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Charity Anderson

Senior Research Associate

Charity Anderson is a Senior Research Associate at the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies and academic director of the Clemente Veterans’ Initiative Newark, a humanities course focused on themes of war and reconciliation for veterans and civilians. Charity is a former New York City Teaching Fellow and high school teacher; she taught in Title I high schools in Brooklyn and Queens and at a Medicaid-funded, residential psychiatric treatment facility for youth in Manhattan. She has also worked as an evaluator of first-year teachers in the Chicago Teaching Fellows Program. Her research interests include urban education, poverty and inequality, and transformative education for disenfranchised adults and youth.

She is particularly interested in courses like the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a free, college credit-bearing course for low-income adults, which she studied for two years as part of her dissertation research. Across the US, Clemente brings nontraditional adult learners together to tackle philosophy, literature, art and US history, and critical thinking and writing taught by college professors. Clemente graduates overwhelmingly report positive experiences in the course and describe feeling empowered as citizens and parents as a result of their participation. Charity holds a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Chicago.

Cornwall reports:

Anderson, C. (2019). Place-based scholarships. Newark, NJ: Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies.

Anderson, C. (2018). School boards: A brief review of the literature. Newark, NJ: Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies.

Selected publications:

Broege, N., & Anderson, C. (2020). Inequality in isolation: Educating students with disabilities during COVID-19. In G. Muschert, K. Budd, M. Christian, D. Lane, & J. Smith (Eds.), Social Problems in the Age of COVID-19. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

Anderson, C., & Henry, M. (2020). “Listen and let it flow”: A researcher and participant reflect on the qualitative research experience. The Qualitative Report, 25(5), 1145-1195.

Anderson, C. (2019).“His sense of humor carried the day”: Using humor with nontraditional adult learners. Adult Learning, 31(1), 3-5.

Anderson, C. (2019). Place-based scholarship programs: A review of the literature. Educational Review.

Heath, R. D., Anderson, C., Turner, A. C., & Payne, C. M. (2018). Extracurricular activities and disadvantaged youth: A complicated – but promising – story. Urban Education.

Anderson, C., Turner, A. C., Heath, R. D., & Payne, C. M. (2016). On the meaning of grit. The Urban Review, 48(2), 198-219.


Anderson, C. (2021). “We went through a pandemic together”: Strategies for facilitating transformative learning among nontraditional adult learners during a crisis. Journal of Transformative Education.

Anderson, C., & See, H. (Accepted). “To be educated is to be free”: Literacy’s role in liberatory education practices. Forthcoming in A. Kemp, J. Flynn, & J. Lupinacci (Eds.), Emancipating education: Considerations of a deferred dream and visions for change. Brill | Sense.

Irby, D., Payne, C. M., & Anderson, C. (Eds.) (Under contract; expected 2021). Somebodiness: A call for dignity-affirming education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.