KSOE Faculty Profile: Dr. Raina J León


Live Podcast Today!

Dr. León recently contributed to the Puerto Rican podcast NEGRAS by Radio Universidad to speak about the organization La Tertulia Boricua, writers of Puerto Rican diaspora of African descent, race, and arts activism. You can tune in at 11am PST (3pm AST) today to listen to the segment LIVE.


Photo credit:  Matteo Monchiero

Dr. Raina J. León, PhD is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia. She is a mother, daughter, sister, madrina, comadre, partner, poet, writer, and teacher educator. She believes in collective action & community work, the profound power of holding space for the telling of our stories, and the liberatory practice of humanizing education. She seeks out communities of care & craft and is a member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Macondo, and Círculo de Poetas & Writers. Dr. León is a professor in the Single Subject Teacher Credential Program and the Chair of the Teacher Education Department. 

She educates our present and future agitators/educators as a full professor of education at SMC, the third Black person and first Afro-Latina to achieve that rank.

Dr. León is the author of three collections of poetry, Canticle of IdolsBoogeyman Dawn, & sombra: dis(locate), and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge & Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self. Her poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and scholarly work have been published in over 100 journals & anthologies.

She is an inaugural fellow with the Obsidian Foundation, which has brought together 52 Black poets from around the world to study with 5 award winning faculty members, do generative writing each day, cultivate (artistic) community among and throughout the African diaspora.

Dr. León is a member of the SF Writers Grotto and The Ruby in San Francisco. She is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts. She also teaches workshops with The Speakeasy Project. The next one comes up in February. She is also a board member of Daraja Education FundMaking Us Matter, steering committee member of CantoMundo, and co-founder of StoryJoy Inc.

She is a creative arts practitioner and co-learner holding space in various communities. She is passionate about Afro-futurism, genealogy & walking in relationship with our ancestors, ecopoetics, writing for change, writing for healing & health, and mothering.