Johonna McCants


Dr. Johonna McCants has over fifteen years of experience teaching youth and adults about identity, oppression, and social change. Her experience as an educator includes work in scholarly research, community organizing, and the arts. She has served as an adjunct professor of American studies and African American studies at the University of Maryland, where she taught courses on diversity and social justice, prisons and policing in American culture, and youth organizing, among other topics. She has also provided training and program development services to the Blackout Arts Collective, Justice 4 D.C. Youth Coalition, and other community organizing and advocacy groups. In 2007, McCants was a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow with the Open Society Institute. During her fellowship, she founded and led the Visions to Peace Project, a youth leadership development and peacebuilding project based in Washington, D.C. The project produced the documentary film, Vision Is Our Power , which highlights the many faces of violence against youth. Dr. McCants currently works as a high school teacher in the District of Columbia Public School system where she teaches English and special education courses. Dr. McCants earned a Ph.D. in American Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled, “Re-Visioning Violence: How Black Youth Advance Critical Understandings of Violence in Climates of Criminalization.”

Read an interview with Johonna McCants about why she is teaching at SPI.