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Camika Royal

Associate Professor of Urban Education, Initial Certification
Camika Royal

Associate Professor of Urban Education
Fernandez Center- 337


Temple University/ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2012) 
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department
Urban Education

Johns Hopkins University/ Baltimore, Maryland (2001) 
English Education

North Carolina Central University/ Durham, North Carolina (1999)
English Literature, Political Science minor magna cum laude


Dr. Camika Royal is an urban education expert with more than 20 years of experience. Her work focuses on the intersections of race, politics, history, and urban school reform. She spent seven years as an urban education professional in the public schools of Baltimore City and Washington, D.C., teaching, coaching teachers, and helping to lead a charter high school. In 2006, Dr. Royal returned to her hometown—Philadelphia—and transitioned to higher education, first by teaching pre-service teachers at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, then for other colleges and universities in the Philadelphia and Baltimore regions, while she continued to coach and support urban school leaders and teacher educators.

In 2014, she returned to Baltimore as Assistant Professor of Urban Education at Loyola University Maryland. There, she helped to launch the School of Education’s urban education minor, and for two years, she led the Center for Innovation in Urban Education (CIUE). Under her leadership, the CIUE’s externally facing work was aimed toward anti-racist, anti-oppressive education in partnership with urban schools and community organizations. The internally facing work was devoted to challenging the colorblind racist ideology that permeates traditional pre-service preparation and in-service educator development. During her tenure, she established the CIUE’s first ever Community Advisory Board, secured a partnership with the Baltimore Algebra Project, and brought the Free Minds, Free People Conference to Loyola University Maryland in the summer of 2017. In 2021, Dr. Royal was tenured and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

Dr. Royal’s debut book, Not Paved For Us: Black Educators and Public School Reform in Philadelphia, was released in 2022 from Harvard Education Press. She is a highly requested speaker, consultant, and professional developer on issues of school context-based racism and other forms of oppression through ideologies, policies, and practices. Dr. Royal earned her bachelor of arts degree in English Literature at North Carolina Central University, her master of arts in teaching degree at Johns Hopkins University, and her doctor of philosophy in urban education at Temple University.

View her speaking about school reform in Philadelphia:



Announcing Dr. Royal's New Book

Not Paved for Us

Order Dr. Royal’s book here:

Research Interests

Social and Political Context of School Reform Policies
Urban Educators
Educator Efficacy and Resilience
Critical Race Theory
Historical Foundations of Schooling

Selected Publications

Royal, C. and Cothorne, A.  (2021).  School closures and urban education.  In Handbook of Urban Education, Second Edition, Kofi Lomotey and H. Richard Milner (Eds.). Routledge

Royal, C. and Dodo Seriki, V. (2018). Overkill: Black lives and the spectacle of the Atlanta cheating scandal. Urban Education special issue, Urban Youth, Schooling, and Education in the Era of Black Lives Matter, 53(2) 196-211.

Royal, C. and Gibson, S. (2017). “They schools”: Culturally relevant pedagogy under siege. Teachers College Record special issue, A dream deferred: A retrospective view of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, 118(12). Gloria Ladson-Billings, Adrienne Dixson, Vanessa Dodo-Seriki, and Cory Brown (Guest Eds.)

Royal, C. (2017). Peace, be still: Black educators coping with constant school reform in Philadelphia. In Linking Health and Education for African American Student Success, Nadine Finigan-Carr (Ed.). Routledge

Dixson, A., Royal, C., and Henry, K. L.  (2014).  School reform and school choice in Philadelphia, Chicago, and New Orleans.  In Handbook of Urban Education, Kofi Lomotey and H. Richard Milner (Eds.).  Routledge Royal, C. and Davis, J. E. (2010). Leaders of the New School: Teachers As Leaders in the Future of School Reform. New Perspectives in Educational Leadership: Exploring Social, Political, and Community Contexts in Meaning, Sonya Horsford (Ed.).  New York: Peter Lang. 
Royal, C.  (January 30, 2013).  Our education system is not broken, it’s designed to create winners and losers.  

Royal, C.  (November 8, 2012).  Please stop using the phrase ‘achievement gap’.