Liles Dunn

Jalaya Liles Dunn, a thought leader in social and racial justice pedagogy, anti-bias training, advocacy and movement building for over 20 years, is the director of Learning for Justice. Prior to joining Learning for Justice, Jalaya championed child advocacy at the Children’s Defense Fund through her roles as national director of the CDF Freedom Schools® program and director of youth leadership and development. Her leadership led to training 5,000 young leaders of color for action in their home communities, managing national partnerships that provided high quality summer and afterschool programming for 13,000 children annually, and developing cohorts of educators to institute culturally responsive and sustainable teaching models in their local schools. 

Jalaya has served as a social justice consultant for the University of Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity. Her work with the Academy for Educational Equity involved providing professional development and train-the-trainer sessions for core instructional staff, training and developing curriculum for up to 100 educators placed in Arkansas schools, and developing curriculum for graduate-level teacher training. Jalaya has translated her experiences in training and development, advocacy, and social and racial justice to the health and wellness of wellness-deprived populations. She created the House of J in rural South Carolina that includes a farm and wellness retreat to address the health disparities of poor communities of color with a specific focus on women. Jalaya is a graduate of Spelman College and the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Administration, respectively. 

Articles by Jalaya

Civics for Democracy

LFJ Director Jalaya Liles Dunn contends that civics should “represent the agency and change of each generation, demonstrating the needs of the time and how people showed up for the collective good.”

The Power of Place

LFJ Director Jalaya Liles Dunn explains that “the victories for justice must be fought for and by ordinary people in the South together with allies from other parts of the nation.”

A Message From Our Director

LFJ Director Jalaya Liles Dunn contends that “The treatment of children from communities experiencing systemic oppressions—those at the intersection of race, gender, poverty and geography—will determine the fate of our democracy.”

Where Do We Go From Here?

LFJ Director Jalaya Liles Dunn explains that "Education is not merely a way of upward mobility for the individual, it is a way of collective movement."

A Message From Our Director

LFJ Director Jalaya Liles Dunn emphasizes that “Teaching an honest history counters a prevailing narrative that denies the real origins of this country and maintains an unjust society.”
A map of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi with overlaid images of key state symbols and of people in community

Learning for Justice in the South

When it comes to investing in racial justice in education, we believe that the South is the best place to start. If you’re an educator, parent or caregiver, or community member living and working in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Mississippi, we’ll mail you a free introductory package of our resources when you join our community and subscribe to our magazine.

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