Elizabeth Todd-Breland was appointed to the Chicago Board of Education by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and began serving on June 26, 2019.
Professor Todd-Breland is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research and teaching focus on U.S. urban history, African American history, and the history of education. Her work also explores interdisciplinary issues related to racial and economic inequality, urban public policy, neighborhood transformation, education policy, and civic engagement. Her book, A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago since the 1960s , analyzes transformations in Black politics, shifts in modes of education organizing, and the racial politics of education reform from the 1960s to the present. Professor Todd-Breland’s writing has appeared in scholarly journals and edited volumes. She has also contributed to popular outlets, including NPR, ESPN, the Washington Post, and local radio, television, print, and online media.
Professor Todd-Breland coordinates professional development workshops, curricula, and courses for teachers and gives public talks on African American history, urban education, and racial equity. Todd-Breland is a CPS parent, served as a community member on a Local School Council, and worked with Chicago high school students as a social studies instructor and college counselor.
Professor Todd-Breland’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Academy of Education, Spencer Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Social Science Research Council, Ford Foundation, and UIC Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy. She earned her PhD in History from the University of Chicago.