Angela James, Ph.D. Research Director

Dr. Angela James, Ph.D., is research director at the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS), where she demonstrates her passion for creating positive change in educational systems. As a sociologist and demographer, she leverages her extensive expertise to design and oversee innovative mixed-methods research projects. With a deep commitment to addressing societal structures’ dynamics and their influence on educational systems, Dr. James spearheads projects that shed light on the intricate interplay between structure and social agency. Her primary focus at CTS lies in the development and implementation of effective education policies for systems-involved youth, particularly those in the juvenile justice and homeless systems. Additionally, she is interested in efforts fostering the well-being and success of Black students, tackling critical issues like school policing, racial disparities in suspensions, and identifying ‘bright spots’ in educational service delivery. Dr. James’ work across these areas promotes a more nuanced understanding of the educational impact of individual agency. Towards that end, she encourages a focus on understanding school-site strategies, as well as on recognizing the direct impact of student and community-led social justice efforts, on addressing educational inequities. Dr. Angela James’s unwavering dedication to bridging the gap between research and real-world application has made her an important collaborator in our Center’s mission to conduct research that supports equitable and transformative education.

Beyond her academic pursuits, Dr. James is deeply rooted in community-based social justice and grassroots organizations, where she actively engages as an ardent community organizer/activist and strategic consultant. Both professionally and personally, she has dedicated herself to understanding and eradicating social injustices, while also highlighting the empowering liberatory work undertaken by individuals and communities.