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Bianca J. Baldridge

Bianca J. Baldridge is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies with affiliations in Afro American Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She received her PhD in Sociology and Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Bianca’s scholarship explores the socio-political context of community-based youth work and afterschool education. Bianca’s research critically examines the confluence of race, class, and gender, and their impact on educational reforms that shape community-based spaces that engage Black and Latinx youth in the US. She explores the organizational and pedagogical practices employed by youth workers amid neoliberal education restructuring.

Bianca’s book, Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work, examines how racialized market-based reforms undermines Black community-based organizations’ efforts to support comprehensive youth development opportunities. Her book received the 2019 American Educational Studies Association Critic’s Choice Book Award. With the support of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship program, Bianca studied how racial discourse shapes community-based spaces that engage Black youth in predominantly white cities that espouse a liberal and progressive ethos. Her current research examines how Black community-based youth organizations and youth workers respond to city change and displacement fueled by gentrification and neoliberal education restructuring. Bianca’s research has been featured in the American Educational Research Journal, Review of Research in Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, and Race, Ethnicity, and Education. Bianca’s experiences as a community-based youth worker in domestic and international contexts continues to inform her research in profound ways.

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