Jabari Mahiri

Jabari Mahiri is a Professor of Education and the William and Mary Jane Brinton Family Chair in Urban Teaching. He is Faculty Advisor for the Bay Area Writing Project, a board member of the National Writing Project, and a board member of the American Educational Research Association (2014 to 2017).

Professor Mahiri is author of Deconstructing Race: Multicultural Education Beyond the Color-Bind (2017); Digital Tools in Urban Schools: Mediating a Remix of Learning (2011); Out of Bounds: When Scholarship Athletes become Academic Scholars (2010) with Derek Van Rheenen; and, Shooting for Excellence: African American and Youth Culture in New Century Schools (1998). He is editor of The First Year of Teaching: Classroom Research to Improve Student Learning (2014) with Sarah Freedman; and, What They Don't Learn in School: Literacy in the Lives of Urban Youth (2004). He also published a children's book, The Day They Stole the Letter J.

Dr. Mahiri received UC Berkeley's Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence; the Chancellor's Award for Community Service, the Leon Henkin Citation for Distinguished Service and Commitment to Equity and Diversity; and, the American Educational Research Association, Division G, Outstanding Mentorship Award. Before coming to Berkeley, he helped found and chaired the inaugural board of directors of the New Concept Development Center, an independent Chicago school that has been in existence for more than 30 years. He also was a credentialed English teacher in Chicago Public Schools for seven years.

Publications

 

Books
Mahiri, J. (Forthcoming, 2011). 
Digital tools in urban schools: Mediating a remix of learning. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Mahiri, J. and Van Rheenen, D. (2010). Out of bounds: When scholarship athletes become academic scholars New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
 
Mahiri, J. (1998). Shooting for excellence: African American and youth culture in new century schools. New York: Teachers College Press and Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
 
Mahiri, J. (Ed.) (2004). What they don't learn in school. Literacy in the lives of urban youth. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. New Literacy Studies Series.
 
Mahiri, J. (1981). The day they stole the letter J. Chicago: Third World Press.
 
Mahiri, J. (Ed) (Forthcoming). Virtual lives: Nerdfighters, scarlet writers, little sisters, future souls and future schools.
 
Articles (Refereed Journals, Proceeding)
Mahiri, J. (1991). Discourse in sports: Language and literacy features of preadolescent African American males in a youth basketball program. Journal of Negro Education, 60 (3), 305-313.
Mahiri, J. (1994). African American males and learning: What discourse in sports offers schooling. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 25 (3), 1-13.
 
Mahiri, J. and Sablo, S. (1996). Writing for their lives: Non-school literacy of urban, African American youth. Journal of Negro Education, 65 (2), 164-180.
 
Mahiri, J. (1997). Street scripts: African American youth writing about crime and violence. Social Justice, 24 (4), 56-76.
 
Mahiri, J. and Godley, A. (1998). Re-writing identity: Social meanings of literacy and revisions of self. Reading Research Quarterly, 33 (3), 2-19.
 
Mahiri, J. (1998). Streets to schools: African American youth culture in the classroom. The Clearing House, 71 (6), 335-338.
 
Mahiri, J. (2000). Pop culture pedagogy and the ends(s) of school. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44 (4), 382-385.
 
Mahiri, J. and Conner, E. (Forthcoming, 2001). Black youth violence has a bad rap. Journal of Social Issues.
 
• Non-Refereed Articles 
Mahiri, J. (1996). Clicking on an icon: How technology helped amplify the "micro-voices" of student writers. The Quarterly of the National Writing Project and the Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy. 18 (3), 1-8.
 
Mahiri, J. (2000). What will the social implications and interactions of schooling be in the next millennium? Reading Research Quarterly, 35 (1).
 
•Newspaper Articles 
Mahiri, J. (Apr 8, 2001). Black and white and in the red. San Francisco Chronicle, EB pps.1 & 4.
 
Mahiri, J. (Feb 4, 2001). In their blind spot. San Francisco Chronicle, EB, p. 8.
 
New genres of student writing and new century schools. Modern Language Association. Washington, D.C. Dec. 29, 2000.
 
Writing for their lives. American Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 28, 2000.
 
Youth culture and schooling. American Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 26, 2000.
 
Teaching multicultural texts in multicultural contexts. American Educational Research Association. Montreal, Canada. Apr. 22, 1999.
 
The curriculum and student identity work. Conference on College Composition and Communication. Atlanta, GA. Mar. 26, 1999.
 
When scholarship athletes become academic scholars. Ethnography in Education Research Forum. University of Pennsylvania. Mar. 4, 2000.
 
New century schooling: Changing classroom discourse and culture. National Council of Teachers of English, Nashville, TN, Nov. 22, 1998.
 
Counter narratives to social constructions of African American youth violence. American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, Apr. 14, 1998.
 
Understanding hybrid language practices in diverse classrooms and communities. American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, Apr. 16, 1998. Discussant along with Enrique Trueba for panel chaired by Sonia Nieto.
 
Diversity and technology: The use and design of cultural tools using technology to apprentice literary communities. Discussant for panel presentations by Carol Lee, Kris Gutierrez, Olga Vasquez, Nichole Pinkard. San Diego, CA. Apr. 16, 1998.
 
Boundary conversations panel: Literacy research across sites and perspectives. National Council of Teachers of English, Detroit, MI. Nov. 24, 1997.
 
Intersections of race and class in college composition. National Council of Teachers of English. Detroit, MI. Nov. 22, 1997.
 
Research perspectives on writing. National Council of Teachers of English. Chicago, IL. Nov. 23, 1996.
 
African American and youth cultures: From streets to schools. National Council of Teachers of English. Chicago, IL. Nov. 23, 1996.
 
Micro-voices: Underprepared students struggle for cultural and academic voice. National Council of Teachers of English. Chicago, IL. Nov. 23, 1996.
 
Language and community: Mining natural resources for academic discourse. International Reading Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 28, 1996.
 
Problematic links between texts and experience in qualitative research on African American youth. American Educational Research Association. New York, NY. Co-organized session with Colette Daiute. Apr. 8, 1996.
 
Writing identities: Building on personal/cultural differences of youth. National Council of Teachers of English. San Diego, CA. Nov. 20, 1995.
 
Language genre and classrooms. [Co-presentation with Deborah Hicks] National Council of Teachers of English. San Diego, CA. Nov. 20, 1995.
 
Reading the world: Literacy development linked to lived experiences of students. International Reading Association. Anaheim, CA. Apr. 29, 1995.
 
Micro-Voices: Computers and underprepared writers. Assembly for Research: National Conference of Teachers of English, Mid-Winter Conference. Chicago, IL. Feb. 11, 1995.
 
Rhythms of learning: Segues between streets and schools. National Council of Teachers of English. Orlando, FL. Nov. 20, 1994.
 
Effective instruction of culturally diverse students across the bridge of youth culture. American Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 7, 1994.
 
Orality and literacy in an ESL classroom and a neighborhood-based organization. [Co-presentation with Gisela Ernst.] American Anthropological Association. Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 1993.
 
Community connections of sports to learning. National Council of Teachers of English. Louisville, KY. Nov. 22, 1992.
 
Reading rites and sports: Motivation for adaptive literacy. National Reading Conference. Palm Springs, CA. Dec. 4, 1991.
 
African American males and learning: What discourse in sports suggests for discourse in schools. American Anthropological Association. Chicago, IL. Nov. 21, 1991.
 
Discourse in sports: Literacy features of preadolescent African American males in a youth basketball program. American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL. Apr. 7, 1991.
 
Ethnography, literature, and literary criticism. Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL. Mar. 22, 1990.
 
Book Chapters
Mahiri, J. (1994). Reading rites and sports: Motivation for adaptive literacy. In B. Moss (Ed.), Literacy across communities (pp. 121-146). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Mahiri, J. (1996). Writing, rap, and representation: Problematic links between text and experience. In P. Mortensen and G. Kirsch (Eds.), Ethics and Representation in Qualitative Research of Literacy (pp. 228-240). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
 
Mahiri, J. (2000). Realizing the dream: Mentoring and literacy development of urban Youth. In N. H. Gabelko (Ed.), Toward a collective wisdom: Forging successful educational partnerships. Berkeley, CA: National Writing Project.

Presentations/Professional Experience

 

Invited
Competitively Selected Presentations to National Organizations and Conferences
New genres of student writing and new century schools. Modern Language Association. Washington, D.C. Dec. 29, 2000.
 
Writing for their lives. American Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 28, 2000.
 
Youth culture and schooling. American Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 26, 2000.
 
Teaching multicultural texts in multicultural contexts. American Educational Research Association. Montreal, Canada. Apr. 22, 1999.
 
The curriculum and student identity work. Conference on College Composition and Communication. Atlanta, GA. Mar. 26, 1999.
 
When scholarship athletes become academic scholars. Ethnography in Education Research Forum. University of Pennsylvania. Mar. 4, 2000.
 
New century schooling: Changing classroom discourse and culture. National Council of Teachers of English, Nashville, TN, Nov. 22, 1998.
 
Counter narratives to social constructions of African American youth violence. American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, Apr. 14, 1998.
 
Understanding hybrid language practices in diverse classrooms and communities. American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, Apr. 16, 1998.Discussant along with Enrique Trueba for panel chaired by Sonia Nieto.
 
Diversity and technology: The use and design of cultural tools using technology to apprentice literary communities. Discussant for panel presentations by Carol Lee, Kris Gutierrez, Olga Vasquez, Nichole Pinkard. San Diego, CA. Apr. 16, 1998.
 
Boundary conversations panel: Literacy research across sites and perspectives. National Council of Teachers of English, Detroit, MI. Nov. 24, 1997.
 
Intersections of race and class in college composition. National Council of Teachers of English. Detroit, MI. Nov. 22, 1997.
 
Research perspectives on writing. National Council of Teachers of English. Chicago, IL. Nov. 23, 1996.
 
African American and youth cultures: From streets to schools. National Council of Teachers of English. Chicago, IL. Nov. 23, 1996.
 
Micro-voices: Underprepared students struggle for cultural and academic voice. National Council of Teachers of English. Chicago, IL. Nov. 23, 1996.
 
Language and community: Mining natural resources for academic discourse. International Reading Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 28, 1996.
 
Problematic links between texts and experience in qualitative research on African American youth. American Educational Research Association. New York, NY. Co-organized session with Colette Daiute. Apr. 8, 1996.
 
Writing identities: Building on personal/cultural differences of youth. National Council of Teachers of English. San Diego, CA. Nov. 20, 1995.
 
Language genre and classrooms. [Co-presentation with Deborah Hicks] National Council of Teachers of English. San Diego, CA. Nov. 20, 1995.
 
Reading the world: Literacy development linked to lived experiences of students. International Reading Association. Anaheim, CA. Apr. 29, 1995.
 
Micro-Voices: Computers and underprepared writers. Assembly for Research: National Conference of Teachers of English, Mid-Winter Conference. Chicago, IL. Feb. 11, 1995.
 
Rhythms of learning: Segues between streets and schools. National Council of Teachers of English. Orlando, FL. Nov. 20, 1994.
 
Effective instruction of culturally diverse students across the bridge of youth culture. American Educational Research Association. New Orleans, LA. Apr. 7, 1994.
 
Orality and literacy in an ESL classroom and a neighborhood-based organization. [Co-presentation with Gisela Ernst.] American Anthropological Association. Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 1993.
 
Community connections of sports to learning. National Council of Teachers of English. Louisville, KY. Nov. 22, 1992.
 
Reading rites and sports: Motivation for adaptive literacy. National Reading Conference. Palm Springs, CA. Dec. 4, 1991.
 
African American males and learning: What discourse in sports suggests for discourse in schools. American Anthropological Association. Chicago, IL. Nov. 21, 1991.
 
Discourse in sports: Literacy features of preadolescent African American males in a youth basketball program. American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL. Apr. 7, 1991.
 
Ethnography, literature, and literary criticism. Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL. Mar. 22, 1990.
 
Invited Presentations to University and Professional Symposiums
 
Scripts from the streets: Counter discourses to schooling. NCTE Assembly for Research, Midwinter Conference on Bakhtinian Perspectives. Berkeley, CA. Feb. 11, 2001.
 
New literacies in the new century. Keynote Presentation, Sponsored by the Departments of English, Education, and African American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago. Feb. 7, 2001.
 
From frozen man to stentorian man: University/school collaborations on student academic development. Keynote Presentation, Faculty Symposium on Urban Educational Research, Roosevelt University, Chicago. Nov. 30, 2000.
 
Ways with words (and lyrics). One of four invited lectures along with Luis Moll, Dixie Goswami, and Denny Taylor in honor of the work of Shirley Brice Heath. American Educational Research Association. Montreal, Canada. Apr. 19, 1999.
 
Teachers, students, ethnograhpers: Three birds, one stoned -- unturned. Harvard University. Cambridge, MA. Mar. 23, 1999.
 
Write to read: Literacy for all, K-12. One of three symposium presentations along with James Gee and Gunther Kress in honor of the establishment of Prof. Gee's endowed chair. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Nov. 20, 1998.
 
Collaborative cultures: Are universities and schools connected by two-way streets? Keynote address at the Research Symposium on University/School Collaborations. UC Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA. May 28, 1998.
 
The Prescott Project: First year report on a ten year longitudinal study of a literacy intervention and multi-institutional collaboration in an urban elementary school. UC Berkeley, Center for Research on Urban Schools and Communities. Berkeley, CA. April 22, 1998.
 
Multiple literacies of urban youth from streets to schools. Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. Cambridge, MA. Mar. 4, 1998.
 
Writing for their lives: The non-school literacy of California's urban youth. UC Santa Barbara Center for Black Studies Conference. Santa Barbara, CA. Oct. 11, 1997.
 
Changing classroom discourse and culture. University of San Francisco. San Francisco, CA. Sept. 24, 1997.
 
Critical transitions of teachers to using technology in instruction. Summer Scholars Symposium, sponsored by the Spenser Foundation. Canaan, NY. July 28, 1997.
 
Stepping out-of-bounds: When scholarship athletes become academic scholars. UC Berkeley American Cultures, Summer Institute. Berkeley, CA. June 18, 1997.
 
Perspectives on the ebonics controversy. Symposium sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for the Teaching and Study of American Cultures. Berkeley, CA. February 22, 1997.
 
Re-writing the academy. Lecture sponsored by UC Berkeley African American Studies. Berkeley, CA. Nov. 25, 1996. "Micro-theories’ for college writing. Inaugural lecture of the UC Berkeley College Writing Program's new lecture series. Berkeley, CA. Oct. 30, 1996.
 
Computer mediated learning in primary schools. University/Urban School Collaborative Conference. Berkeley, CA. Oct. 11, 1996.
 
Clicking on an Icon: New windows into writing. University of San Francisco. San Francisco, CA. Oct. 9, 1996. Computer-mediated writing development of underprepared students. Center for the Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences. Palo Alto, CA. July 10, 1996.
 
Youth culture and schooling. UC Berkeley American Cultures, Summer Institute. Berkeley, CA. June 6, 1996.
 
Youths' struggle for cultural and academic voices. Lecture at the City University of New York, Graduate School. New York, NY. April 9, 1996.
 
Computer-mediated writing development of underprepared college students. Lecture at The University of Puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mar. 11, 1996.
 
Literacy and Technology. Roundtable leader at the "Vygotskian Conference’ of the Assembly for Research: National Conference of Teachers of English, Mid-Winter Conference. Chicago, IL. Feb. 24, 1996.
 
The struggle for cultural and academic voices: Underprepared college writers in the computer lab. Lecture at Wayne State University, Department of English. Detroit, Michigan. Feb. 4, 1996.
 
Writing texts and technology: Considerations for teachers. Lecture at the University of New Mexico, School of Education. Albuquerque, NM, Sept. 5, 1995.
 
Identity quests and writing. Keynote address at the Center for Applied Cultural Studies and Educational Achievement's Summer Institute for Teachers. San Francisco State University. Aug. 7-11, 1995.
 
The written word: Instrument of youth reflection. Beyond the School Gates: Youth Life in America Invitational Conference, hosted by Shirley Brice Heath and Milbrey McLaughlin, Stanford University. June 9-10, 1995.
 
Computer connections for classrooms and communities. Collaborative Approaches to Urban Educational Change: Third Statewide Conference sponsored by the UC Urban Community-School Collaborative. Berkeley, CA. Feb. 22, 1995.
 
Successful instructional practices for African American high school students in regular and special education. Symposium on Special Education in Multicultural California. Santa Cruz, CA, May 14, 1993.
 
Presentations in Service to Educational Practictioners, Pre-Service Teachers, and Students
 
Curriculum strategies for charter schools. Teacher training workshop for the West Oakland Charter School. Oct. 27, 2000.
 
Developing the social capital of literacy. CAL Day presentation representing the Graduate School of Education. UC Berkeley. Apr. 15, 2000.
 
Improving under performing schools. Education Community Forum, McClymonds High School. Oakland, CA. Oct. 12, 1999.
 
Experientially-based learning. Invited two-hour lecture/discussion for the Bay Area Writing Project Summer Institute. Berkeley, CA. Jul. 7, 1999.
 
Essential elements of good literacy instruction in urban schools. Keynote presentation to the 120 principals and head masters of the Boston Public Schools. Boston College, Aug. 20, 1998.
 
Considering student culture(s) in urban school reform. Two-hour presentation/discussion for the Urban Superintendents Program, Harvard University. Aug. 17, 1998.
 
African American youth culture in the classroom. Two, two-hour workshop presentations (to a total of 100 teachers) for the Center for Applied Cultural Studies and Educational Achievement, Summer Institute. San Francisco, CA. Jul. 30, 1997.
 
Writing yourself into the university. Lecture to the combined AP English classes at El Cerrito H.S. El Cerrito, CA. Jan. 8, 1997.
 
Re-writing the academy. Lecture sponsored by UC Berkeley African American Studies. Berkeley, CA. Nov. 25, 1996. Teaching writing in secondary schools. UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education, English Credential Program. Berkeley, CA. Sept. 11, 1996.
 
Text generation in the X generation. Center for Applied Cultural Studies and Educational Achievement, Summer Institute for Teachers. San Francisco, CA. Aug. 8, 1996. Also co-led (with Prof. Carol Lee) three, two-hour workshops for 50 high school teachers, principals, and counselors, Aug. 6-8. Co-led (with Prof. Gloria Ladson- Billings) one-hour panel discussion with 120 participants, Aug. 7, 1996.
 
Home/school connections for language and literacy development. Presentation/Workshop. The Humanities, Education, Research, and Language Development Project (HERALD). San Francisco, CA. Apr. 27, 1996.
 
African American and youth culture: From streets to schools. Lecture to 60 students in El Cerrito high school's AP English classes. April 4, 1996.
 
Re-thinking literacy: Breaking out of the literature loop. Keynote presentation to 400 teachers at the West Contra Costa School District, Annual Teacher Development Conference. Richmond, CA. Mar. 22, 1996.
 
The meaning of literacy in education. Graduate School of Education Fall Colloquium Series. University of California at Berkeley. Oct. 31, 1995.
 
Writing differences: Amplifying micro-voices. Cooperative Extension Research Update Conference. University of California at Berkeley. May 18, 1995.
 
Successful instructional practices for African American students. Martin Luther King Middle School, Two-hour Teacher Training Presentation/Workshop for 70 teachers. Berkeley, CA. May 5, 1995.
 
Research of the National Center for the Study of Writing: Implications for practice. [Co- presentation with Jim Lobdell] University of Wisconsin at Parkside. Kenosha, WI. Feb. 3, 1995.
 
Computer-mediated strategies for writing. College Writing Conference sponsored by the Bay Area Writing Project, UC Urban Community-School Collaborative, UCB- EAOP, and UCB College Writing Program. Berkeley, CA. Oct. 29, 1994.

Professional Experiences

  • University of California at Berkeley -- Professor of Education in Language and Literacy, Society and Culture - Graduate courses: Urban Education; Theories of Literacy; New Literacies of Digital Youth; Literacy Practices in Non-School Settings; Multicultural Urban Secondary Education, Thesis Seminar; Issues in Secondary English Instruction; Methods of Teaching English in Secondary Schools; Graduate Student Writing. Undergraduate courses: American Studies (Affiliated Professor); Teaching High School English; College Writing.
  • Brown University -- Academic Appointment as Senior Fellow, Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Researched and collaborated on new strategies to better educate urban youth in conjunction with work of recipients of Annenberg's Challenge Grants Program to improve public education. 1998
  • Harvard University -- Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Education. Taught in Teaching and Curriculum Program. 1978-79 University of Illinois at Chicago -- Lecturer. Designed and taught Business Research and Writing courses for prospective MBA students, 1990-91. Designed and taught quarterly GMAT preparation seminars, 1990-91. Taught Research Writing, Business Writing and Freshman Composition in the English Department, 1981-86. Taught Composition for the Educational Opportunities Program.
  • Chicago Public Schools -- English Teacher. Credentialed/tenured; superior teacher rating; taught all levels from high school freshmen to seniors, ESL and honors. 1980-81
  • Northeastern Illinois University -- Lecturer. Taught graduate and undergraduate courses in American literature and African American literature. 1977-81 (summers)
  • Roosevelt University, Upward Bound -- English Teacher. Taught writing, literature, and college prep courses. Led Outward Bound Excursions. 1973-79
  • New Concept School, Chicago -- Chaired the Board of Directors for this alternative school during its formative years, 1973-79, and taught in its Saturday program. 

Interests and Professional Affiliations

Adolescence

Alternative Schooling

At-Risk Youth

Computer-Mediated Learning

Cultural Studies

Curriculum Development

Diversity

Educational Equity

Ethnic Issues

Learning

Literacy

Multicultural Education

School and non-school Learning Contexts

School-University Collaboration

Teacher Development

Teacher Education and Certification

Technology and Schools

Urban Schooling

Writing and Literature

Professional Afilliations

  • American Educational Research Association 
  • American Anthropological Association, Council on Anthropology and Education 
  • Center for Urban Education, UC Berkeley 
  • National Writing Project and Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy 
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication 
  • International Reading Association 
  • Modern Language Association 
  • National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy 
  • National Council of Teachers of English, Assembly for Research 
  • University of California/Urban School Collaborative 
  • West Ed, Strategic Literacy Initiative Advisory Board 
  • Alameda County School District, Core Planning Team, Math/Sci Demonstration School 

Degree(s)

Ph.D. English (Language, Literacy, and Rhetoric), University of Illinois at Chicago.

M.A. Education, Northeastern Illinois University

B.A. English Literature (with honors), Secondary English Credential, University of Illinois, Chicago

Contact Information

Office #4406

Graduate School of Education
Berkeley Way West Building (BWW)
UC Berkeley
2121 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670

Phone

(510) 643-5267