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Tea Plantation

Professional Summary

Deja L. Jones is Doctoral Candidate and Early Childhood Education Sociologist. She has worked in education and youth development for 7 years (case management, program coordinating, program facilitation, curriculum design, K12 teaching). Prior to working in education, she maintained a career in media as a digital content writer for companies such as Madame Noire, Black Voices of Huff Post, Upscale Magazine, Saint Heron, Black Girl Magik, Shape Magazine, W Magazine,, Bauce Magazine, plus many more. She is a published author and aspires to continue publishing in children's literature. In 2016, she started a YouOkSis Newark Chapter as a support group for women of color and was nominated for a NJ 30 Under 30 2017 Ubuntu Award in Community Wellness. Deja holds a B.A. in Journalism & Media Studies, An M.Ed in Teaching & Learning Leadership, and is currently pursuing doctoral candidacy. Her concentrations are tackling the emerging affects of environmental racism in early childhood development, building resiliency in black youth, and increasing awareness around sustainability in urban communities. She has spoken at conferences such as EdFest, Nonprofit Professionals of Color Roundtable, Rutgers Education conference and was a keynote at a Rutgers sponsored TEDTalk. 


Deja is currently a partner and fellow with the Wildflower Foundation where she will be training to open a Montessori school in the hopes to increase Montessori accessibility for families of color and continue to work towards decolonization of public education in communities of color. In 2019-2020 Deja was also appointed a New Jersey state ambassador for the United State of Women where she has worked on National voter engagement campaigns and amplifying the gender equity movement. 



Southwest Institute for Montessori Studies

Primary 3-6 Diploma


Saybrook University

Ph.D Transformative Social Change

CITI:Collaborative Institutional Research Training (2022) 



University of Pennsylvania

UNICEF Certification in Social Norms & Social Change

May 2014

Liberty University

M.Ed. Teaching and Learning Leadership and Administration 

May 2012

Rutgers University-Newark

B.A. Journalism & Media Studies

Research Interests

  • The Ecopsychology of Black children in Early Childhood Education: this candidacy study uses Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to illustrate how Black children develop an ecological sense based on their understanding of nature and community. 

  • The Historical Survey of Black Education in America 1865-2021

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