Kevin Lawrence Henry, Jr.

Assistant Professor

270D Education Building

Henry, Kevin

Kevin Lawrence Henry, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Dr. Henry’s interdisciplinary program of research and teaching revolves around two central, interrelated questions. The first question critically examines how power and dominance shape and structure educational policies, practices, and reforms. His second question is concerned with how Black educational actors understand, resist, reconstitute, and transform educational fields to be equitable, just, and humanizing. More specifically, Dr. Henry’s research investigates: the racialized lived realities of charter schools and school choice policy and practice; the persistence of anti-Blackness in education; neoliberalism and educational markets; and culturally relevant and restorative justice approaches in education. Dr. Henry’s work is informed by Black Studies, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theories, and Queer of Color Critique. Dr. Henry’s teaching and mentoring aims to inspire and engender community, collaboration, and care, intellectual creativity and curiosity, and a commitment to freedom. Prior to returning to Wisconsin, Dr. Henry served on faculty at the University of Arizona in the College of Education and was a founding member of and policy fellow in the Education Policy Center.


  • PhD Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016
  • BA Political Science, Tulane University, 2010

Select Media Contributions

  • Juanona Brewster, Drilling Down in 60, (February, 2021). Media Link
  • Henry, K.L., Jr., This #BlackMansChallenge is to extend my advocacy beyond validating the struggles of Black men. (2020). Media Link
  • Girard, S, “It is what’s right”: Panel address inequities in school discipline. (October, 2020). Media Link
  • Brenna Bailey, Tucson school districts still have more than 100 vacant teaching positions. (March, 2019). Media Link
  • Henry, K.L., Jr., Celling our future: The Trump Administration’s efforts to worsen school discipline disparities. (2018). Media Link

Select Publications

  • Henry, K. (2021). Zones of nonbeing: Abjection, white accumulation, and neoliberal school reform. Teachers College Record
  • Henry, K. (2021). “The Price of Disaster”: The charter authorization process in post-Katrina New Orleans. Educational Policy, 35(2), 235-258.
  • Henry, K. (2020). A movement in two acts: Actually existing racism, CRT, and the charter school movement. In M. Lynn and A.D. Dixson (Ed.), Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education (2nd Edition) Routledge.
  • Henry, K., & Powell, S. (2020). Kissing cousins: Critical race theory’s racial realism and Afro-Pessimism’s social death. In M. Dumas, A. Woodson, and C. Grant (Ed.), The future is Black: Afro-pessimism, fugitivity, and radical hope in education Routledge.
  • Henry, K. (2020). Present Tense: A southern gothic of schooling. In C.E. Matias (Ed.), Surviving Becky(s): Pedagogies of whiteness and gender
  • Henry, K. (2019). Heretical discourses in post-Katrina charter school applications. American Educational Research Journal, 56(6), 2609-2643.
  • Henry, K., & Warren, C. A. (2017). The evidence of things not seen? Race, pedagogies of discipline, and White women teachers. In S.D. Hancock and C.A. Warren (Ed.), White women’s work: Examining the intersectionality of cultural norms, teaching, and identity formation in urban schools Information Age Publishing.
  • Henry, K. (2016). Discursive violence and economic retrenchment: Chartering the sacrifice of Black educators in post- Katrina New Orleans. In J.K. Donnor and T.L. Affolter (Ed.), The charter school solution: Distinguishing fact from rhetoric (pp. 80-98). Routledge.
  • Henry, K., & Dixson, A. D. (2016). “Locking the door before we got the keys”: Racial realities of the charter school authorization process in post-Katrina New Orleans. Educational Policy, 30(1), 218-240.

Select Presentations

  • Henry, K. (2021). Race, Racism, and Education: New Directions in Policy and Practice. presented at the Rhode Island College.
  • Henry, K., Dixson, A., Chapman, T., Lynn, M., Ladson-Billings, G., Solórzano, D., Donnor, J. K., Aleman, E., Lopez, G., Yosso, T., Suarez, C., & McCall, J. (2020). What is Critical Race Theory? A Teach-In. presented at the Facebook Live.
  • Henry, K. (2020). Educational Leadership Resistance to the Neoliberal Turn in Education. presented at the University Council for Educational Administration.
  • Henry, K. (2019). Heretical discourses in post-Katrina charter school applications. presented at the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.
  • Ladson-Billings, G., Henry, K., & Dixson, A. D. (2019). Black education in New Orleans: Where do we go from here? presented at the Black Educators for New Orleans (BENOLA), New Orleans, LA.
  • Henry, K. (2019). Hungering for control: Ideological (Il)legibility within charter school applications. presented at the University of Kentucky College of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research Symposium.
  • Henry, K. (2018). Keynote. Keynote/Plenary Address presented at the Multicultural Symposium.
  • Henry, K. (2018). Market “exceptions”? Race, competition, and the charter school authorization process in Post-Katrina New Orleans. presented at the University Council for Educational Administration, Houston, TX.
  • Henry, K. (2017). Charting the future: Charter schools, education reform, and Black communities. presented at the Claremont University, Cambridge, MA.
  • Henry, K. (2017). “Cranes in the sky”: On potentialities, (border) crossings, and wake work. presented at the Claremont University, Claremont, CA.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, Transformative Justice in Education Center, University of California-Davis, 2016
  • Fellow, William T. Grant Foundation, (2021, 2022)
  • Erasmus Circle Fellow, College of Education, University of Arizona, (2018–2019)
  • Asa G. Hilliard III and Barbara A. Sizemore Fellow, American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2013