival which documents the lives of high school students and their experiences with testing. Crystal is a Doctoral student in the Department of Arts and Humanities and is very excited about starting her PhD in English Education at Teachers College.


    Jennifer Johnson
    jkj2123@tc.columbia.edu

    JEN JOHNSON is an educator, community organizer, and social entrepreneur. She is a doctoral student in English Education at Teachers College and she currently holds two fellowships, one with IUME and one with the Hip Hop Education Center at New York University where she received her Masters of Arts in Media, Culture and Communication.  Her work is dedicated to the economic, political, cultural, and social empowerment of young leaders through debate education and Hip-Hop culture. She is a former high school and college debater who has coached debate for thirteen years.  Since 2001, she has directed two non-profits and Urban Debate Leagues in seven school districts. She has taught debate institutes at numerous colleges and universities, and has partnered with dozens of public schools, social justice organizations, Hip-Hop artists, and community leaders from around the country. She was formally the executive director of the Seattle Debate Foundation, a 501(c)(3) social justice organization committed to the critical literacy and empowerment of urban youth through debate education. Her groundbreaking work in Hip Hop debate education received national and international acclaim including recognition in Newsweek Magazine and Zip Radio in Japan, and her work has been modeled cities around the United States.  In 2008 she was named a finalist for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King County Executive Awards for Excellence in Hip Hop and in 2009 she was a finalist for the NYU Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship. Her forthcoming curriculum will be published in the Hip-Hop Education Guidebook Volume II. Jen received her BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley where she found her passion for urban debate education, critical and culturally relevant pedagogy, and critical literacy. She currently brings her passion and commitment to the education and empowerment of young leaders by coaching Hip-Hop debate in Brooklyn. Her ultimate goal is to expand these opportunities to young people and educators around the globe. She believes that through the power of debate and Hip-Hop we can connect, build, create, and envision a world with endless possibilities.

    Barry Goldenberg
    bmg2136@tc.columbia.edu

    BARRY GOLDENBERG is currently a Doctoral student in the History and Education program who is humbled to be a part of IUME. Barry is currently Project Director of Youth Historians in Harlem (YHH), an after-school program which seeks to to explore how innovative history experiences and public history at large can be used to both empower and improve the academic literacies of urban youth. This research also asks questions around the intersection of YPAR, agency, and youth agency. (For more information about YHH, please visit youthhistorians.com.) Outside of his research pursuits, Barry loves to write, and is the author of The Unknown Architects of Civil Rights and has been published in academic journals such as Urban Education. In addition, Barry has been featured on the Harlem World Radio Show, previously served as an Intern for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and has spent time abroad volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa. Barry originally hails from St. Louis, and holds a B.A. in History (highest departmental honors), magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). You can find his website at barrygoldenberg.com

    Jamila Lyiscott
    jjl2183@tc.columbia.edu

    JAMILA LYISCOTT describes herself as an academic activist, spoken word artist, and educator and is currently a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University where her work focuses on the education of the African Diaspora. She also serves as the Program Associate at Urban Word NYC, a community based after school organization that works to champion youth literacy, development, and voice through hip-hop, spoken word, literature, and social justice pedagogy. Jamila works as a mentor, educator, and workshop facilitator in spaces throughout the five boroughs, including Urban Word NYC, BrotherHood/SisterSol, and the Kings Church of Christ where her practice seeks to encourage student centered learning and validate the voices of marginalized youth. Through her community, scholastic, and artistic efforts, Jamila hopes to play a key role in forging better connections between the world of academia and disenfranchised communities outside. All facets of Jamila’s endeavors are rooted in her Christian values, which are at the center of her work and purpose.

    Sandra Overo
    sbo2106@tc.columbia.edu

    Sandra Overo is a M.Div. candidate in Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.  Before entering seminary, She worked as a school-based project coordinator for INSIGHTS, a temperament-based intervention research at NYU Steinhardt that examined the effectiveness of a parent/teacher collaborative model at reducing child behavior problems and improving competency. While at INSIGHTS, she completed her final coursework for a M.Ed. from the University of Texas- Pan American, where she explored the intersection of creativity, giftedness, and resiliency.  Sandra holds a BA in Sociocultural Anthropology and Psychology from Austin College, a place she credits for integrating her interest in theology and education particularly a deeper meaning of servitude etched in the call for fellowship and community mobilization.  In 2007 Sandra joined the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has worked on various projects in the area of university and school-based partnerships including the Harlem AIDS Blanket project and the Children's Aid Society African-American Male Initiative. She was also a graduate assistant on the patterns of child-care subsidy use among low-income families research project at the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College.  Aside from her work at IUME, she is an avid runner, swimmer and truly enjoyed her summer as the Assistant Director for Cubs (sport) Camp at Columbia University.  Fall of 2012, she will pursue an Ed.D. at Teachers College in Interdisciplinary Studies concentrating on Family and Community Education and Program Evaluation Methods.

  • Fulbright Scholar (IUME Alumna)

    Katharine Vincent
    kav2127@tc.columbia.edu

    KATHARINE VINCENT was born and raised in the United Kingdom and earned a BA (Hons) in English from Cambridge University in 1999.  Prior to completing a PGCE at London University’s Institute of Education (IOE), she then spent two years teaching English in rural Japan as a participant on the JET program.  In 2004, she was awarded a Best Practice Research Scholarship for her study of students with literacy difficulties, and was a Lead Practitioner for the Specialist Schools Trust between 2004 and 2006. Currently, Katharine is Assistant Head teacher at an east London secondary school where, as well as teaching English, she is responsible for curriculum development and for the school’s Sixth Form.  Having completed a Master of Teaching with Distinction at IOE in 2006, she now also works as an Associate Tutor on the course, which provides theoretical and practical research training to teachers working in London schools. Katharine is now studying for a Doctor in Education at IOE, and was recently awarded a Research Fellowship by the London Education Research Unit (LERU).  She is currently working on a narrative research project, exploring the construction of educational success by Bangladeshi girls living in a socio-economically deprived area of east London.  As a Fulbright Scholar with Special Student Researcher status at Teachers College, Columbia University, Katharine plans to carry out fieldwork for her doctoral thesis in New York City schools and will work closely with the Institute for Urban and Minority Education.

    Katharine is currently a Professor at the Institute of Education in London. 

  • Post Doctoral Fellows (IUME Alumni)

    Arshad Ali
    ai
    a2113@columbia.edu

    ARSHAD I. ALI is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University His research explores how youth identities are mediated by macro economic, political and social realities. He received his Ph.D. in Education from UCLA in September 2009. His dissertation is entitled, “Finding Home: Formulations of Race and Nationhood Among Muslim College Students in Southern California.” Through this study he explored how students who identify as Muslim understand their own racial and religious construction, as well as their own subjectivity within the American social, political, and cultural landscape. He specifically focused on the construction of the label Muslim as an emerging racial and political signifier. His current work examines the intersections of race and religion in the lives of U.S. Muslim youth. Specifically, his current research project further explores issues of participatory democracy, political engagement and cultural identity among Arab American youth in New York City. Arshad also has lectured extensively on various topics regarding critical race methodologies within multiple different ethnic complexes. Arshad also holds a B.A. degree from UCLA and an Ed.M. degree from Harvard University.

    After a two-year fellowship in the UK, Dr. Ali has accepted an Assistant Professorship position at George Washington University, starting in Fall 2014.

    Benji Chang
    bjc2149@tc.columbia.edu

    BENJI CHANG is Postdoctoral Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University, with affiliations at IUME and the Department of Curriculum & Teaching.  Dr. Chang earned his Ph.D., M.Ed., and Teaching Credential from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.  For the past 11 years, Dr. Chang has been involved in social justice education work with youth and families from multiethnic inner-city neighborhoods like Los Angeles Chinatown.  He is a former LAUSD teacher, union steward and community organizer.  He is co-founder and co-director of the LA Mentee + Mentor Project (M+M), and was most recently Director of Youth & Parent Leadership at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), the nation’s largest Asian American civil rights organization.  There he directed all education and leadership development programs serving over 800 youth, teachers, and parents annually, and he helped raise over $800,000 in grants to support these efforts in immigrant and multiracial communities. Dr. Chang has been a Visiting Scholar to research universities in China (Beijing, Hong Kong), Australia (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney), and Singapore.  His work has been published in several journals and books (e.g. Rethinking Schools, Asian American Movement, AAPI Nexus Journal), and he has been honored with awards and fellowships in Ethnic Studies and Education, including the Cultivating New Voices Fellowship through the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

    Dr. Chang is currently a Lecturer at California State University-Los Angeles and at UCLA.



Return to Top