Jalaya Liles Dunn is the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice program. She leads a team of anti-bias education specialists who help teachers and schools nurture inclusive, equitable classrooms and educate students to be active participants in a diverse democracy.
Liles Dunn has more than 20 years of experience in social and racial justice pedagogy. She most recently served as national director and director of youth leadership and development for the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program.
At the Children’s Defense Fund, Liles Dunn’s leadership led to the training of 5,000 young leaders of color for action in their home communities; she managed national partnerships that provided high-quality summer and after-school programming for 13,000 children annually; and developed cohorts of educators to institute culturally responsive and sustainable teaching models in their local schools.
She has served as a social justice consultant for the Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity at the University of Arkansas, and she created the House of J in South Carolina, a farm and wellness retreat to address the health disparities of poor communities of color, with a focus on women.
Liles Dunn earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Spelman College.