Leigh Patel

  • Professor - School of Education

Leigh Patel is a writer, educator, and cultural worker. Her work is based in the knowledge that as long as oppression has existed so have freedom struggles, including the black radical tradition, decolonization, and fugitive study groups. She is a community-based researcher as well as an eldercare provider. Prior to being employed as a professor, she was a middle school language arts teacher in urban schools in San Diego and Las Vegas, a journalist, and a state-level policymaker. She is also a proud national board member of Education for Liberation, a nonprofit that focuses on supporting low-income people, particularly youth of color, to understand and challenge the injustices their communities face.

Professor Patel’s writing ranges from short essays for public outlets, such as Beacon Broadside, NPR, The Conversation, The Feminist Wire, and the Chronicle for Higher Education. Her latest book, There is No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education, from Beacon Press lifts up the distinct yet deeply connected forms of oppression of black and brown peoples while also shedding light on the crucial nature of political education for social transformation. Her walk-on song is “Can I Kick It” by ATCQ. You can follow her on twitter @lipatel.

Areas of Specialization 

  • Fugitive Pedagogy 
  • Coloniality 
  • Social Geography of Racial Inequirt 
  • Sociology of Education 
  • Freedom Struggles