The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has announced that Bianca Baldridge has won the 2021 Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award for significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations. The honor was announced on August 30, as part of AERA's slate of 2021 awards for excellence in education research.
“We are excited to recognize this extraordinary group of award winners,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine about the 2021 award recipients. “These highly accomplished and passionate individuals are producing cutting-edge scholarship, working tirelessly to support the research enterprise, and translating findings meaningfully into the lives of students, educators, and others. We are proud to honor their outstanding scholarship and service to the education research field.”
Baldridge, who recently joined HGSE as an associate professor of education, focuses her work on community-based education and critical youth work practice. An educator and youth advocate, her research explores the sociopolitical context of community-based education and how the confluence of race, class, and gender shapes the experiences of Black and Latinx youth in these settings. Her book, Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work, examines how the privatization of public education undermines Black community-based organizations’ efforts to support comprehensive youth development opportunities.
"The AERA Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award is an incredible honor. I'm humbled that my colleagues in the field have recognized my work," says Baldridge. "I'm grateful to my peers, mentors, colleagues, friends, and family, who constantly push me in all the best ways. Most importantly, my work isn't possible without the dedication of community-based educators."
At HGSE, Baldridge will continue to examine broader issues of equity facing the out-of-school time sector at the national level. "Over the last year, my colleagues and I have been speaking with young people, youth workers, and community-based leaders around the country to understand their perspectives on the major issues impacting the field — including how the global health pandemic and the uprisings against racial injustice occurring in our country shapes youth work practice," she says. She is also working on a book about the significance of Black community-based educators and their role in the educational and activist lives of Black youth, as well as a project that explores how community-based youth organizations respond to city change and displacement fueled by gentrification, educational restructuring, and displacement.
Baldridge will be presented with the Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award at AERA's virtual awards celebration on Tuesday, December 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST.