M. Billye Sankofa Waters, Ph.D.

[em  /  BILL-ee  /  san-KO-fuh-WAH-ters]

M. Billye Sankofa Waters identifies as a Hip Hop generation Blackgirl from the South Side of Chicago, who writes. She grounds her work in liberatory education, Black feminism, critical race theory, Black storytellers and qualitative inquiry. Sankofa Waters is the Founding Executive Director of the nonprofit charity, Blackgirl Gold Unapologetic, Inc., which provides scholarship for undergraduate and graduate Blackgirls and the President of Radical Identity Praxis [RIP], LLC – an ethnographic journey of four movements toward an everyday practice of liberation for/with Black folx. 


She is the author of Penetrated Soul: somethingsihadtorelease (2002), We Can Speak for Ourselves: Parent Involvement and Ideologies of Black Mothers in Chicago (2016), and co-editor of Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader (with Bettina L. Love & Venus Evans-Winters, 2019) and How We Got Here: The Role of Critical Mentoring and Social Justice Praxis (with Marta Sanchez, 2020). She has contributed work to various publications such as Race Ethnicity and Educationand PraxisCenter. ​

Dr. B attended Howard University and Olive Harvey City College. She earned her B.A. in Fiction Writing and was the first graduate of the Black World Studies program at Columbia College Chicago. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Education (Culture, Curriculum, and Change program) at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She began formally working in various education spaces in 1998 and has been teaching faculty in Schools of Education since 2012. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Washington Tacoma. "I teach and learn with teachers, administrators, nonprofit organizers, student organizers, career changers and all the grays between." She is a member of various academic and professional organizations including the American Educational Research Association (2018–2021 Hip Hop Theories, Praxis & Pedagogies SIG Executive Board member); National Women's Studies Association (2018–2020 Governing Council Member and 2015 Women of Color Leadership Project fellow); Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc; and the Dope Black Women Collective.


See also: wife, Black boy mom, traveler, art collector, writing coach, Marvel enthusiast, Hilman College alumnae, star chaser, Village builder.

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