James Bridgeforth is a PhD candidate in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California and a 2022 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow. He is also a research associate at the USC Race and Equity Center and the USC Rossier Center on Education Policy, Equity, and Governance. He holds an MEd in Educational Administration and Policy (University of Georgia '17) and B.A. in Political Science and Sociology (Georgia College & State University '13).
James began his professional experience in education as a college admissions officer and later transitioned to a career in K-12 education as an elementary school teacher in both traditional public and charter schools.
His research agenda broadly engages in critical analyses of education policies and practices in K-12 schools. More specifically, his dissertation project investigates local governance and policy development through a focus on how K-12 school boards respond to racial crises that occur within their districts. This work also interrogates potential inconsistencies between how board members envision their roles and responsibilities when responding to racial crises as compared to the needs, desires, and expectations of the communities most at risk of being harmed by racial crises. Ultimately, his goal as a researcher is to use his work to disrupt and dismantle oppressive policies and practices, while working with racially minoritized communities to envision and enact new and more racially just possibilities.