This fall, Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development is pleased to welcome Chezare A. Warren as associate professor of educational equity and inclusion in educational policy. Professor Warren’s appointment is in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations.
Professor Warren is a scholar of race and intersectional justice with particular interests in the conditions that facilitate Black learners’ holistic well-being—in education and beyond. In his approach, Professor Warren also is insistent that all Black boys (and Black children) be understood as agentic, full of passion, talent, and promise. “They are full human beings who deserve access to a high-quality public education,” he says. “Likewise, educators are culpable for acquiring knowledge of these young people and their communities that enables culturally responsive, relevant, sustaining pedagogical outcomes.”
Professor Warren attributes his scholarly interests to his time as a middle school math teacher and instructional coach in Chicago. “I have always worked in predominantly Black schools and neighborhoods, and as such, been concerned about expanding education opportunity for young people who look like me. There were questions as a practitioner I could not answer. I lacked language to explain what I was experiencing on the ground,” says Warren.
“Working full time while also attending graduate school in the evening was crucial to my development as a scholar. I acquired a language to begin resolving problems of practice, but more importantly, I cultivated the skills necessary to begin answering questions that so profoundly shaped my professional experience as a Black educator serving Black children,” Warren says.
As a scholar, Professor Warren employs primarily qualitative research methodologies to critically examine factors that both enable and sustain humanizing experiences of school for Black youth in the United States. His work as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI has garnered more than $850,000 in funding from the Spencer, William T. Grant, and Kellogg Foundations. He is author of Centering Possibility in Black Education (Teachers College Press, 2021) and Urban Preparation: Young Black Men Moving from Chicago’s South Side to Success in Higher Education (Harvard Education Press, 2017). He also has published widely in top peer-reviewed journals including Educational Researcher, Equity & Excellence in Education, Urban Education, Race Ethnicity and Education, Journal of Teacher Education, and Teachers College Record.
Professor Warren comes to Vanderbilt from the College of Education at Michigan State University, where he was assistant professor and subsequently promoted to associate professor of urban (teacher) education, with tenure. Professor Warren previously held appointments as a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and visiting appointments at Stanford University and New York University’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. He earned his doctorate at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Professor Warren says he was drawn to Peabody College by the influence and thoughtfulness of the scholarship done here. “Coming to Vanderbilt puts me in proximity to colleagues and students whose diverse intellectual and methodological perspectives substantially advances education practice and policy. I remain incredibly excited for the ways my work contributes to efforts in and beyond Vanderbilt to make our world more just for historically marginalized, multiply-subordinated individuals.”
In his first semester, Warren is teaching an introduction to qualitative methods in the college’s online EdD program. In the spring, he will teach a seminar on urban education and social policy. “Our students are truly outstanding,” he says.