Abena Subira Mackall is a doctoral candidate concentrating in Culture, Communities, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an Inequality & Criminal Justice Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Spencer Foundation Early Career Scholar in New Civics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and was awarded the Julius B. Richmond Dissertation Fellowship by the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University in 2016. While at Harvard Abena has served as an Editor and Co-Chair of the Harvard Educational Review.
Abena taught 6th grade special education in New York City and worked as an instructional coach for preservice ELA teachers in Boston. Additionally, she has a deep commitment to improving the educational opportunities for people involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Abena has worked as health instructor and academic mentor in correctional facilities. Her experiences in classrooms in both public schools and prisons have shaped the topics and approaches she uses in her research. Abena's previous work has examined formerly incarcerated adults' subjective experiences in prison-based jobs, classes, and programs. Her current projects include a study of person-level and institution-level patterns in the completion of prison-based programming in a sample of individuals in Massachusetts state prisons, and an exploration of the social and developmental implications of being arrested during late adolescence.
Abena holds an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a MSEd in Special Education from Hunter College, and an AB in Politics from Princeton University.