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Donna Nicol

“Dr. Donna J. Nicol: author, professor, and expert in the educational activism of African American women”

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About Me

Dr. Donna J. Nicol is the Associate Dean of Personnel and Curriculum in the College of Liberal Arts and a professor of history at California State University Long Beach.

She is the immediate past department chair and professor of Africana Studies at CSU Dominguez Hills, a post she held from 2017-2023. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Studies (with a specialization in History and Philosophy of Higher Education and a graduate minor in African American and African Studies) from The Ohio State University in 2007.

Dr. Nicol’s research focuses race, conservative philanthropy, and U.S. higher education, and the history of African American women’s educational activism. Her work has been published in Race, Ethnicity and Education, The Feminist Teacher (twice), History of Philanthropy, Palimpsest: A Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International, The Encyclopedia of American Women’s History, Encyclopedia of Multiracial America, and Habitus of the Hood. In February 2021, Dr. Nicol was a featured guest expert for the Al Jazeera English documentary, The Big Picture: A Race for America. Dr. Nicol has also published opinion columns on racism in philanthropy for Al Jazeera Digital and has appeared on the Insufferable Academics podcast, the Fresh Off the Vote podcast, and the Peace and Justice Radio Show.

Prior to becoming an academic, Dr. Nicol spent three years teaching secondary language arts and social studies for Los Angeles Unified School District and seven years in various academic administrative roles at Mt. St. Mary's College and The Ohio State University. She serves on the board of directors for the Historical Society of Southern California, co-principal investigator for the State of Black Los Angeles County Report (2023) and is active in a number of professional academic and social service organizations.

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Dr. Donna J. Nicol

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