David C. Turner III


David C. Turner III is an activist scholar from Inglewood, California. He earned his Ph.D. in the Social and Cultural Studies in Education program at UC Berkeley, where his research focuses on youth-based social movements, political identity, and resistance to the prison regime.  His dissertation, titled, "The (Good) Trouble with Black Boys: Investigating Black Transformative Agency and Political Meaning Making for Black Male Youth Activists in Los Angeles" focused on the multiple ways that Black male youth fight back against oppressive conditions. He has published in Abolition: a Journal of Insurgent Politics, the Journal of Critical Studies in Higher Education and Student Affairs, a book chapter about youth organizing in Routledge, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Berkeley Review of Education. As a seasoned student organizer and educator, David brings over a decade of experience to the classroom and community organizing, having helped students at various universities establish cultural centers, negotiate and win demands for racial justice, secure funding, divest resources from punitive and harmful institutions, and coordinate direct actions across the state of California and the nation, all while teaching at both the K-12 and the postsecondary level.


He currently works with Boys and Men of color in Los Angeles County as the Manager of the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition, a coalition of community-based organizations working to end the school-to-prison pipeline and decriminalize communities of color. David has taught hip hop, research methods, political science, Africana studies, comparative Ethnic studies, and education courses. As an activist, David has participated in the movement for Black lives as a political education and research specialist, helping organizations with teach-ins, designing curriculum, and community-based participatory action research surveys. David has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, NBC BLK, the Los Angeles Times, Spectrum 1 News, and the New York Times for his activism. David is currently a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, under the guidance of Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernandez. 



University of California, Berkeley

Graduate School of Education

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Social and Cultural Studies in Education (Education and Social Change Focus)

August 2021


University of Pennsylvania

Graduate School of Education

Master of Science in Education

Higher Education 

Completed May 2014


California State University, Dominguez Hills

Department of Africana Studies

Bachelor of Arts

Minor in Sociology

Cum Laude

Completed August 2013


Current Employment

Manager, Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition



Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Africana Studies

California State University Dominguez Hills


Fellowships and Grants


John W. Mack Movement Building Fellowship

Weingart Foundation (2019-2020) - $25,000

Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship for Doctoral Study (2014 - 2018): UC Berkeley - $140,090


Data Fellowship for the Alliance for Boy and Men of Color (2019-2020): Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition - Skills and Network-Based Fellowship [No funding]



Liberty Hill Foundation. Safety and Youth Justice Community Survey (2019): Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition [grantee] - $150,000


Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute. Understanding Black Male Political Identity in Community-Based Context (2017-2018): Social Justice Learning Institute [grantee] - $20,000