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Photo of Germinaro, Kaleb

Kaleb Germinaro, PhD

Assistant Professor

Curriculum & Instruction

Pronouns: He/Him/His


Building & Room:

ETMSW 3220

Office Phone:




With the aim to institute theory into action, Kaleb works in community with folks to address issues of equity, justice and space. In addition to his responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he stewards Estelita's Library, a small social justice library and bookstore and serves as a board member for the Equitable Development Initiative for the City of Seattle and Environmental Works, a non-profit architecture firm. His experiences have solidified his approach to disability, spatial and environmental justice through designing and implementing learning environments. He keenly pays attention to and focuses on space, how his disability and Blackness are supported and/or suppressed in spaces, and how he navigates justice and liberation through his spatial orientations. Three lines of inquiry are most pertinent at the moment:

1) the role of Black and Disability theories and knowledge in how we understand the role of learning and education in climate, spatial and social justice.
2) how youth engage intersections of race, the environment and space through community design and the built environment
3) Black theories and knowledge's methodological and theoretical contributions community based design research and ethnography.

Kaleb received his PhD in Learning Sciences & Human Development from the University of Washington. He attended the University of Pennsylvania for his MS in Human Development and his BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a focus in Urban Studies. He moved to Philadelphia from Phoenix, where he grew up and played football, allowing him to play in college. Many things are important to him; they all boil down to justice and liberation in many forms. Sometimes it looks like designing a lesson plan, and other times it looks like facilitating caring for friends. In his free time, he enjoys photography, biking, short (incline-less) strolls through the woods and his pup.

- Black & Design Education
- Learning, Space, and Place
- Environmental, Disability and Spatial Justice

Selected Grants

City of Seattle, Equitable Development Initiative, Library Steward

King County 4Culture, Building for Equity, Library Steward

Donaghue Foundation, Pharmacy Transitional Team: Evaluating the Value for Patients with Limited English Proficiency, Co-PI

Selected Publications

Melendez, J. W., Hock, A., Taylor, K. H., Shea, M., Germinaro, K., Elliott, E., … & Tivaringe, T. (2023). Lifespans of Civic Engagement: Imagining and Enacting Justice-Centered Civic Learning Trajectories. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of the Learning Sciences-ICLS 2023, pp. 1702-1711. International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Washington, S. A., Mendoza Chui, K., Ramirez, J. I., & Germinaro, K. (2023). “It’sa Vibe”: Belonging, Healing, and Liberation in Community Spaces By Us and For Us. Equity & Excellence in Education, 1-16.

Germinaro, K. (2022). Healing through geography: A spatial-learning analysis and praxis. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 11(3).

Germinaro, K. (2022). In Between the Lines: Black and Brown Adolescents Creating a Homeplace Across School Settings. Urban Education.

Germinaro, K., Dunn, E., Polk, K. D., de Vries, H. G., Daugherty, D., & Jones, J. (2022). Diversity in outdoor education: Discrepancies in SEL across a school overnight program. Journal of Experiential Education, 45(3), 256-275.

Sanchez, A., Germinaro, K., & Guevara, C. (2021) How to productively reframe eco-anxiety as a science communicator or educator. STEM Teaching Tools: Practice Brief #80.

Notable Honors

2023, Dissertation Award, AAG Critical Geographies of Education Speciality Group

2022, Gatzert Child Welfare Dissertation Fellow, University of Washington

2019-2021, Community Partners Fellow, University of Washington


PhD in Learning Sciences & Human Development, University of Washington
MS in Human Development, University of Pennsylvania
BA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Professional Memberships

Association of American Geographers

America Education Research Association

Black in Design