The scholarship and service of Juanita Johnson-Bailey, Ed.D., has greatly impacted the field of adult education through her examination of issues of power and privilege, particularly concentrating on the effect of race and gender on the lives of black faculty and students in the academy. As a result, she continues to influence faculty and students of all ethnicities by making space for their different experiences and knowledge in the larger discourse.
Johnson-Bailey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Mercer University, a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in adult education, also from the University of Georgia.
Her research has been presented, as well as published, in elite journals in Austria, Australia, Botswana, Canada, England, France, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. Through this work, she has sparked dialogue across the globe because the issues she addresses resonate with disenfranchised learners in all corners of academia and adult education.
Johnson-Bailey also has provided significant leadership and service to adult education associations, holding leadership positions with both the Adult Education Research Conference (AERC) and the Commission of Professors.
She has worked tirelessly as chair of the African Diaspora Pre-Conference of the Adult Education Research Conference from 1997– 2008, assuming leadership in the conference’s second year and subsequently shaping the conference into an integral dimension of AERC. During her tenure as executive chair of the pre-conference, approximately 90 percent of the field’s professors of African descent who currently work in the U.S. first presented as students at this conference.
With an impressive body of scholarship, Johnson-Bailey has examined issues of race and gender from the perspectives of the teacher and learner. Looking more broadly at classroom issues, the curriculum, and learner/teacher dynamics, she has explored the continuum on how power and privilege affect the culture of the adult educational process. She has contributed more than 75 publications to the body of literature in adult education and has made 73 conference presentations. Her research is used widely in adult education classes.
Of significance to U.S. and North American readers is her extensive archival research on African American initiatives and scholars during the early 20th century and her review of race in the ACE handbooks. The first offering, which examined 25 years of African Americans in adult education, documenting their contributions during the Harlem Renaissance, was a landmark study that made a significant scholarly contribution and has proven to be invaluable in prompting a renewed interest in the phase of the field’s history. In addition, her review of ACE handbooks in the 2000 Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education, “The Invisible Politics of Race in Adult Education,” marked the field’s first comprehensive review of race in adult education.
In 1999 as part of a Lily Fellowship, Johnson-Bailey conceptualized and developed the field’s first study abroad course to South Africa, Adult Education Seminar on Southern Africa. She has co-led eight study abroad tours to southern Africa, visiting the University of the Western Cape, the University of South Africa at Pretoria, the University of Wittswatersrand, and the University of Botswana.
In addition to adult education, Johnson-Bailey has made significant inroads into the fields of women studies and higher education. Her work in higher education on mentoring and faculty development has found broad acceptance and has been published in the disciplines’ most prestigious journals, such as the Harvard Educational Review and the Journal of Higher Education. She has produced a study on the participation and retention of black women in higher education, a study on black graduate students and work on faculty development.
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