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Camille M. Wilson

University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, Marsal Family School of Education


(734) 647-2447


Room 4113
610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Dr. Camille Wilson is a professor of Educational Foundations, Leadership & Policy in the Department of Educational Studies, and University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor. Her research is interdisciplinary in nature. She explores school-family-community engagement and transformative leadership as they relate to urban education reform and policy. She is a qualitative researcher who draws upon critical race and feminist methodologies. She has worked individually and collaboratively to conduct research anchored in epistemological traditions that value how research participants make meaning, form identities, enact agency, and are helped or hindered as they interact with educational systems.

She is well known for her research related to African American mothers’ educational advocacy and their interaction with school choice policies. (She published as Camille Wilson Cooper prior to 2011). Her current research explores the educational activism of adult and youth community organizers in Detroit, MI. She and her CREATE (Community-based Research on Equity, Activism, and Transformative Education) research team are working to identify how democratic, equity-oriented, and community driven approaches to public educational improvement can be increased and sustained.

Dr. Wilson’s work has been published in leading U.S. journals such as Teachers College Record, and Educational Administration Quarterly, and in numerous scholarly books. She has also published in highly regarded, international journals such as the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, International Journal of Multicultural Education, and the International Journal of Leadership Education. Dr. Wilson has presented her work throughout the United States and at many international venues, including as an invited guest lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa and as a visiting professor at the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill in Barbados. Dr. Wilson received her Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001.


Number Course Name Location Days
EDUC 732
Critical Race Methodologies

This advanced research course introduces the principles and strategies of critical race methodologies in qualitative inquiry. The interrelated nature of race, intersecting identities, knowledge, power, voice, and representation in research is stressed. Critical race theory, along with complementary critical social theories that inform critical race methodologies, are considered.

Selected Publications

"Advancing equity and achievement in America’s diverse schools: Inclusive theories, policies, and practices."

Wilson, Camille M. & Horsford, S.D. (Eds.) (2014). New York: Routledge. 

“Theme: Reclaiming Education and the At-Risk City: Insights from Detroit.”

Pedroni, T. C. and Wilson, Camille M. (Forthcoming 2014). Guest editors for a special issue of Educational Policy Analysis Archives. 

"Starting the bandwagon: A historiography of African American mothers’ leadership during school desegregation, 1954-1971."

Wilson, Camille M. (in press, 2014). Advancing Women in Leadership, 34, (34-47).

"Recasting border crossing politics and pedagogies to combat educational inequity: Experiences, identities, and perceptions of Latino/a immigrant youth." 

Wilson, Camille M., Ek, L.D., & Douglas, T.M.O. (2014). The Urban Review 46(1),1-24. (DOI) 10.1007/s11256-013-0246-5. (Online version first printed 2013).

"Starting with African American success: A strengths-based approach to transformative educational leadership."

Wilson, Camille M., Douglas, T.M.O., & Nganga, C. (2013). In L.C. Tillman & J.J. Scheurich (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational leadership for equity and diversity (pp. 111-133). New York: Routledge. 

"Advocacy-based partnerships, special education, & African American families: Resisting the politics of containment." In S. Auerbach (Ed.)

Ruffin-Adams, A., and Wilson, Camille M. (2011). School leadership for authentic family and community partnerships: Research perspectives for transforming practice (pp. 78-97). New York: Routledge.

"Leading and learning with diverse families in schools: Critical epistemology amid communities of practice."

Cooper, Camille Wilson, Riehl, C.J., & Hasan, L. (2010). Journal of School Leadership, 20(6), 760-790.

"Performing cultural work in demographically changing schools: Implications for expanding transformative leadership frameworks."

Cooper, Camille Wilson (2009). Educational Administration Quarterly, 45(5), 694-724.

"Parent involvement, African American mothers, and the politics of educational care."

Cooper, Camille Wilson (2009). Equity and Excellence in Education, 42(4), 379-394.

"School choice as 'motherwork': Valuing African American women’s educational advocacy and resistance." 

Cooper, Camille Wilson (2007). International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 20(5), 491-512.

"Evaluating parent empowerment: A look at the potential of social justice evaluation in education."

Cooper, Camille Wilson & Christie, C.A. (2005). Teachers College Record, 107(10), 2248-2271.

"School choice and the standpoint of African American mothers: Considering the power of positionality."

Cooper, Camille Wilson (2005). Journal of Negro Education, 74(2), 174-189.


The CREATE Center fosters community-based research on equity, activism, and transformative education among university-based researchers and community advocates.