Dr. Akilah Alleyne is the director for K-12 Education at American Progress. Alleyne comes to American Progress from Capitol Hill. On the Hill, she worked for Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) while completing a fellowship as a NextGen Fellow with the USGLC Global Leadership Coalition. Prior to going to the Hill, she completed her doctorate in sociology at the University of Delaware, where she conducted research for various federal, state, and locally funded projects in the fields of education, health, and criminal justice sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the Delaware Center for Translational Research, the Maryland Department of Health, the University of Maryland, and the University of Delaware.
In addition to her background in research and policy, Alleyne serves on the board of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware. She brings her unique grassroots experiences as former vice president of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professionals (MWULYP). In that capacity, she co-founded and launched a local S.A.F.E. schools issue campaign promoting school disciplinary and education policy reform. In addition to her work with the MWUL, Alleyne also served as a member of the Core Steering Council for the Wilmington Center for Education Equity and Policy, as well as the Education Equity Delaware coalition. During her service on both councils, she collaborated with local leaders from 22 to 30 organizations to identify, track, and reveal critical issues concerning the direct impacts of state and federal lawmaking on K-12 educational outcomes.
Alleyne’s work is driven by her commitment to expanding access to opportunity, resources, and funding through an equity lens that improves the lives of children, youth, and families across the United States. Her research involves using a critical race theory framework and methodology, oral histories, legal analysis, and qualitative methods for examining the impact of law and policy on students’ social identity development and schooling experiences.