Daphne Ntiri

Faculty Profile

PT SS-9M External/Non-Instr


African American Studies

Secondary Title

PI WSU Another Chance Program


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


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 Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of African American Studies, Wayne State University. Her major areas of research are adult education and literacy, gender and Third World studies and African American 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. Her faculty appointments include Universities of Uppsala, Ouagadougou and Djibouti. Prof. Ntiri has a robust international research history and under auspices of the United Nations (UNESCO), she served as consultant on adult education/literacy and gender promotion in Paris, France, Dakar, Senegal and Kismayo, Somalia before launching her long-term adult literacy initiatives at Wayne State University with the support of 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 is a native of Sierra Leone. She received her undergraduate degree from Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone and Masters and doctorate degrees from Michigan State University. She completed a predoctoral fellowship at the International Institute for Labor Studies/International Labor Office (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

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. unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000113877
  • 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


Courses taught

  • AFS 5110 The Black woman in America
  • AFS 5310 Literacy and urban society
  • AFS 3610 The Africans
  • African American Culture: African American history and aesthetics

Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

  • Invited Faculty Researcher, University of Uppsala, Centre for Gender Studies, Sweden
  • Fulbright Scholar, University of Ouagadougou
  • IFESH Scholar, University of Djibouti
  • United States Congress - Literacy Issues Forum
  • UNESCO consultancies - France, Senegal and Somalia
  • Research Fellow, International Institute for Labor Studies, Switzerland

Research Description

Dr. Daphne W. Ntiri served as consultant to the United Nations (UNESCO) in field assignments on adult education in France, Senegal and Somalia in the 1980s after which she joined Wayne State University faculty where she is now Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies. She writes empirically from an interdisciplinary perspective integrating theory and practice on research intersecting Third World issues, women and adult education/literacy. Her research has resulted in the publication of over 40 articles and chapters in both national and international refereed journals including International Review of Education, International Journal of Sociology of the Family, Journal of Geriatrics and Geriatric Education, Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, Western Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and Urban Education to name a few. Her edited book entitled Partnerships in Adult Education was published by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education in 1999. She was also editor of the Models for Adult and Lifelong Learning Journal Series in the now defunct Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Lifelong Learning.

Professor Ntiri has further distinguished herself by forging successful partnerships and initiating research-based external contracts amounting to over $3,000,000 on behalf of Wayne State University. Such funding has resulted in the emergence of several intercollegiate and outreach sub-units namely the Council for Excellence in Adult Learning (CEAL), Office of Adult and Lifelong Learning Research (ALLR) in the former Interdisciplinary Studies Department and Another Chance (AC) currently in the Africana Studies Department. CEAL promoted postgraduate teacher training; ALLR advanced research and scholarship and enhanced institutional capacity-building while AC is outreaching the community and launching innovative curricular and technological initiatives to aid local residents seeking advanced academic skills.

Professor Ntiri has been recognized by Wayne State University for her scholarly achievements and service record. She has been the recipient of the coveted WSU Career Development Chair Award (1995), the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000), the College of Lifelong Learning Teaching Award (1999), the Alumni Service Award (1999), and the Women of Wayne Award (2006). Professor Ntiri was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Adult Education from the State of Michigan (2006).

Professor Ntiri has also given considerable time and attention over the last twenty-five years to advancing the successful careers of professional and legendary local jazz artists such as Marcus Belgrave, Charlie Gabriel and Harold McKinney, Lawrence Williams (the latter two deceased); and many other leading writers and artists including Naomi Long Madgett, Brenda Perryman through procurement of financial sources to fund their stellar artistic careers.

Professor Ntiri completed her doctorate degree at Michigan State University after a pre-doctoral assignment with the International Institute for Labor Studies and the International Labor Office in Geneva, Switzerland. She holds consultative status with the International Institute of Education in Hamburg relative to CONFITEA.

Affiliated Departments