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Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick Named 2023 Commencement Speaker at Ramapo College of New Jersey

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 3, 2023

Distinguished academic scholar, author, educator and lifelong advocate for educational equity and equal opportunity, Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., will address the Class of 2023 at the Ramapo College Undergraduate Commencement on May 11, 2023. The Ramapo College Board of Trustees approved an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to be awarded to Dr. Fenwick as part of the ceremony. 

“It is really awesome to have Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick participate in the Ramapo College Class of 2023 Commencement Ceremony,” said President Cindy Jebb, “Leslie is a gifted scholar, exemplary educator, and inspiring leader whose service and research continues to shape and inform public policy decisions and educational practices that are focused on driving opportunity, justice, empathy, and equity.”

Ramapo College’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony will be held at Prudential Center in Newark on Thursday, May 11, 2023. Doors to the Prudential Center will open at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will begin with the academic processional at 6:45 p.m. Persons unable to attend may enjoy the ceremony via livestream on

Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick

Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., is noted for her expertise in public policy, character leadership, and ethics. A lifelong educator who has worked in every sector of education, Dr. Fenwick is known as a “fearless voice” for educational equity and equal opportunity. In 2020, she was a finalist for the U.S. Secretary of Education post. Additionally she is a U.S. Presidential appointee to the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (USMA) where she has served since 2017 as a MCLC Senior Fellow occasionally lecturing about character leadership and ethics. 

A former Harvard University Visiting Scholar and Visiting Fellow, and Salzburg Global Fellow, she is the author of the award-winning and bestselling book Jim Crow’s Pink Slip (Harvard Education Press, 2022). Jim Crow’s Pink Slip has been referenced by the New York Times and is an NPR Book of the Day. It is also winner of the 2023 Gloria Ladson-Billings Outstanding Book of the Year Award, and is an Amazon #1 Bestseller in Education History. Dr. Fenwick is recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Higher Education Leadership Award for her national efforts to expand equal educational opportunity and access to higher education. 

As a very public-facing scholar and advocate, Dr. Fenwick’s policy research and op-ed articles have been cited and published by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Politico, the National Academy of Education, Brookings Institution, and the Center for American Progress. She has been a featured speaker at the National Press Club (Washington, D.C.) and has appeared on NPR, CNN, C-SPAN Live, Yahoo! Finance News, and Washington Post Live discussing public policy, educational equity, and the changing U.S. workforce. 

She has made a sustained contribution to the research literature publishing numerous journal articles, policy monographs, book chapters, and books. Additionally, she has delivered more than 150 distinguished lectures and keynotes to national and international audiences that include corporate, political, and educational leaders. Dr. Fenwick has served as a consultant to CEO Action for Racial Equity founded by Tim Ryan, U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC. Featured in the New York Times, CEO Action for Racial Equity is the first business-led coalition (composed of 2,000 corporate chairpersons and CEOs) of its kind with a mission to advance racial equity through public policy. 

Dr. Fenwick is one of 11 nationally distinguished scholars appointed a member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) Scholarly Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC was established by renown historian Dr. John Hope Franklin to establish the museum’s intellectual agenda and exhibition content. The NMAAHC is the world’s third busiest museum. 

Dr. Fenwick is Dean Emerita of the Howard University School of Education where she is a tenured professor of policy and Dean in Residence at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). She earned a Ph.D. in education policy and leadership studies at The Ohio State University where she was a Flesher Fellow, and a bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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