Key Professional Appointments

Assistant ProfessorEducational Policy Studies & Gender and Women's Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2007 - present

PostDoctoral FellowGender and Women's Studies Program, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2006 - 2007

PostDoctoral FellowAfrican American Studies and Research Program, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2005 - 2006


Ph.D., Political Science, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, 2005

M.A., Political Science & Women's Studies Certificate, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, 2000

B.A., Political Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1998

Awards, Honors, Associations

Outstanding Faculty Award for ServiceCollege of Education UIUC, 2015 - 2015

Award for Outstanding Faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies, UIUC2012 - 2013

Outstanding Faculty AwardUIUC Department of Gender and Women's Studies,, 2010 - 2010

Women of Color Leadership Project ParticipantNational Women's Studies Association, 2007 - 2007

Award for Excellence in Arts-Based Research, Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop on Narrative Theory and MethodsUniversity of MichiganUniversity of Michigan - Ann Arbor, 2005 - 2005

Visiting ResearcherCenter for the Study of Ethnicity and RaceColumbia University, 2003 - 2005

Research & Service

Dr. Ruth Nicole Brown is an associate professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies and Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies Departments at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. Her research documents, analyzes, and interrogates Black girls’ lived experiences as it intersects with cultural constructions of Black girlhood. Her first book, Black Girlhood Celebration: Toward A Hip Hop Feminist Pedagogy counters the invisibility of Black girls and the marginalization of Black girlhood in academic literature. Black Girlhood Celebration demonstrated how liberal assumptive frameworks of culture, society, and youth programming have contradictory implications for the type and quality of value assigned to Black girls’ lives. Her second book, Hear Our Truths: The Creative Potential of Black Girlhood, is an ethnographic account of the creative processes Black girls rely on to make intelligible the ways power, creativity, spirituality, memory, and performativity structure meanings of belonging. This book draws directly from her experiences in SOLHOT. SOLHOT (Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths), founded in 2006 by Ruth Nicole Brown, is a commitment by Brown in collaboration with the Champaign community to organizing a “space” dedicated to the celebration of Black girlhood in all of its complexity. As a critical method of civic engagement, SOLHOT is a creative cutting-edge application of Dr. Brown’s studied and research interventions in Black Girls’ Studies and Hip Hop Feminism.


Brown, R. (2008) Black Girlhood Celebration: A Hip Hop Feminist Pedagogy: Peter Lang

Brown, R. (2007) Persephone's triumph: Reflections of a young black woman becoming a real political scientist Qualitative Inquiry 13 (5), 650-659

Brown, R. (2007) Remembering Maleesa: Theorizing black girl politics and the politicizing of socialization National Political Science Review 11, 121-136

Brown, R., & Desipio, L. (2007) Dianne Pinderhughes: A career dedicated to understanding the racial dynamics of American politics and to serving as an agent of change. Political Science & Politics, 203-238

Brown, R. (2006) Mentoring on the borderlands: Creating empowering connections between adolescent girls and young women volunteers. Human Architecture Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge IV, 105-122


Principal InvestigatorHardie Collaborative Stipend: Black Girlhood Celebration: Lessons from SOLHOT (Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths)!, Bureau of Educational Research, 2007 - 2008


MemberAERA, 2007 - present

MemberAmerican Political Science Association, 

MemberMidwest Political Science Association, 

MemberNational Conference of Black Political Scientists Association, 

MemberNational Women's Studies Association, 


Topics in Educational Policy Seminar on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses; requests for initiation may be made by students or faculty members. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours.

Ruth Nicole Brown

Associate Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



381 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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