Justin A. Coles, Ph.D., assistant professor and program director of Adolescent English Language Arts Education in the division of Curriculum and Teaching, has been named a co-editor of the highly regarded journal, Equity & Excellence in Education. The journal publishes research on issues of equity and social justice in education, considering marginalized populations and systemic oppression in relation to learning.
“Academic journals can function as gatekeepers of knowledge, what matters and what doesn’t. We hope to use our time as editors to expand what counts as knowledge and who can be knowledge producers. To be able to work on this journal and make an impact on its readership, especially given the world’s attentiveness in attempting to address racism and equity in our current socio-political climate, is an honor,” expressed Coles.
Coles is one of four early career scholars chosen in July 2020 to help steer the journal over the next three years. The other co-editors are Esther O. Ohito, University of North Carolina, and Keisha Green and Jamila Lyiscott, both of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“As junior scholars, we hope to bring new views and energy to the publication; and thank the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Education for placing their confidence in us and our outlook on equity and excellence in education,” remarked Coles.
The editorship pairs well with Coles’ ethnographic research on Black urban youth and their communities. Coles’ scholarship interests converge at the intersections of English Language Arts, Urban Education, and Critical Race Studies. He is particularly committed to learning from and with the dynamic language and literacy practices that urban youth are engaged in and how these practices serve as powerful analytics in addressing and dismantling inequitable structures within society and U.S. schooling.
Prior to joining the Fordham Graduate School of Education in 2018, Coles was a Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellow at Pennsylvania State University, Abington.
He has previously taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Historical, Philosophical, and Multicultural Foundations of Education, Sociopolitical Dimensions of Education, and Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum.
Coles is published in the Journal of Teacher Education, Urban Education, Equity & Excellence in Education, Race Ethnicity and Education, and the Journal of Language & Literacy Education. His recent articles include “Trading spaces: Antiblackness and reflections on Black education futures,” “Preparing Teachers to Notice Race in Classrooms: Contextualizing the Competencies of Preservice Teachers with Antiracist Inclinations,” and “A BlackCrit Re/Imagining of Urban Schooling Social Education Through Black Youth Enactments of Black Storywork.”