DANIEL E. WALKER, PhD
Dr. Daniel E. Walker is an internationally recognized scholar and filmmaker and a dynamic public speaker. Channeling intelligence, creativity and a passion for social justice, he makes good things happen.
Dr. Walker is the author of the critically-acclaimed book No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans, writer/director of the documentary films Sol Brothers, When Roosters Crow, Let's Have Church, and The Ten, a producer on the Emmy Award-winning television series Artbound, founder of the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival, and lead historian for the exhibit How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles (California African American Museum).
He holds a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University where he was also the president of the student government association, an M.A. in Latin American History (with distinction) from the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. (with distinction) in Latin American and African American History from the University of Houston. In 2018, Dr. Walker was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University for his global contributions to arts, design, and innovation.
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Dr. Daniel E. Walker is an internationally acclaimed scholar, artist, and social entrepreneur working in the fields of history, film, religion, education, digital archives, and theatre. A product of Head Start, his early life was impacted by an inspiring cadre of community organizers in his hometown of Fontana, California.
Holding a B.A. in Psychology (San Diego State University), an M.A. (with distinction) in Latin American History (University of California, Riverside) and a Ph.D. (also with distinction) in Latin American and African American History (University of Houston), Walker is the author of the critically acclaimed book No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans and served as a Research Associate at the University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) from 2004-2016. His scholarship has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Caribbean History, CLA Journal, and the Western Journal of Black Studies. Additionally, he served as co-curator for the major exhibits Sunshine and Central with Matt Gainer, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, and How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles with Tyree Boyd Pates at the California African American Museum.
Film, Television, and Theatre
Dr. Walker is the founder and director of the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival, one of the world's prime events for showcasing and cultivating diverse content and content creators. He is also the writer/producer of the films When Roosters Crow, Sol Brothers, The Ten, and Let’s Have Church, a producer on the Emmy Award-winning television program Artbound (KCETLink), and the creator and executive producer of the forthcoming docu-series Gospel in collaboration with the Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated production company Spring Films. In theater, Walker’s more than 25-year collaboration with acclaimed Honduran playwright Rickerby Hinds, head of the Playwriting Department at the University of California at Riverside, literally created the field of Hip Hop Theatre with the genre-defining work Daze to Come, the first full-length play to use Hip Hop as the primary language of stage, and then stood it on its head again with Buck World One (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Mama Theatre).
Education, Student Leadership, and College Access
At age 19, Walker and Dr. Shawn A. Ginwright, then both college sophomores at San Diego State University, founded Leadership Excellence, a non-profit organization that utilized college students to teach leadership and academic skills to urban youth. The organization annually placed over 97% of its high school participants in accredited colleges and universities and is the subject of the book Black Youth Rising: Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America (Teachers College Press, 2009). He was also elected student government president at San Diego State University.
As an educational reformer, Dr. Walker was a member of the development team of Hardy Brown College Prep, one of California’s highest performing urban schools, project lead for the establishment of the Los Angeles School of Arts and Entertainment, and Board Chair of the BLU Educational Foundation, one of the nation's leading organizations working to increase the college graduation rates of traditionally underrepresented students. For the past two decades, he has also served as lead historian for the Footsteps to Freedom Underground Railroad Study Tour. The seven-day tour across five states and Canada uses lessons from the Underground Railroad to teach diversity, team building, and leadership skills to hundreds of K-12 educators each year.
Religion and Community Development
Dr. Walker is the founding director of the Gospel Music History Archive at the USC Digital Library and was one of the lead scholars in the development of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Archive, also at the USC Digital Library. The author of the seminal study “Black Church Next: Challenges and Opportunities Facing African American Congregations in 21st Century Los Angeles,” he is an expert in faith-based organizing and community economic development. Walker was formerly the director of education and college access at Chapel of Peace Community Church in South Los Angeles, leader of Faith First (a ministry to homeless men and urban youth at the Central City Lutheran Mission), member of the Youth Ministry Advisory Board of the Diocese of San Bernardino, project lead for New City Schools (an effort to reinvigorate Lutheran-inspired education in urban America), project manager with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director of the Tijuana/San Diego affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, and a youth minister at Imani Temple Church.
Major Fellowships, Grants, and Honors
A recipient of the prestigious New York City Urban Fellowship, Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, and Coro Fellowship (declined), among the entities that have recognized Dr. Walker and his work in the form of fellowships, awards, and grants include; the Louisville Institute, the James Irvine Foundation, the Texas State Historical Association, the Templeton Foundation, the California Endowment, the Southern Conference on African American Studies, KGTV Television, the Long Beach Arts Commission, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the African American Public Policy Institute, the Historical Society of Southern California, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Flora Hewlett Foundation, Indiana University, and the Haynes Foundation.
Dr. Walker is a former Assistant Professor of Latin American and American History at Indiana University, Visiting Professor of Latin American History at Occidental College, and Associate Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of Houston. At Indiana University, Walker co-founded one of the nation’s only Ph.D. programs in the History of the African Diaspora and also created and directed an initiative that exponentially increased the number of African American and Latino graduate students within the Department of History. He also spent seven years as a full-time professor of History at San Bernardino Valley College and was consistently one of the highest rated professors at the University of California, Riverside where he taught in the Ethnic Studies Department.
He currently serves as a Professor of History at El Camino College in Torrance, California.
Dr. Walker's greatest joy comes from being the father of Aeron and Isaiah Walker.