Charles H.F. Davis  III

Charles H.F. Davis III

Assistant Professor of Clinical Education
Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Research, USC Race and Equity Center

Ph.D., University of Arizona
M.Ed., University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Florida State University
B.A., Florida State University

Contact info

Curriculum Vitae


Higher Education


Student activism and social movements in college, race and racism in education, new and social media in education, campus climate in higher education, workplace climate in higher education, social foundations of education, ethnographic research and qualitative methods of inquiry

Charles H.F. Davis III

Dr. Charles H.F. Davis III is an assistant professor of clinical education, director of research, and the chief strategy officer of the USC Race and Equity Center. Dr. Davis’ research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Urban Education, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Educational Foundations, Men and Masculinities, and the Journal of Negro Education. In addition to his written scholarship, Dr. Davis hosted and produced “Saving Tomorrow, Today,” a long-form documentary about the structural barriers facing Black youth in education and innovative solutions to support their success. He is currently working on his first book titled “Flourish,” an ethnography examining the contemporary organizing practices of the Dream Defenders, an organization of Black and Brown youth building power and fighting for freedom in the deep south.

Before joining the Rossier faculty, Dr. Davis served as a lecturer in the Penn Graduate School of Education and a visiting research fellow at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He also was Director of Higher Education Research in the Penn Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. His graduate research was recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, earning the Melvin D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year Award (runner-up). In addition, Dr. Davis and his work have been featured by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Colorlines (by Race Forward), Academe, and Change Magazine. He has also been interviewed and served as an on-air contributor to NBC, Fox News, Huffington Post Live, and NewsOne Now with Roland Martin. 



Dr. Davis' research is broadly focused with race and racism, systems of oppression, and structures of domination in U.S. higher education. In particular, Dr. Davis' award-winning ethnographic work examines contemporary student activism at the intersections of campus and community, specifically focusing on the mobilization of resources and tactical repertoires used to achieve movement goals. Dr. Davis' work has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals to include The Review of Higher Education, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Urban Education, Journal of Negro Education, and Men and Masculinities. Futhermore, his research has also been cited in Amicus Curiae briefs in the Fisher v. University of Texas and SFFA v. Harvard Supreme Court cases as well as garnered references by dozens of news media outlets, most notably including the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Inside Higher Educaiton.

Professional Experience:

Dr. Davis brings a decade of experiece working in, researching, and teaching about higher education administration and student affairs. He has provided expert consultation to more than three dozen colleges and universities around issues of campus racism and campus climate, classroom incivility, protest policy, faculty diversification, curricular inclusion, and other issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to classroom teach at USC, Dr. Davis teaches various modules in the USC Equity Institutes, a professional learning program for higher education administrators, faculty, and staff to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to take practical steps in achieving their institutional equity goals.

Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Faculty Member, USC Rossier Student Organization (2019)
Faculty Member of the Year, USC Rossier PASA Network (2019)
NASPA Melvene D. Hardee Dissertation Award, Runner-Up (2017)
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, Honorable Mention (2014)


EDUC 442 – Social Change, Difference, and Access to School
EDUC 523 – Power, Diversity, and Equity*
EDUC 594 – Master’s Thesis*
EDUE 653 – Advanced Qualitative Methods and Data Analysis
EDHP 552 – The Politics of Difference*
EDHP 570 – Intro to Research Methods and Data Analysis
EDUC 707 – Administration in Higher Education


Protest Policy Project (funded by the University of Michigan's National Center for Institutional Diversity)

Black Millennial Education Policy Project (funded by the Lumina Foundation in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

Selected Publications

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