Daphne Ntiri

Daphne Ntiri

PI WSU Another Chance Program

313-577-7683 direct; 313-577-2321 (messages

313-577-6929 (fax)


 Department of African American Studies, 5057 Woodward Ave, #11207.2, Detroit, Michigan 48202

Curriculum vitae





Daphne Ntiri

Daphne W. Ntiri, Ph.D., has been privileged to hold faculty, administrative, and consultant positions in the international, academic, and public sectors. She is currently Professor in the Department of African American Studies, Wayne State University. Her major areas of research are African American studies, adult education and literacy, transformative learning, gender and Third World studies. She is the recipient of several distinguished awards notably the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, the Distinguished Service Professor, Career Development Chair and the Arthur Johnson Individual Community Leadership in addition to the Fulbright and IFESH fellowships. Prof. Ntiri has a robust international research history that incorporates consultancies to the United Nations on adult literacy and gender promotion in Africa. Her faculty appointments include Universities of Uppsala, Ouagadougou and Djibouti. Under auspices of the United Nations (UNESCO), Professor Ntiri served as consultant on adult education/literacy in Paris, France, Senegal and Somalia before launching her long-term adult literacy initiatives at Wayne State University through state funded and federal grants amounting to over $5 million. Such funding has enabled the creation of departmental sub-units to outreach the community and promote adult education instruction and research and enhance institutional capacity-building. She is committed to creating campus environments that promote learning as a transformative experience for students. She is a prolific and highly funded scholar and a tireless advocate for the underserved. She is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and editor of eight books. Her most recent edited book is, Literacy as gendered discourse: Engaging the voices of women in global society by Information Age Publishing.

Dr. Ntiri received her undergraduate degree from Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone and Masters and doctorate degrees from Michigan State University upon completion of a predoctoral fellowship at the International Institute for Labor Studies/International Labor Office (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • African American studies

  • Adult education and literacy

  • Gender and third world studies

  • Transformative learning


  • African Americans Older Adults' Health and Aging Literacy 
  • Literacy of immigrant African women within the context of Transformative Learning
  • Adult Literacy and urban communities


  • Michigan State University, Ph.D.
  • Michigan State University, Ph.D.

Awards and grants


    Distinguished Service Professor

    International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame award

    Pearls of Hope Foundation, Woman in Education Award

    Arthur L. Johnson Individual Community Leadership Award

    Lifetime Achievement Award, Adult Education, Michigan Department of Education/Labor and Economic Growth

    Women of Wayne Award

    President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

    College of Lifelong Learning Teaching Award

    WSU Alumni Association, Faculty Service Award

    Invited Delegate, 26th Annual Legislative Conference,  US House of Congress, Literacy Issue Forum  

    WSU Career Development Chair Award

  • GRANTS – funded research (selected)

    Principal Investigator (09/2009-06/2020), Workforce Investment Act/Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIA/WIOA) Improving Academic Excellence and Expanding Job Opportunities for Urban Populations. Workforce Development Agency, Michigan Department of Education. $1,259,481.

    Principal Investigator (09/1995 - 01/02), Michigan Covenant with Adult Basic Education: Expanding Adult Education for Teachers and Prospective Adult Educators, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth. $1,183,713.00

    Co-Principal Investigator (1993 - 1996), Council for Excellence in Adult Education (CEAL) to promote professional Adult Education Research and Professional Priorities, Michigan State Department of Education. $1,125,000.00

    Principal Investigator (1994 -1996), Participatory Literacy Education Project (PLEP), United Way of America/Knight Foundation WSU/Detroit Literacy Coalition to research and design theme-based literacy training for ABE instructors and tutors. $112,000.00

    Principal Investigator (1997/8), Family and Intergenerational Literacy, Ameritech to Detroit Literacy Coalition to provide technology equipment and materials to increase internet access to Detroit disadvantaged communities via the Detroit Public Library. $30,000.00

    Principal Investigator (1997/8), Family and Intergenerational Literacy, Brittan Communications Inc. (BCI) of Texas to Detroit Literacy Coalition to provide technology equipment and materials to increase internet access to Detroit disadvantaged communities via the Detroit Public Library. $10,000.00

Selected publications

Editor (books)

  • Literacy as a gendered discourse: Engaging the voices of women in global societies, by Daphne W. Ntiri (Ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing (2015). 

 Refereed Journal articles and chapters

           Literacy of immigrant African women within the context of Transformative Learning. In Literacy as a gendered discourse: Engaging the voices of women in global societies, by Daphne W. Ntiri (Ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. 

            Adult Literacy reform through a womanist lens:  Unpacking the radical pedagogy of Civil Rights Era educator:  Bernice V. Johnson.  Journal of Black Studies. 45(1), 159-166.

             Toward a functional and culturally salient definition of literacy. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 3(2), 97 -104.

             With Stewart, M.  Transformative Learning Intervention: Effect on Functional Health Literacy and Diabetes Knowledge in Older African Americans. Journal of Geriatrics and Geriatric Education, 30(2),100-113.

              Access to Higher Education for Nontraditional Students and Minorities in a Technology-based Society, Urban Education, 36(1), 129-144.

              Older College Students as Tutors for Adult Learners in an Urban Literacy Program. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 43(1), 48-57.

              Problem of Access to Higher Education within the Context of Adult and Lifelong  Learning in the U.S.A" in Lifelong Learning and Institutions of Higher Education in the 21st Century. Werner Mauch and Renuka Narang (Eds.). Hamburg: UNESCO Institute for Education and University of Mumbai, pp. 104-111. Available at:  http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001138/113877eo.pdf

               Africa's Educational Dilemma:  Towards an Integrated Model of Roadblocks to Universal Literacy for Social Integration and Change. International Review of Education, 39(5), 357-372.

  •   Circumcision and Health among Rural Women of Southern Somalia as part of a Family  Life Survey. Health Care for Women International, 14(3), 215-226.

Currently teaching

  • AFS 3610 X 2 (4 credits online)

  • The Africans (Foreign Culture GEN ED course)

Courses taught

  • AFS 5110 The Black woman in America
  • AFS 5310 Literacy and urban society
  • AFS 3610 The Africans


Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

  • Invited Faculty Researcher, University of Uppsala, Centre for Gender Studies
  • Fulbright Scholar, University of Ouagadougou, African American Studies
  • United States Congress - Literacy Issues Forum
  • UNESCO consultancies - France, Senegal and Somalia - Improving educational proficiencies of both rural and urban populations and            eliminating illiteracy



Citation index