Dr. Alan Takeall, PhD: New York Professor Teaches Global Peace and Justice

Livingston Zug, Community Editor

Dr. Alan Takeall, the new Global Peace and Justice (9th grade) teacher, is one of a kind. Since he was little, he’s been fascinated with teaching and social justice. Takeall grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, in an all-Black community. “My brother and I were the ‘good kids,’” he said. Many of his family members were/are teachers or otherwise involved in education. While in high school, he participated in ROTC, but he also had a creative side. “I was one of those nerdy, artsy kids.” He attended Florida A&M, an HBCU founded in 1887 in Tallahassee and his grandmother’s alma mater.

Takeall has been teaching since 2005, mainly at several colleges and universities in the New York City area. He taught sociology and a variety of relevant subjects, including urban studies, prison injustice, and a course called Black Intellectual Thought at the undergraduate level. He also taught a semester at Columbia University in the African-American studies department. Takeall has taught at colleges across New York, including Barnard and Queens. “My focus is mainly looking at the intersection of race and class in relation to education and outcomes,” he said.

In 2017 he received a PhD in sociology from CUNY. His dissertation, titled Culture and Class in Marginalized Minority Educational Attainment, explores the possible effects of race, gender and class on the education and future attainment prospects of minority kids in America. He concluded that the largest factor in predicting future success is socioeconomic status, which can, to a large extent, limit or expand access to educational opportunities. “These findings imply that while micro-level strategies for improving Black and Latino student future educational attainment might be effective, the primary levers for change exist at the level of institutions and structures.” (Takeall, 151) But Takeall also points out that to improve the current situation, a good first step would be to begin to address factors like the racial wealth gap and other class-related structures. His work, he says, has led him to new and different outlooks on those issues.

Takeall found the concept of teaching Global Peace and Justice at Friends intriguing, and inspirational. “The class is so unique,” Takeall said. “I get to teach what I love.” The class indeed carries a significant weight of importance; the learning which takes place there can be foundational. Although he is relatively new to the high school environment, he already is making his mark. “I really enjoy Mr. Takeall’s class,” Devin Wallace ‘24 said. “The way that he does the class discussions makes them very inclusive and informative, and it’s very easy to voice your opinions because you feel valued.” Takeall is a wonderful addition to faculty; his unique perspective as a New York intellectual as another layer of insight to the school which will surely be beneficial.


For those interested in learning more about Takeall’s work, please check out his dissertation: