Dionne Danns is a historian of education in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. She has served as a department chair (2016-2020) and Associate Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity (2017-2020) at Indiana University Bloomington. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, she began her career as an AERA/IES Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Danns has authored three books. The first, Something Better for Our Children: Black Organizing in Chicago Public Schools, 1963-1971 (2003), examined student and teacher activism around school reform. Her second book, Desegregating Chicago’s Public Schools: Policy Implementation, Politics, and Protest, 1965-1985 (2014), focuses on the federal government’s use of public policy to eliminate racial segregation and discrimination in public institutions in the United States through the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The book won the American Educational Studies Association’s Critic’s Choice Award in 2015. She recently completed Crossing Segregated Boundaries: Remembering Chicago School Desegregation (2021), which explores how graduates of desegregated schools crossed racial boundaries to integrate their schools. Danns is also the co-editor of Using Past as Prologue: Contemporary Perspectives on African American Educational History (2015), and co-edited a special issue of the centennial volume of the Journal of African American History, titled “African American Education, Civil Rights, and Black Power” (2015). Her teaching includes courses on the History of American Education, and the educational histories of African Americans and Latinos.