Shawn Ginwright is a leading national expert on African American youth, youth activism, and youth development. He is an Associate Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department and Senior Research Associate for the Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy at San Francisco State University. In 1989, Dr. Ginwright founded Leadership Excellence Inc. an innovative youth development agency located in Oakland, California that trains African American youth to address pressing social and community problems. In 2002 he also created the Research Collaborative on Youth Activism, a network of scholars activist who study, advocate and support youth organizing efforts around the country. He is the Co-Founder of Flourish Agenda, a social impact company that supports schools and community organizations with building well-being and healthy school climates. Dr. Ginwright currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Endowment with oversight of a 3 billion dollar endowment to improve the health of California's underserved communities. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design (I-SEEED) in Oakland, CA. I-SEEED is a research, community building, and advocacy organization that addresses the interconnected challenges of environmental sustainability, educational achievement, and workforce development.
In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Senior Specialist award from the State Department for his outstanding research and work with urban youth. He has advised the Ford Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and The Heinz Endowments on philanthropic strategies to support young people in urban communities. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning (CIRCLE) at the Johnathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tuffs University.
In 1999, he received his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley. His research examines the ways in which youth in urban communities navigate through the constraints of poverty and struggle to create equality and justice in their schools and communities.
He is the author of “Hope and Healing in Urban Education: How Activists and Teachers are Reclaiming Matters of the Heart”, “Black in School- Afrocentric Reform, Black Youth and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture” and co-editor of” Beyond Resistance!: Youth Resistance and Community Change: New Democratic Possibilities for Practice and Policy for America's Youth” and in 2010 he published “Black Youth Rising, Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America”.
He has published extensively on issues related to urban youth in journals such as Social Problems, Social Justice, Urban Review, and New Directions in Youth Development. He is a highly sought speaker to national and international audiences.