July 1, 2016

City Steward: Dana Nickson

Research Cluster | Learning in the CityDana

Department | Educational Studies

Subfield | Foundations of Education & Policy

Affiliations & Honors | Rackham Merit Fellow, 2015- Present; Princeton in Africa Fellowship, Cape Town, South Africa, 2013-2014

Origin Cities | Houston, TX; Allen, TX; Chicago, IL

Research Key Words | urban education, critical policy analysis, Black youth, neoliberalism

Research Statement |

Seeing policy as dynamic and in flux among the communities and individuals in which it circulates, my research seeks to investigate how Black youth make meaning of education reform in their daily schooling and community experiences in the city of Detroit primarily through narrative inquiry. I believe that the insights and experiences of students and youth present vital and multifaceted narratives that can shed light on the complexities of education policy in its myriad forms. Currently, my interests focus on aspects of resource allocation, school climate, and school choice in urban education reform. I also work with a community-based research project that investigates how an educational organizing group of parents and youth work to shape the policy narrative at the state and city level on Detroit schools.

Steward Statement |

In undergrad, I studied African American Studies. This discipline was founded on a desire to deconstruct the walls between the academy and the community and has guided my academic pursuits. The Detroit City Study is working to create a space where scholars and communities in Detroit can think critically about place, space, power, access, and knowledge. I believe this is how we begin to move forward and ultimately create new paradigms and relationships for ethical urban research. Detroit is a city with vibrant histories of migration, striving, activism, and resilience. I’m interested in these stories and how they live on and shape the state of public education and the lives of young people in the city today. I hope the Detroit City Study will provide a space to collaborate, imagine, and dialogue on how we can better uncover and humanize these stories.