Bianca J. Baldridge

Bianca J. Baldridge

Associate Professor of Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Bianca Baldridge headshot.
Bianca J. Baldridge is an associate professor of education with expertise in community-based education and critical youth work practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Baldridge holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Education from Columbia University, Teacher’s College. Baldridge’s research explores the sociopolitical context of community-based youth work and critically examines the confluence of race, class, and gender and their impact on educational reforms that shape community-based spaces engaging Black and Latinx youth in the US. In addition, she explores the organizational and pedagogical practices employed by youth workers amid educational reforms and restructuring.  
 
Baldridge’s book, Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work (Stanford University Press), examines how racialized market-based reforms undermine Black community-based organizations’ efforts to support comprehensive youth development opportunities. Her book received the 2019 American Educational Studies Association Critic’s Choice Book Award. With the support of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship program, Baldridge studied how racial discourse shapes community-based spaces that engage Black youth in predominantly white cities that espouse a liberal and progressive ethos. Her current research examines 1) broader issues of equity facing the out-of-school time sector nationally, 2) the precarity of the youth work profession, and 3) how Black community-based youth organizations respond to city change and displacement fueled by gentrification, educational restructuring, and displacement.  
 
Baldridge’s research appears in the American Educational Research Journal, Review of Research in Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, and Race, Ethnicity, and Education. In addition, Bianca’s experiences as a community-based youth worker in domestic and international contexts continue to inform her research in profound ways. As a former youth worker for over 20 years, Baldridge works with several OST networks, non-profit organizations and facilitates communities of practice with youth workers across the country to sustain justice-oriented and humanizing youth work practices.  
 
Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.