Urban Educational Leadership
Dr. Omari Jackson
Office: Banneker Hall 315
Pardee RAND Graduate School – 2017 Faculty Fellow in Policy Research & Analysis
Wayne State University – Ph.D. in Sociology
Wayne State University –M.A. in Sociology
University of Salford (United Kingdom) – Erasmus Student
The University of Michigan – B.A. in Sociology
Dr. Omari Jackson is Associate Professor of Urban Educational Leadership in the School of Education and Urban Studies at Morgan State University. Prior to this appointment, he served one year as a faculty member in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Morgan. He has also served on the faculty at Colby-Sawyer College and Concordia University-Ann Arbor.
Dr. Jackson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and is a product of the Detroit Public School system. He attended a city-wide magnet school-- Lewis Cass Technical High. As a city-wide magnet school, children from all social strata attended the school. Accordingly, some children's parents were judges, doctors, professors, and the like. Located in The Motor City, many children's parents were also employed in the automotive industry; but it is important to note some children came from impoverished backgrounds as well. In high school, Omari noticed the privilege possessed by students who hailed from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. For college, he attended The University of Michigan (UM). Though UM is a public school, it attracts a large proportion of wealthy students. Accordingly, Omari's understanding of middle class changed; as he was not wealthy and lacked many of the "middle class" social and cultural experiences of his collegiate peers whose parents attended college. With the aforementioned life experiences, he started reflecting on social class. Even more, he started to reflect on the difference between a person who makes $90,000 as a blue collar laborer and $90,000 as a college-educated white collar laborer. Why did he attend college, yet many of his peers whose parents were employed in the automotive industry did not attend college? Through his personal reflection, he came up with an answer: the emphasis his parents placed on college and his attendance at a magnet school provided social and cultural capitals that many of his peers lacked. Though this was his personal answer, he had to find statistical significance (right, quantitative folks?!). This led to his interests in middle class blacks and urban education.
Dr. Jackson has a wealth of experience working with minorities in higher education, in terms of recruitment, retention, and post-secondary success. Furthermore, he gives talks on educational motivation, success, and persistence. Most recently, he was selected (as one of 14 faculty members nationwide) to participate in a faculty leadership program in public policy at the nation’s first and largest policy analysis doctoral program—Pardee RAND Graduate School. This opportunity enabled him to delve more deeply into educational policy, in hopes of creating pre-college programs oriented toward middle class blacks.
Education & Society
Theories and Practice of Urban Educational Leadership
Politics of Education