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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.  He has published numerous articles and book chapters, including manuscripts in the American Educational Research Journal, Theory Into Practice, Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics, and the Berkeley Review of Education. As a seasoned community organizer and educator, Dr. Turner brings over a decade of experience to the classroom and community organizing, having worked to 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.
Dr. Turner worked in LA County with Boys and Men of Color as the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition manager, where he co-led campaigns to change school discipline practices, support investments in youth development, and end policies and practices that lead to criminalization in communities of color. David has taught hip hop, research methods, political science, Africana studies, comparative Ethnic studies, and education courses. Dr. Turner has participated in the movement for Black lives as a political education and research specialist, helping organizations with teach-ins, designing curricula, and community-based participatory action research surveys. For his activism and applied scholarship, Dr. Turner has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, NBC BLK, the Los Angeles Times, Spectrum 1 News, and the New York Times. David is currently a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. Starting in Fall 2022, Dr. Turner will join the Department of Social Welfare in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA as an Assistant Professor of Black Life and Racial Justice.



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

Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

University of California, Los Angeles


Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow

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



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




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