Emilie Vanessa Walker
Emory University
Vanessa Siddle Walker

Year Elected


Membership status

Vanessa Siddle Walker is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Educational Studies at Emory University. For 25 years, she has explored the segregated schooling of African American children, considering sequentially the climate that permeated the schools, the network of professional collaborations that explains the schools’ similarities, and the hidden systems of advocacy that sought equality and justice. Walker’s book publications include Their Highest Potential: An African American School Community in the Segregated South (University of North Carolina Press), Facing Racism in Education (Harvard Educational Review Reprint Series), Racing Moral Formation (Teachers College Press), and Hello Professor: A Black Principal and Professional Leadership in the Segregated South (University of North Carolina Press), and Living the Legacy: Universities and Schools in Collaborative for African American Children (Rowan and Little). Forthcoming in July 2018 is The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the hidden heroes who fought for justice in schools (The New Press). Among the journals publishing her research are Review of Education Research, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Educational Research, Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Negro Education, and Teachers College Record. For her body of work, Walker has received the Grawmeyer Award for Education and four awards from AERA: the AERA Early Career Award, the Best New Female Scholar Award (Research Focus on Black Education), the Best New Book (History Division of AERA), and the Outstanding Book Award (Moral Development Special Interest Group). She is also a recipient of awards from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools and the American Education Studies Association. Walker is a former National Academy of Education Fellow and a Fellow of AERA. She has lectured widely nationally and internationally, including delivering the 2012 Annual AERA Brown v. Board of Education lecture in Washington, DC. Her work appeared in the PBS Special, SCHOOL, and she has consulted with journalists for the last ten years on issues concerning Brown v. Board and its implementation. Walker completed her undergraduate training in education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; taught for four years at the desegregated Cummings High School in Burlington, North Carolina; and finished her masters and doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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