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Jon Hale, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Dr. Jon Hale is an associate professor of education and educational history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership.  His research focuses on the history of student activism and the intersection of race and educational policy. Dr. Hales’ research explores the history of student and teacher activism, grassroots educational programs, and segregated high schools during the civil rights movement. He explores this in five authored and co-edited books, including his award-winning book, The Freedom Schools: A History of Student Activists on the Frontlines of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and his most recent books, The Choice We Face: How Segregation, Race, and Power Have Shaped Americas Most Controversial Education Reform Movement (Beacon Press, 2021) and  “A New Kind of Youth”: The Politics of Historically Black High Schools and Student Activism During the Long Southern Freedom Struggle, 1920-1975  (University of North Carolina Press). Hale’s research has also been featured in outlets including C-SPAN, The Atlantic, The American Scholar, The New Yorker, the Chicago Tribune, CNN, and The Washington Post. Dr. Hale’s service to the wider community is connected broadly to civil rights education initiatives including the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program and the Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project.