Dr. Britany J. Gatewood

Founder & CEO, Second Chance Educational Alliance

Dr. Britany Gatewood is a Post-Doctoral Researcher for the Center for Educational Opportunities at Albany State University. Dr. Gatewood earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Howard University. In addition to receiving a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. She identifies as a Black queer woman scholar activist. Her research interests include social inequality, criminology, social movements, and scholar activism. Her research focuses on social movements within carceral institutions as well as the political practice and tradition of resistance of Black women and their children. 

Dr. Gatewood’s dissertation explored the impact of the criminal justice system on Black women. Specifically, how incarceration in conjunction with one’s political, social, and economic position affects their activism and political participation, collectively and individually. Recently, she been a guest speaker at several events, including the ICW Teach-Ins on Protest and Policing with the University of Minnesota, the Children of Incarcerated Parents: Resilience, Successes, & Triumphs Digital Conference, and Sociologists for Social Justice with the District of Columbia Sociological Society. Dr. Gatewood gave her expertise and opinion on Black Lives Matter, the protests of the summer of 2020, and how to move forward to create the lasting change we wish to see.

Her recent community work includes co-founding, Masks 4 Many (www.masks4many.com), a group that provides reusable masks to vulnerable populations. This includes raising money for resources for Black Lives Matter activists and protestors. Other community work includes co-founding the annual vegan festival, Shrub Life Festival in Washington, DC (www.shrublifefestival.org). Shrub Life Festival’s mission was to educate our community, especially people of color, of health and wellness while promoting animal rights, minority owned businesses, and sustainability. Dr. Gatewood has also organized the vigil #IWillNotBeAHashtag for victims of police murder and organizing community teach ins. Because of her community work she was given the 2018 Savoir Faire Award for Community Activism and Social Change from Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.

“How will you use this knowledge to help your community?” No matter the teacher or subject, this is the common theme within each of graduate class at Howard University. This has deeply influenced my scholarship her scholarship. As a self describes scholar activist, she tries to bring the classroom and the community together. As an adjunct professor, each of class has a component where students are encouraged to connect with organizations, groups, and in their community. She also has her graduate students write pieces for her Critical Student Discourse Blog (https://www.criticalstudentdiscourse.com), where students share their thoughts, opinions, and analysis on current issues by integrating topics they have learned within the classroom. This is where student learn how to share their voices on a digital platform and bring their knowledge to the masses. At Howard University, she has participated in sit-ins, led strikes, and organized resources for protestors in response to university administration. Dr. Gatewood was invited to speak to her work in scholar activism at several conferences including a Presidential Panel and the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in 2019.

Dr. Gatewood is from Farmington Hills, Michigan and grew up in a majority white suburb. Due to her experiences as a child in this area, is where she began to question “why do people treat people differently based on how they look?” This lifelong researcher question influenced her decision to attend University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and receive her BA in Sociology, focusing on social inequality. She went on to obtain her MA in Liberal Arts at the University of Detroit Mercy, where her thesis focused on the role of Black women in the family throughout history.