Demarcus A. Jenkins

DeMarcus A. Jenkins, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Research Interests

    Education policy

    Housing policy

    Criminal/Juvenile justice

    School safety & discipline


    Anti-Black racism

    Critical Race Theory

    Social movements

    DeMarcus A. Jenkins is an assistant professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice with a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Broadly, his program of research centers on important policy- and practice-relevant issues concerning Black and other vulnerable populations in relation to education, housing, and criminal/juvenile justice. Specifically, his work focuses on (1) the interconnectedness of education and criminal justice, including the strategies, technologies, and logics of carceral systems that appear in schools; (2) the relationship between education reform and urban development with a focus on housing policies; and (3) the politics of policy change or how marginalized populations interact with the policy process. He investigates the intersection of race, urban space, and policy and its implications for educational equity and justice. Dr. Jenkins’ interdisciplinary scholarship draws on critical theories of race, critical spatial theory, Black geographies, critical policy studies, and urban sociology. His research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation.

    Before joining SP2, Dr. Jenkins held faculty appointments at Penn State University and the University of Arizona, where he was founding faculty in the Education Policy Center. He is currently a faculty affiliate at the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and the inaugural visiting faculty fellow at the Campus Abolition Research Lab (CARL) at the University of Michigan. Previously, he worked as a policy analyst at the state and local levels and as a high school English teacher. Dr. Jenkins earned his PhD in Urban Schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his EdM from Georgia State University and MA from American University. He holds a BA in English and Afro-American and African Studies from the University of Michigan.



    office: 215.898.8110



    3701 Locust Walk, R. 317
    Philadelphia, PA 19104





    Standing Faculty | Faculty


    MSSP | PhD

    Research Areas(s)

    Children, Women, Family Well-Being | Data Driven Policy Analysis + Evidence-Based Practice | Identity, Immigration, Racism | Mass Incarceration, Homelessness, Substance Use