Charles M. Payne is the Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University- Newark where he also directs the Joseph Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Research. He is a sociologist whose interests include urban education and school reform, continuous improvement research, social inequality, social change, and modern African American history. His books Getting What We Ask For: The Ambiguity of Success and Failure in Urban Education; So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Education; and I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Dignity-Affirming Education: Cultivating ‘Somebodiness’ in Students and Educators, (Teachers College Press, April 2022). He has won several teaching awards at Northwestern University and Duke University and served briefly as Chief Academic Officer for Chicago Public Schools.