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Selected Publications

1. Sealey-Ruiz, Y., Muhammad, G.E. & Dunmeyer, A.D. (forthcoming). Resistance and Longevity: Black Female Teachers and the Fight for Liberatory Education. In Theory into Practice themed issue: Black women’s work: Exploring pipelines, pedagogies and policies (Eds. A. Farinde, A., A. Allen-Handy, & V. Hill-Jackson).

2. Black Girls Literacies Collective (2018). In Dialogue: Collectivities. Research in the Teaching of English, 53 (2), 173-175.

3. Ohito, E.O., Watson, W., Lyiscott, J. & Sealey-Ruiz, Y. (2019). Postcript: Visions of Love in Urban Schooling, or A Love Letter from the Editors. The Urban Review, 51(1), pp. 146-148.

Features in Articles and Blogs

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March 26th, 2020

A Poet Takes on Risk and Healing: TC’s Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz makes herself vulnerable in a new volume about past relationships

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is featured in a TC article, where she discusses the debut of her first-full length poetry book, Love from the Vortex & Other Poems

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Sep 5th, 2019

Education Equity Starts with Critical Love

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Associate Professor of English Education at Columbia University Teacher’s College believes that equity starts with “critical love.” This includes relationship-building and creating a culture where students know they are loved and cared for, but also that their teachers expect the best they can give. Dr. Sealey-Ruiz argues that without love for our students — transparent and critical love — change will not occur. 


Apr 19, 2021

Racial Literacy Policy Brief on NCTE

This publication of the James R. Squire Office on Policy Research offers perspectives with implications for policy decisions that affect literacy education, teaching, and learning. Ernest Morrell, professor and director of the Notre Dame University Center on Literacy Education,
directs the Squire Office on behalf of NCTE and creates research and reports with the
involvement of literacy education leaders in the field. All policy briefs from the Squire Office are available at

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Feb 27th, 2019

Affirming Black Girls' Humanity: Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz blogs in Education Week about the huge disparity in school suspension

“Before deeply investigating the disparities in their suspension data, school districts must first acknowledge and affirm the humanity of black girls. They must understand how their practice of disproportionately suspending them is an infringement on their humanity. Black girls deserve to be seen for their complexity and should not have certain aspects of their behavior stereotyped as defiant and deviant. Stereotypes flatten their experiences.”

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Sep 9th, 2020

Pandemic Poetics: An Eulogy and Manifesto in an AntiBlack World

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz was featured in The Brooklyn Rail with Dr. Gwendolyn Baxley.

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Jun 24, 2020

Historical Voices for Contemporary Times: Learning from Black Women Educational Theorists to Redesign Teaching and Teacher Education - on Theory into Practice

At a time when schools are destroying the minds and spirits of Black and Brown students, as educators, we must work differently to make sure our children’s souls are not claimed by those who refuse to acknowledge their brilliance. The purpose of this essay is to explore the educational activism and scholarship of three Black women educators in an effort to help readers understand how and why they should inform our teacher education and teaching practices today. The authors highlight the lives of Anna Julia Cooper, Mary McCloud Bethune, and Nannie Helen Burroughs, influential women whose work and theories have shaped the field of teacher education. Through a brief historical analysis of their scholarship and practice, the authors examine how these women ignited educational progress for Black children. This piece is written to honor their lives, center their theories on education, and bring them out of obscurity.

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Issue 63, Fall 2019

Black Minds Matter: Interrupting School Practices that disregard the mental health of black youth

Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, an Associate Professor of English Education with Teachers College, Columbia University, says black people are often left out of critical conversations about these problems that plague families of any race.


Feb, 2021

In Dialogue: Poetry, Healing, and Resistance on RTE

This In Dialogue essay stands on the shoulders of ancestry and centers on the nexus of the Black Radical Tradition and healing — specifically through poetry. Poetry has historically been leveraged as a tool of protest, helping to capture current realities and imagine new ones into existence (Lorde, 2007; Neal, 1969). Baxley and Sealey-Ruiz share their poetry as a form of resistance; a way to bare their souls and restore themselves against the anti-Blackness that is rampant in our society. Their conversation shows the art of poetry as a means of healing, resistance, and reflection on historical and current times as
a larger project of refuge, fight, and the pursuit of freedom for all. By showcasing how this art form has been healing and affirming for them individually and collectively, they also 
advocate to practitioners and educational leaders that poetry be central to the curriculum for Black children in schools.

Featured Books

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The field of education has been and will continue to be essential to the survival and sustainability of the Black community. Unfortunately, over the past five decades, two major trends have become clearly evident in the Black community: (a) the decline of the academic achievement levels of Black students and (b) the disappearance of Black teachers, particularly Black males. Today, of the 3.5 million teachers in America's classrooms (AACTE, 2010) only 8% are Black teachers, and approximately 2% of these teachers are Black males (NCES, 2010). Over the past few decades, the Black teaching force in the U.S. has dropped significantly (Lewis, 2006; Lewis, Bonner, Byrd & James, 2008; Milner & Howard, 2004), and this educational crisis shows so signs of ending in the near future. As the population of Black students in K-12 schools in the U.S. continue to rise - currently over 16% of students in America's schools are Black (NCES, 2010) - there is an urgent need to increase the presence of Black educators.

The overall purpose of this edited volume is to stimulate thought and discussion among diverse audiences (e.g., policymakers, practitioners, and educational researchers) who are concerned about the performance of Black students in our nation's schools, and to provide evidence-based strategies to expand our nation's pool of Black teachers. To this end, it is our hope that this book will contribute to the teacher education literature and will inform the teacher education policy and practice debate. 

This book, a collection of memoirs written by Women of Color, is shared to inspire and motivate readers. The authors of these precious, soulful stories are from across the globe and represent various backgrounds and professions. What these women have in common though, is their drive to tell their story. Stories of pain, discovery, strength, and stories of beginnings. Many of the experiences, as difficult as they may have been, made the women who they are today. Telling these stories to a new generation will empower and encourage them in their experiences no matter how troubling or challenging (Harris, 2015). These stories, like our foremothers offering their Gumbo, present the best these women have to offer. These authors want the world to know that deep inside of each of us is a rich, vibrant, purposeful beginning. As our lives develop and we are "stirred and stirred again", like Gumbo, our experiences begin to shape who we are and who we become. When the stirring is complete, a comforting meal on that says no matter what has gone into the dish, it's going to be amazingly magnificient!

The authors hope these stories will inspire and motivate girls and Women of Color to trust their experiences whether good or bad to help them become. Our becoming means that after all that life has thrown our way, we are strong, purposeful, and powerful people who are a great treasure to a world that sometimes rejects and ignores our existence. Embedded in this book are stories of abuse and triumph, sadness and victory, disappointment and resilience, discovery and victory.

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