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NYU Metro Center’s New Edition of Voices in Urban Education (VUE) Challenges Us to Resist the “Colonized” Academy and Instead Center the Experiences of Historically Marginalized Communities


The wait is over! The latest edition of NYU Metro Center’s open access journal, Voices in Urban Education (VUE) is here! VUE Volume 51, Issue 1 entitled Leadership for Racial Equity and Social Justice: Engaging Families and Communities in Educational Research, Advocacy, and Change is now hosted on Janeway–a free, open source publishing platform developed by the Centre for Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London, to support the goals of the Open Library of Humanities, an open access academic publisher.

Articles in this edition of NYU Metro Center’s Voices in Urban Education (VUE) seeks to cover a wide range of disciplines with a strong emphasis on intersectional, interdisciplinary perspectives aimed at examining successes, problems, and questions in policy, advocacy, as well as teaching and learning practices in urban education. 

VUE is a publication that pays particular attention to pieces that highlight the experiences in urban education along the lines of gender, race, sexual identity, dis/ability, language, ethnicity, religion, and indigenous or immigration status. As an open access journal, Voices in Urban Education aims to disseminate important, topical, relevant, and urgent research, thoughts, and commentary to a wide audience.

This special issue of Voices in Urban Education asks readers to reconsider our collective steps in the aftermath of the not-so-long-ago COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the rising specter of coronavirus infections, 2020 saw businesses and institutions forced to evolve and change the manner that they engaged with the public at-large. For educators at public schools, this global health crisis called upon them to work ‘... feverishly to provide instruction virtually and ensure their students had access to food and medical care, all while juggling the fact that their very own families and communities were in crisis” (Rivera-McCutchen, Ishimaru, Douglass, 2023).

The toll that the coronavirus pandemic took on the country was broad and immense, especially in historically marginalized communities where “... the continued assault on Black lives, civil rights, and democracy put school leaders in a particularly challenging situation” (Rivera-McCutchen, Ishimaru, Douglass, 2023). Schools would have to contend with a contested politicization resulting from serving as the arbiter of ever-changing health care guidance on everything from the utility of mask-mandates to how far students need to be seated from one another, and from conspiracies surrounding COVID vaccines to inconsistent coronavirus testing protocols. Each COVID-19 related thread served to undermine the institution's credibility among segments of the public. 

Instead of serving as the impetus for great change, the coronavirus led many folks asking and wishing for a return to normal. This special issue of Voices in Urban Education (VUE) challenges readers to inquire, reconsider, and ultimately seek societal change to achieve equity and transform education for those marginalized students and communities we witnessed absorb the cruelest brunt of the pandemic. Instead of accepting the status quo, education theorists argue for adherence to a new set of academic practices. Pedagogical theorist Gloria Ladson Billings makes “... the case for a “hard reset” in education through a “post-pandemic pedagogy” that is more culturally centered and appropriate for students placed at risk based on their racial or socioeconomic status or background” (Ladson-Billings, 2021).

Collectively, the authors of this special edition of VUE answered the clarion call the editors set forth to take up “the underexamined epistemologies of family and community members within the context of education, privileging their wisdom and way of knowing as those nearest to the problem” (Rivera-McCutchen, Ishimaru, Douglass, 2023). The articles in this issue demonstrate contemporary instances and examples of more equitable paths forward. Readers of Volume 51, Issue 1 of Voices in Urban Education are asked to sit with, contemplate, and appraise the vast, modern ideas noted in the journal. As these new ideas linger, allow them to interrogate your own prevailing conceptions of how and why education functions as it does. Consider the tension between those ideas and educational practices held in high regard as opposed to those perspectives expressed by the disenfranchised whose viewpoints we do not regularly engage with. Voices in Urban Education intentionally seeks to incorporate community-engaged scholarship to “... expand our conceptualization of what constitutes theory and knowledge production beyond the narrow forms recognized by the colonizing academy”(Archibald, 2008). Before we can equitably and adequately take up significant concepts such as Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter, the authors of this edition of VUE remind us that “... it is essential that we center the experiences and perspectives of the historically disenfranchised, marginalized, and oppressed”(Douglass Horsford, Scott, & Anderson, 2019).

The new issue of Voices In Urban Education (VUE), entitled Leadership for Racial Equity and Social Justice: Engaging Families and Communities in Educational Research, Advocacy, and Change is available: here.



Archibald, J. A. (2008). Indigenous storywork: Educating the heart, mind, body, and spirit . UBC Press.

Darity Jr., W.A., Hubbard, L., & Wright, G.L. (2022). The Pandemic Divide: How COVID Increased Inequality in America. Durham: Duke University Press.

Douglass Horsford, S., Scott, J. T., & Anderson, G. L. (2019). The politics of education policy in an era of inequality: Possibilities toward democratic schooling. Routledge.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2021). I’m here for the hard re-set: Post pandemic pedagogy to preserve our culture. Equity & Excellence in Education, 54 (1), 68–78.

Rivera-McCutchen, R. L. & Ishimaru, A. M. & Douglass, S., (2023) “On ruptures, portals and opportunities: Advancing educational equity amid pandemic divides,” VUE (Voices in Urban Education) 51(1). doi: