Dr. Kelsey M. Jones is a postdoctoral fellow in the Applied Psychology and Human Development division at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Her interests include the school-to-prison pipeline, dis/ability and giftedness in Black and Brown youth, and the education of Black and Brown children in special education spaces. Dr. Jones works at the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC) housed within the Applied Psychology and Human Development department at Penn GSE. Her work at REC focuses on the development of accessible literary magazines designed to promote racial literacy for children, adolescents, caregivers, and educators as well as the development of qualitative research focused on the school-to-prison pipeline.
Dr. Jones taught self-contained special education for lower-elementary students in Brooklyn, NY, where she was responsible for differentiating instruction, creating a safe learning space, and advocating for her students’ unacknowledged strengths in school environments while addressing their diverse academic, social, and emotional needs. In 2009, the Education Equality Project recognized her for excellence in teaching. Dr. Jones’s practitioner research and master’s thesis focused on the unique experiences of Black and Brown special education students and the need for knowledge, empathy, inquiry, and social justice in practice and research. She has facilitated a series of forums with the Penn Project for Civic Engagement, developing strategies for sustainable dialogue between schools and communities and highlighting the needs of diverse student populations and multi-lingual families. She served as a facilitator in the regional forum, What Makes Schools Safe?, hosted by WHYY and Newsworks, and led small group discussions on issues of school violence and the mental health of students.