Professor, Department of Sociology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, ON. Born: Ghana.
Dr. George Dei is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, and is cross-appointed to the Department of Anthropology at University of Toronto. He served as the first Director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies (CIARS) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)/University of Toronto (1996-2000), and is a Research Associate at the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration & Settlement (since 1998).
In July 2007, he was installed as a traditional chief in Ghana (the Adomakwaa Hene of the town of Asokore), near Koforidua in the New Juaben Traditional Area.
Dr. Dei teaches on the topics of: anti-racism and domination studies; sociology of race and ethnicity; international development; indigenous knowledge and anti-colonial thought; political ecology; and ethnography. He has completed research on: accounting for school success among high academic achievers (2002-05); dealing with diversity and difference in Ghanaian schooling (1999-2002); practices of inclusive schooling (1995-2000); and understanding the dilemma of Black students’ disengagement from school (1992-95). He is currently working on African Indigenous Philosophies focusing on the pedagogic and instructional relevance of proverbs, folk-tales and songs in teaching youth about community, social responsibility, sacrifice, self and group respect, and identity.
Community: Served on the Boards of Central Neighbourhood House; Black Secretariat, Harry Jerome Scholarship Awards; Past-President Canadian-Ghanaian Organization; Member, Organization of Parents of Black Children; Black Educators Working Group; Uhuru Collective; first President, Ghanaian-Canadian Union; Patron, Anansekrom.
Honours: Including New Pioneers Award, Skills for Change (2004); William P. Hubbard Award, for race relations, City of Toronto (2003); ACAA, education (2003); Community Builder (2003) and Community Partnership Award (2001), Toronto Catholic District School Board; Ghanaian News Award, for education and community development (2000); Hon. Faculty Member, Urban Education Program, Southern University of New Orleans (2002); Volunteer Services Award, Ministry of Citizenship (1996); Race, Gender, and Class Project Academic Award New Orleans (2002); African-Canadian Outstanding Achievement in Education, Pride Magazine, Toronto; The ANKH Ann Ramsey Award for Intellectual Initiative and Academic Action (2005); Planet Africa Television Award for African Renaissance (2006); inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006); Canadian Alliance of Black Educators Award for Excellence in Education and Community Development (2007); Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology, Washington, DC (1996-present).
Recent works (selected): Books include: Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education (2011, ed.); Fanon and Education: Pedagogical Challenges (co-edited with Marlon Simmons; 2010); Fanon and the Counterinsurgency of Education ( 2010, ed.); Learning to Succeed: Improving Educational Achievement for All (2010, ed.); Racists Beware: Uncovering Racial Politics in Contemporary Society (2010); Teaching Africa: Towards Transgressive Pedagogy (2010 ed.); Fanon and Education: Pedagogical Challenges (2010, ed.); Anti-Colonialism and Education: The Politics of Resistance (2006 ed.); Anti-Racism Education: Theory and Practice (1996); Schooling and Education in Africa: The Case of Ghana (2004); Co-Author, Playing the Race Card: Exposing White Power and Privilege (2004); Inclusive Schooling (2001); Power, Knowledge and Anti-Racism Education (2000); Removing the Margins: The Challenges and Possibilities of Inclusive Schooling (2000). Also, several chapters in books and papers in refereed journals.
Education: PhD, University of Toronto (1986); Masters, McMaster University (1980); Bachelor of Arts, University of Ghana (1978).
Favourite book? I Write What I Like: Selected Writings by Steve Biko (compilation of writings from anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko). Because this piece of work teaches about resistance decolonization and liberation.
Favourite quote? “Any community is as good as we collectively work to make it.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Be a musician or a soccer player.
Who inspires you? My mother for her perseverance and sacrifice over the years.
Why do you do what you do? I love teaching and research because I want to make a difference. I also want to learn from others.