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Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee works in the area of Education Innovation and Extended Reality. Cliff is a Professor of Education and program director of the Educators for Liberation, Justice and Joy (ELJJ) teacher education program at Mills College at Northeastern University.

Prior to academia, Cliff was a founding English, history, and media arts teacher at Life Academy in the Oakland, where he earned his National Board certification. His research, teaching, and social justice advocacy examines and uplifts the ingenuity, intelligence, and creativity of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth. His community-based research works at the intersections of critical pedagogy, computational thinking, youth culture, media production, technology, and creative expression.

His 2023 released MIT Press book, Code For What? Computer Science for Storytelling and Social Justice, co-authored with Elisabeth Soep, shares findings from his work as a scholar-in-residence at YR Media, a national network of youth media creatives. Cliff has published in Equity & Excellence in Education; ACM Transactions on Computer Education; Learning, Media and Technology; Linguistics in Education; Research in the Teaching of English; The San Francisco Chronicle, and others. Cliff is also deeply engaged in examining the conditions necessary to prepare and sustain urban educators, particularly BIPOC and Ethnic Studies teachers.

His latest research project connects indigenous knowledge, ecological justice, and civically-engaged STEAM projects with youth in East Oakland. Cliff received his Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from UCLA, Master of Arts in Education from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Arts from UC San Diego.


Art + Design


  • Ph.D., Urban Schooling, UCLA
  • M.A., Education, Stanford University
  • B.A., Political Science, UC San Diego