Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., is the Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education, recipient of the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a recipient of the Hand Award for Distinguished Faculty Achievement at Stetson University. She serves on Executive Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless and is the Co-Chair of the Equity and Justice SIG for the International Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. She is also the Founder and Director for the Poverty and Homelessness Conference, Hatters University Scholars, and the Acts of Kindness and Justice Movement, as well as the Faculty Advisor for the Student Homeless Coalition. She began her career as a public school teacher and has worked with schools PreK-12 in urban, rural, and suburban communities in a variety of leadership roles including serving as a literacy and technology coach.
As a civically engaged educational leader who is deeply committed to advancing intersectional equity, Dr. Shankar-Brown actively works to confront systemic oppression, build inclusive learning spaces, and advance educational excellence for diverse communities. She has presented and facilitated professional learning workshops around the globe, as well as published in leading peer-reviewed journals and books. Her current series with Information Age Publishing includes two edited books, Bending the Arc Towards Justice: Equity-Focused Practices for Educational Leaders and Re-Envisioning Education: Affirming Diversity and Advancing Social Justice. In addition, her recently published collection of poetry Tuluminous has been praised as “a marvelous and meaningful testimony of the power of language to heal and transform” by the Presidential Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco, and she is described as the “Poet Laureate of the just society” by NYU’s Moral Courage Project Founder, Irshad Manji.
Dr. Shankar-Brown has received international, national, state, and local recognition for her scholarly and creative activities and transformative leadership including being selected as a Faculty-Scholar-in-Residence by the National Humanities Center, the Florida PDK International Educator of the Year, and a recipient of the Engaged Scholarship Faculty Award by the Florida Campus Compact. In addition to being a passionate teacher-scholar and human rights activist, Dr. Shankar-Brown is a devoted mother and artist. She resides in Central Florida with her family and their two English lop rabbits, Hazel Basil and Maple Sage.