Dr. Daniel E. Walker

A proud alum of Head Start, Dr. Daniel E. Walker is an internationally recognized scholar, artist, and social entrepreneur working in the fields of education, economic and community development, arts and entertainment, religion, and public history. 


K-12 Education 


Seeking to ensure a high quality education for all, Dr. Walker was a member of the development team of Hardy Brown College Prep, project lead for the establishment of the Los Angeles School of Arts and Entertainment and is the 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 eight-day tour, across four states and Canada, uses lessons from the Underground Railroad to help hundreds of K-12 educators each year to put equity into action.


Economic & Community Development


A leader in the area of community economic development, Dr. Walker is a former Project Manager at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director of the Tijuana/San Diego affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, and economic development consultant to former San Diego City Councilman George Stevens, the Broward County Chamber of Commerce, and a host of faith-based community development efforts. 


Awarded a New York City Urban Fellowship, W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship, and Coro Fellowship (declined), a short list of major foundations that have supported his work includes the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the California Endowment, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Louisville Institute. 


Arts and Entertainment


Dr. Walker is the writer, director, and Executive Producer of the films When Roosters Crow, Sol Brothers, and The Path and the founding director of the Long Beach Indie International Film and Entertainment Festival. As an Executive Producer with KCET, he was awarded a Golden Mike Award by the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California and a Southern California Journalism Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, both for Best Entertainment Reporting, for How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles


One of the founding producers in the field of Hip Hop theatre, two decades before Hamilton, Walker produced a number of the early works of Honduran-born playwright Rickerby Hinds, including Daze to Come, the first full-length work of theater to use Hip Hop as the primary language of the stage and Buck World One which went on to play the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and New York’s La Mama theater, among others. 


Public History & Digital Humanities Initiatives


The author of the acclaimed book No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans, he is also the founding director of the Gospel Music History Archive at the University of Southern California Libraries. 


His major exhibitions include Sunshine and Central (with Matt Gainer), commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles rebellion for the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles (with Tyree Boyd-Pates) at the California African American Museum, and It’s Been Said All Along: Rage, Hope and Empowerment (curator Nwaka Onwusa) currently running at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 


Recent Media Coverage


The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, the Daily Mail (UK), TheGrio.com, Yahoo!.com, KGTV (San Diego), Fox News 26 (Houston, TX), The LA Times, KFI Radio (Los Angeles), The Fontana Herald News, The Los Angeles Sentinel, KCET (Southern California), KTLA TV (Los Angeles), KPCC (Los Angeles), NPR, Newsweek, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), The New York Post, the New York Daily News, and the Black Voice News are just a small sample of the media outlets that have featured Dr. Walker’s insights and knowledge. 




Dr. Daniel E. Walker holds a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University where he was also elected 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 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University for his global contributions to arts, design, and innovation. 


Dr. Walker is a proud graduate of Fontana High School where he also served as Senior Class President. GO STEELERS!

Contact Dr. Walker