Grace D. Player

Assistant Professor

Expertise: Literacies, Critical Pedagogies, Race & Gender

Curriculum and Instruction

Academic Degrees:

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
MA, Teachers College, Columbia University
BA, Psychology, Vassar College

Areas of Expertise:

Girls of Color Literacies
Women of Color Feminisms and Education
Critical Writing Pedagogy
Justice-Oriented Education
Community-Based Research


Grace D. Player’s work is rooted in her experiences as a mixed-race Asian American woman of Color and a daughter of a Japanese Brazilian migrant woman. She is a literacy scholar, educator, and artist who has a longstanding commitment to collaborating with communities of Color to work toward educational justice. Following a career of classroom teaching and literacy professional development, she pursued her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania where she developed as a community partner, researcher, and educator. Her work takes on a feminist of Color lens and inquires into how Girls and Women of Color mobilize their raced, gendered, and cultural knowledges and ways of knowing to forge sisterhoods that resist injustice and transform worlds. Pushing against constricting and Eurocentric research methods, she pursues work that center relationality, story, art, and aesthetics as ways of making meaning.

Her work has been published in journals including Journal of Literacy Research, Research in the Teaching of English, Reading Research Quarterly, and Urban Education, where she co-edited a special issue on Girl of Color literacies with Dr. Mónica González Ybarra. Her artwork has been published on texts including April Baker-Bell’s Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, Dywanna Smith’s Transformational Sanctuaries in the Middle Level ELA Classroom: Creating Truth Spaces for Black Girls, and Detra Price-Dennis and Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz’s Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education: Activism for Equity in Digital Spaces. Dr. Player’s 2021 book, Where is the Justice? Engaged Pedagogies in Schools and Communities, is co-authored with Drs. Valerie Kinloch, Tamara Butler, and Emily Nemeth. She is the winner of the 2024 AERA Division G-Social Context of Education Early Career Award.

At Neag, she has worked in partnership with Dr. Danielle Filipiak with a critical autoethnographic coalition of preservice and early career Woman of Color teachers, where they’ve investigated how nondominant knowledges may be centered and mobilized toward creating healthier, more justice-oriented, and culturally sustaining practices in teacher education. Most recently, she was awarded a Spencer Racial Equity Grant which will sponsor her collaborative project Curators of Educational Dreams.  This radical curatorial collaborative, co-facilitated by Dr. Tricia Eunji Kim, will inquire into the potential and possibility of building collaborative arts-based research with Girls of Color to harness their multiple literacies toward envisioning and enacting educational justice.

Grace Player.
Contact Information
Phone860 486 2005
Office LocationGentry 404B
LinkThe Simmering Spices Art Collective