Darrick Smith

Darrick Smith

Associate Professor


Dr. Smith is the founder and former Director of the TryUMF (pronounced "triumph") program in his hometown of Oakland, CA and formerly served as the Co-Director/Principal of the June Jordan School for Equity in San Francisco.

He has served as a trainer and administrative coach in local school districts as well as a Center Director under the Foundation for California Community Colleges — the system for which he still consults as a trainer for the statewide Professional Learning Network. Nationally, Dr. Smith also currently serves as a national consultant for the Now is the Time Technical Assistance (NITT-TA) Center funded through the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Internationally, Dr. Smith serves as a professor to practitioners serving within the East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools and served as a lecturer and scientific reviewer for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) International Summer School in Warsaw, Poland.

Research Areas

  • School Discipline and Culture
  • Social Justice Leadership
  • Equity in Higher Education


  • Co-Chair, School of Education Curriculum Committee, 2016-2019


  • San Francisco State University, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, 2012
  • New College of California, MA in Humanities 2006
  • UC Santa Cruz , BA in Sociology, 1996

Prior Experience

  • Center Director, LearningWorks -Foundation for the California Community Colleges
  • Co-Principal, June Jordan School for Equity, San Francisco, CA
  • Founder/ Executive Director, Trying to Uplift My Folks (TryUMF), Oakland CA

Selected Publications

  • Smith, D. (2020). Thoughts on Equity and The California Community Colleges. In C. Platt, A. Hilton, C. Newman, & B. Hinnant-Crawford (Eds). Multiculturalism in Higher Education: Increasing Access and Improving Equity in the 21st Century. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Smith, D. & Yeh, C. J. (2019). Nurturing is Not Enough: A Case Study on Social Justice, Caring, and Discipline, Journal of Education, 199(2), 89-98.
  • Smith, D. (2017). A Critical Perspective on the use of the Trauma Narrative in American Education. In A. Odrowaz-Coates & S. Goswami (Eds). Symbolic Violence in Socio-Educational Contexts: A Post-Colonial Critique, 24-35.
  • Smith, D. (2016). A Humanizing Approach to Improving School Disciplinary Culture. Bank Street Occasional Papers Series, 35, 75-87.
  • Smith, D. (2015). Disciplinary Third Spaces: A Case Study of a School for Social Justice. The International Journal of Pedagogy, Innovation and New Technologies, 2(2), 10-22