Banks Center for Educational Justice

Affiliate Faculty

Wayne Au

Professor, Educational Studies, Dean of Diversity and Equity, and Chief Diversity Officer, University of Washington, Bothell

wayne auI am a committed scholar-activist, parent, and public intellectual who works to engage the public in debates about the racial, cultural, and class politics of public education policy and practice – especially regarding the injustices neoliberal, market reforms. I seek to simultaneously challenge the settler-colonialist, white supremacist, free-market, and patriarchal foundations of public education and radically democratize classrooms and school so that they can become spaces of liberatory practices and sites for building critical, transformative consciousness. My curriculum and pedagogy are grounded in a shared commitment to critique, a sharpening of political understanding, our potential for transformational justice, and the possibility of education for healing historical and cultural trauma.

Editor for the social justice teaching magazine and publisher, Rethinking Schools –
Co-editor, Teaching for Black Lives –

Megan Bang

Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University

Senior Vice President, Spencer Foundation

megan bangMy work seeks to dream, co-design, and nurture educational spaces that contribute to just, sustainable, and culturally thriving communities. This takes on many forms but I am especially interested in examining the epistemic, ontological, and axiological dimensions of learning environments in order transform historically accumulating inequities – especially those born of settler colonialism – and make educational spaces that cultivate resurgence. I do this in part by studying culture, learning, and development broadly with a specific focus on the complexities and possibilities in navigating multiple meaning systems in creating and implementing transformative learning environments.

Bang, M., & McDaid-Morgan, N. (accepted). Towards socio-ecological decision making as central to science education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Bang, M., West, B., Hardison-Stevens, D. & Barajas, F. (accepted). Transforming History: Developing Teacher Education That Contributes to Thriving Native Communities. Handbook of Research on Teachers of Color.

Bang, M., Marin, A., & Medin, D. (2018). If Indigenous Peoples Stand with the Sciences, Will Scientists Stand with Us?. Daedalus, 147(2), 148-159.

Filiberto Barajas

Associate Professor and Director, Indigenous Education Initiatives

College of Education, University of Washington

filiberto barajas-lopezI immigrated from México to the United States (Boyle Heights) during the 1980s. I am of P’urhépecha lineage with relationship to lands and waters in the states of Jalisco and Michoacán. I am also a former Diversity in Mathematics Education (DiME) NSF Fellow and earned a doctoral degree in Education from UCLA. I serve as an Associate Professor (Curriculum and Instruction/Learning Sciences and Human Development) in the College of Education at the University of Washington Seattle and as Director of Indigenous Education Initiatives and the Native Education Certificate Program. In collaboration with youth, families, teachers, community members and other scholars I intervene in Indigenous erasure by living Indigenous resurgence in my everyday life. A great deal of the work I engage with examines the realities of teaching and learning mathematics in schools serving predominantly African American, Latinx, Native American/Indigenous, poor/working-class, and immigrant youth. Central to this work is privileging youth/family experience, youth/family knowledge, cultural knowledge and culturally embedded forms of knowing. I contend that these forms of knowing offer both practical and theoretical insights on how race, culture, language, gender, class are intimately connected to the ways in which youth/families come to participate in mathematics learning. JUCHARI UINAPEKUA!

Barajas-López, F., & Bang, M. (2018). Indigenous Making and Sharing: Claywork in an Indigenous STEAM Program. Equity & Excellence in Education, 51(1), 7-20.

Ishimaru, A. M., Barajas-López, F., & Bang, M. (2015). Centering family knowledge to develop children’s empowered mathematics identities. Journal of Family Diversity in Education, 1(4), 1-21.

Barajas-López, F., & Ishimaru, A. M. (2016). “Darles el lugar” A Place for Nondominant Family Knowing in Educational Equity. Urban Education.

Anthony Craig

Professor of Practice and Director, Leadership for Learning Program

College of Education, University of Washington

anthony craigMy work as an educator has been focused on reimagining formal education systems to truly reflect the communities they serve. The central idea in these endeavors has been about honoring the cultures of students and families in our schools. As a member of the Yakama Nation and living in the community of the Tulalip Tribes, I have found the cultural strengths in communities to be the most important resources for our systems. Extending beyond my own Indigenous communities, inherent in every community, we find incredible strengths. To realize educational justice, we will value these teachings and use them to imagine new possibilities and develop new practices and systems. Every aspect of learning and education is made stronger and more sustainable when we value the knowledge and ways of being in the communities we serve. Understanding how to leverage these strengths in the day-to-day processes of formal systems is an incredible opportunity to achieve justice.

Craig, Anthony. (In Press). Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Indigenous Strengths and Ways of Knowing. In M. Jacob (Ed.) On Indian Ground: A Return of Indigenous Knowledge—Generating Hope, Leadership and Sovereignty through Education, Northwest Volume. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

Craig, Anthony. (2014). Classroom Teachers and Cultural Guides: Collaborating to Transform Teaching and Learning Through the Use of Traditional Tribal Knowledge. Anthony Craig. In P. McCardle & V. Berninger. (Eds.). Narrowing the Achievement Gap for Native American Students: Paying the Educational Debt. New York: Routledge.

Juan Guerra

Professor, Department of English and Chair, American Ethnic Studies

University of Washington

I am professor of English and Chair of the Department of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington at Seattle where I teach courses on literacy, ethnography, autobiography, language variation, language policy, and composition and rhetoric. I have published a number of essays that explore the concept of writing across difference through what I describe as the critical practice of transcultural repositioning. In a recent book, Language, Culture, Identity and Citizenship in College Classrooms and Communities, I discuss a set of rhetorical and discursive tools related to language, culture and identity that disenfranchised students can use to navigate and negotiate pedagogical spaces they inhabit in writing classrooms and beyond as they prepare to become citizens in the making. I served as a senior mentor in NCTE’s Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color Program for ten years and am now the program’s Director.

Recent Publications:

Guerra, Juan C. & Ann Shivers-McNair. “Toward a New Vocabulary of Motive: Re(con)figuring Entanglement in a Translingual World.” Crossing Divides:

Exploring Translingual Writing Pedagogies and Programs. Eds. Bruce Horner & Laura Tetreault. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2017. 19-30.

Bawarshi, Anis, Juan C. Guerra, Bruce Horner & Min-Zhan Lu, Eds. “Special Issue – Translingual Work in Composition.” College English 78.3 (January 2016).

Guerra, Juan C. Language, Culture, Identity and Citizenship in College Classrooms and Communities. New York: Routledge/NCTE, 2016. 

Ann Ishimaru

Associate Professor

College of Education, University of Washington

ann ishimaruMy research focuses on the intersection of leadership, community-school relations and equity-based systems change in P-12 education. Through community-based research, I seek to collaborate with the expertise and leadership of nondominant students, families, communities, and educators towards educational justice and community well-being.  With Dr. Megan Bang, I lead the Family Leadership Design Collaborative, a national-level participatory design-based research project that re-centers nondominant families in racial equity efforts in education. I also collaborate with Dr. Filiberto Barajas-López and Dr. Min Sun in Cultivating Capacity for Racial Equity in Education, in partnership with Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association. I am currently writing a book entitled, Journeying to Educational Justice: Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities which draws across my work, including the Equitable Parent-School Collaboration Project (with Dr. Joe Lott), to help researchers, practitioners, and nondominant families collaborate in codesigning educational justice in our educational systems and communities.

Recent articles:

Ishimaru, A. M. (2018) “Re-imagining turnaround: families and communities leading educational justice”Journal of Educational Administration

Ishimaru, A.M., Rajendran, A., Montaño-Nolan, C. & Bang, M. (in press). Community design circles: Co-designing justice and wellbeing in family-community-research partnerships. Journal of Family Diversity in Education, 3(2).

Ishimaru, A.M. (2017). Ishimaru, A. M. & Takahashi, S. (2017). Disrupting racialized institutional scripts: Toward parent–teacher transformative agency for educational justice. Peabody Journal of Education, 1-20.

Joe Lott

Associate Professor and Director of Higher Education Leadership and the Brotherhood Initiative

College of Education, University of Washington

Joe LottMy work investigates how organizational cultures of large research universities create the conditions for disparate graduation rates between undergraduate men of color and their peers.  I seek to understand how faculty, staff, students, and administrators can collaboratively work together, drawing from design-based principles, to create policies and establish practices to close the graduation gap between men of color and their peers. To that end, I co-founded the Brotherhood Initiative at the University of Washington, a research-to-practice initiative designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of undergraduate men of color by creating conditions of success through academic classes and co-curricular programming, collecting longitudinal data about their college experiences, and working with administrative leaders on campus to scale up promising principles and practices learned from the students and the various campus partners who work with them.

Django Paris

James A. & Cherry A. Banks Professor of Multicultural Education

Director of the Banks Center for Educational Justice

College of Education, University of Washington

I am a Black biracial educator and scholar born on Ohlone homelands in San Francisco, California to a White mother and a Black Jamaican father. I am honored to be the inaugural James A. and Cherry A. Banks Professor of Multicultural Education and director of the Banks Center for Educational Justice in the College of Education at the University of Washington. My teaching and research focus on sustaining languages, literacies, and lifeways among Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander students in the context of ongoing resurgence, decolonization, liberation, and justice movements in and beyond schools.  I am particularly concerned with educational and cultural justice and liberation as outcomes of inquiry and pedagogy.

Paris, D., & Alim, H. S. (Eds.). (2017). Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies: Teaching and Learning for Justice in a Changing World . Teachers College Press.

Paris, D., & Winn, M. T. (Eds.). (2013). Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry with Youth and Communities. SAGE Publications.

Rae Paris

Assistant Professor, Creative Writing,

Department of English, University of Washington

Rae ParisI’m a Black womxn writer from Carson, California with roots extending to New Orleans. My writing, research, teaching, and service is layered in land, memory, resistance, Indigenous, Black, and Brown futures, and love. My work is centered in the ways Black womxn have always been surveyors of our freedom and witnesses to terror; and far from being passive, the ways our witnessing is an active state of critical loving resistance. Dr. Erna Brodber’s creation of Black Space in Jamaica shapes my consideration of Black Spaces—on the page, in digital space, as well as in real time—Black Spaces as fugitive sites of joy, liberation, re-vision, and rememory. My book The Forgetting Tree: A Rememory, a collection of poetry, prose, and images, remembers my father’s life and death within an assemblage of past and present racial violence and resistance to terror in the settler colonial nation state of the United States. In my role as Assistant Professor in Creative Writing in the Department of English at the University of Washington, I teach graduate courses in the MFA program, as well as undergraduate courses. At UW, I organize the Lee Scheingold Lecture in Poetry and Poetics, which welcomes compelling and visionary creative writers/scholars whose work encourages us to think about poetry, poetics, and social justice critically and expansively. We are new to Seattle and I’m grateful to be here on Coast Salish homelands. I’m thankful for the many communities that have welcomed us, and I’m looking forward to joining with ongoing justice work that holds so many here right now, and across time and space.

Paris, Rae. The Forgetting Tree: A Rememory. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2017.

Paris, Rae. “Ballad of Negro Judah,” Killens Review of Arts and Letters (Fall/Winter 2016), 20-21.

Paris, Rae. “Strangled: Letter to a Young Black Poet,” Transition Magazine: The Magazine of Africa and the Diaspora 117 (April 2015), 6-7.

Paris, Rae. “An Open Letter of Love to Black Students: #BlackLivesMatter.” Black Space, 2014.

Paris, Rae. “The Forgetting Tree,” themed issue “Race in America,” Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, June 15, 2013.

Manka Varghese

Associate Professor

College of Education, University of Washington

Manka VargheseI am dedicated to improving the education and life experiences of multilingual youth by focusing on understanding and re-envisioning the teaching and learning pathways of teachers of multilingual youth and of multilingual youth transitioning to postsecondary lives. In particular, I study the interaction between identity formation and multilingual learning and teaching and draw on critical perspectives, especially around the intersections of race and language. In doing so, I put forward an understanding of the historical and current terrain of multilingual youth as complex and rooted in racial, linguistic and other forms of inequity but with an eye to the possibilities of transformation. Currently, I am invested in partnering with teachers and organizations to reshape policies with more critical and complex understandings of youth and families also to advance the notion of education as a public good in a just and democratic society – nationally and globally.

Varghese, M. & Fuentes, R. (accepted). College capital and constraint agency:
First generation immigrant emergent bilingual students’ college success. Teachers College Record

Varghese, M., Daniels, J., & Park, C. (in press). Structuring disruption: Race-based caucuses in teacher education programs. To appear in Special issue: Preparing Asset, Equity, and Social Justice Oriented Teachers Within the Contemporary Political Challenges to University-based Teacher Education Programs. Teachers College Record.

Principal Investigator. U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. Project Bilingual Educator Capacity (BECA): Preparing Spanish and Vietnamese Bilinguals in a Model Dual Language Teacher Education Program.

Joy Williamson-Lott


College of Education, University of Washington

Joy Williamson-LottIn general, my work examines educational institutions as agencies of social change. I situate schools in the sociopolitical order and analyze how they have made a difference in society. My core historical work focuses on the role of higher education in the black freedom struggle and the transformation of American society between the late 1950s and early 1970s. A second strand of my work builds on this core historical work to consider ongoing issues of student learning, empowerment, and social justice in education. Both strands of my scholarship directly inform my teaching. Central to each of my classes is the belief that schools are contested sites and that various groups and individuals experience the same reality in different ways. My aim is to create students who think critically about multiple perspectives and are mindful of the consequences of the act of policy-making, curricular innovation, classroom teaching, or academic research.

Joy Ann Williamson-Lott, Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Struggle for a New Southern Social Order (New York: Teachers College Press, 2018).

Joy Ann Williamson-Lott, “The Battle for Academic Freedom at Southern Institutions of Higher Education, 1955-1965,” Journal of Southern History 79 (November 2013), 879-920.

Joy Ann Williamson, Radicalizing the Ebony Tower: Black Colleges and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi (New York: Teachers College Press, 2008).

Jazmen Moore

Research Assistant, Banks Center for Educational Justice

College of Education, University of Washington

Jazmen Moore I am a doctoral student in the Multicultural Education program in the College of Education at the University of Washington-Seattle. Over the past five years, I taught high school ELA in and around Chicago. During this time, I also coordinated a spoken word club to facilitate a sustainable space for young people of color to share their stories, build community, and engage in arts-based activism. I am also an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and I serve on their Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English.

Invited Blog Post and Video, National Council of the Teachers of English, 11-10-17: “Rethinking Woke”