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Ronald W. Whitaker, II, EDD


Culturally Responsive Assistant Professor of Education
Assistant Dean, School of Education 
Director of District and School Relations 
Director of the Center for Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement 

Ronald W. Whitaker, II, EdD, joined Cabrini in 2015, and currently serves as the Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Assistant Professor of Education, Assistant Dean, Director of District and School Relations, and Director for the Center for Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement, in the school of education. He specializes in culturally responsive pedagogy, urban education, educational programming for black males, the psychology of race and racism, and issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Whitaker presents his research at both national and international scholarly conferences, and within K-12 educational milieus. He is revered amongst colleagues for engaging in “courageous conversations” in a respectful manner. For 15 years, he has led various programming for black boys and men. Whitaker has been involved in prison ministry for five years and speaks regularly in churches and community organizations.

Whitaker completed his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Duquesne University, where his dissertation explored the intersection of Black male identity, systemic inequalities and racism, and improvement science, through the lens of social justice. He also earned a master’s degree in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Business Administration at Eastern University, and undergraduate degrees in Urban Leadership and Biblical Studies at Geneva College where he graduated magna cum laude. Additionally, Whitaker also earned a Certificate in Culturally Responsive Pedagogy from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is in the process of completing a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

Areas of Expertise

Culturally responsive pedagogy; urban education and teacher preparation; educational experiences of African American male students; diversity, equity, and inclusion; the psychology of race and racism, and the Black prophetic theology tradition 



  • Whitaker, R.W. (In Press). The Fierce Urgency of Now: The Importance of Multicultural Literature in U.S. Schools and Classrooms-Afterward In. R. Slaughter. Turning the Page: The Ultimate Guide for Teachers to Multicultural Literature. New York: Rowman & Littlefield

  • Whitaker, R.W. (In Press). The Spook Who Sat By the Ivory Tower: A Critical Race Theory Narrative of Black’s Man Tenure-Track Journey in the “Academy.” In C. Davis, F.E. Brooks, A. Hilton & R. Hamrick (Eds.). The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.

  • Whitaker, R.W.*Lead Author & Duquesne Collective Action Network (2020) Lessons Learned In the Pursuit of Social Justice in Education: Finding a Path and Making the Road: In Papa R (eds) Handbook on Promoting Social Justice in Education. Springer, Cham

  • Cresswell-Yeager, T. & Whitaker, R.W. (2020) Using Student-Centered Engagement in the Classroom to Develop Cultural Intelligence. In R. Collier (Eds.) Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI-Global
  • Whitaker, R.W., Conway, T., Bryde, B., Ritter, M., & Covelo, M. (2020). Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light: A Case Study That Explores Should the PDS Partnership Proceed, Slow Down, or Stop? In E. Garin and R. Burns (Eds.) The NAPDS Nine Essentials in Action: Cases of Professional Development Schools. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

  • Whitaker, R.W., Campbell, A., Gates, Z., & Metcalf, L. (2019) Culturally Relevant and Meeting Academic Standards at the Same Time: Teaching Math to African American Students as a Matter of Social Justice. In S. T. Brand and L. Ciccomascolo (Eds.) Social Justice and Education and Putting Theory into Practice in Schools and Communities. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI-Global 
  • Whitaker, R. W., & Hilton, A. (2019). All Eyes on Me: Culturally Responsive Approaches to Engaging Revenue-Playing Black Male Student-Athletes Who Attend PWIs. In Ransaw T., Gause C., & Majors R. (Eds.), The Handbook of Research on Black Males: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Multidisciplinary (pp. 625-636). East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.
  • Wright, J., Whitaker, R. W., Khalifa, M., & Briscoe, F. (2018). The Color of Neoliberal Reform: A Critical Race Policy Analysis of School District Takeovers in Michigan. Journal of Urban Education Urban

  • Whitaker, R.W., Campbell, A., & Ianellie, J. (2018). Dealing with the Elephant in the Classroom: Reflections from a Graduate Course that argues that Race Still Matters in Service Learning! In M. Sulentic-Dowell and T. Meidl (Eds.) Service Learning Initiatives in Teacher Education Programs. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI-Global




  • Whitaker, R.W, & Hilton, A.A. (February 2019). All eyes on me: Culturally responsive approaches to engaging revenue playing Black male student-athletes who attend PWIs.  Paper presented at the annual National Association of Student Affairs Professionals Conference, Atlanta, GA.

  • Whitaker, R.W. (December 2018). Beyond the Veil: Truly Seeing And supporting Minority Students Who Attend Predominately White Institutions. Paper Presented at the Greater Pittsburgh Higher Education Diversity Conference. Pittsburgh, PA

  • Whitaker, R.W. (June 2018). Tupacology: Analyzing Hip-Hop Lyrics
    From Tupac as a Means to Explore Trauma in Black Males.  Paper Presented at the annual Catholic Urban Education Symposium. Philadelphia, PA.  

  • Whitaker, R.W.  & Jefferson. C. (September 2018). Winning the Game: Employing Savviness And Strategies to Overcome the Elusive Realities of Race for Black Professionals in Organizational Spaces.  Presentation Presented at the Annual National Association of African American in Human Resources Conference. Ann Arbor, MI.

  • Whitaker, R.W. (May 2018). Not a Savage, But a Scholar and a Gentleman! Paper Presented At the Annual Conference of Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. Boston, MA.
  • Whitaker, R.W.  & Campbell, A. (April 2018). Driven to Successfully Transform Teacher Preparation for Diverse 21st Century Learners. Presentation at the Annual Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators Conference, State College, PA.

  • McCown, R., Miltello, M. & Whitaker, R.W. (November 2017). Community Members Perception about supporting students at their local schools.  Paper presented at the The Annual University Council for Education Administration Convention, Denver, CO.

  • Whitaker, R.W. (October 2017). Insights from a College and Career Readiness project For Black males. Paper presentation at the Annual Pursuing Extraordinary Outcomes in Public Education Conference, Charlotte, NC.

  • Whitaker, R.W. (October 2017). Getting Real about Race and Racism with Teachers And Educational leaders. Paper presentation at the Annual Fellowship Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Whitaker, R.W. (September 2017). The Death of Emmett, The Dream of Martin, and The Destiny of Barack: How Three Events That Occurred on August 28th, have implications for the educational Journey of Black Males. Paper presented at the Annual Association of African Americans in History Conference, Cincinnati, OH.  

  • Whitaker, R.W. (June 2017). Educational Strategies to Enrich African American Male Students.  Paper Presented at the annual Catholic Urban Education Symposium. Philadelphia, PA.  

  • Whitaker, R.W. (April 2017). We are Talking About improvement: A Culturally Responsive Approach Towards Teaching 21st Century Skills to African American Males. Paper presented at the Annual American Educational Research Association Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

  • Whitaker, R.W., Campbell, A. (April, 2016). Culturally Relevant and Academic Rigorous at the Same Time: Teaching Math to “Urban Students” As a Matter of Social Justice! Paper presented at The Annual Diversity in Research Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY

  • Whitaker, R.W. (March, 2016). Best Practices for Recruiting More Diverse Candidates. Presentation at the Annual Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators Conference, State College, PA.
  • Whitaker, R.W., Smith, P. (April, 2015). Still Perceived as the Wretched of the Earth: A Critical Examination of Why Black Lives Matter. Paper presented at The Annual Diversity in Research Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.

  • Whitaker, R.W., Smith, P. (June, 2014). All Eyes on Me: Internalized Stereotypes and its Effects on Black Male Students. Paper presented at the Annual Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Conference, Munich, Germany.

  • Whitaker, R.W. (April, 2014). Beyond the Touchdowns and Slam-dunks: A Critical Examination of How Revenue Playing African American Male Student Athletes at Predominately White Institutions Experience and Perceive the Climate on their Campus. Paper will be presented at the Annual American Educational Research Association Meeting. Philadelphia, PA.

  • Whitaker, R.W. (November, 2013). Blame it on the System: The Exploitation of the Conveyer Belt and the Need for Educational Leaders to “Stand in the Gap.” Paper presented at the Annual University Council for Education Administration Convention, Indianapolis, IN.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Earned a micro masters Certificate of Achievement from the University of Michigan (edx) in Leading Ambitious Teaching and Leaching (2018)
  • Black Theology Leadership Fellow, Princeton Theological Seminary (2017)
  • Appointed Schouver Fellow at Duquesne University (2017-2021)
  • American Education Research Association (AERA) Asa Hilliard/Barbara Sizemore Research Fellow (2016)
  • Diversity in Research and Practice Conference Outstanding Paper (2014)
  • Inducted Into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2014)
  • University Council For Education Administration (UCEA) Barbara L. Jackson Scholar Fellow (2012-2014)
  • Selected as a Fellow for Education Pioneers (2011)
  • Selected as a Participant for PhD Project Conference (2007)


Vision. Impact. Growth.

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