Greetings students and colleagues! My name is Janine Nkosi and I’m a dedicated and passionate sociologist, activist-educator, and community organizer. I am firmly committed to working alongside my students to develop and deepen their sociological imagination through critical community-based research and organizing. I started teaching Sociology at Fresno State in 2011 and was blessed to join the Merritt College Sociology Department in Spring 2020! I’m a proud first-generation college graduate. I began my higher ed journey at Fresno City College as a single mom of two beautiful children, Asante and Jennifer. My children are my strength, courage, inspiration, and determination. I did not achieve a high school diploma or GED, but I did earn an associate degree in Liberal Studies and five additional degrees– a bachelor’s in Sociology, master’s in Counseling, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fresno State (Bulldog pride!), and dual master’s in Sociology, and Chicana and Chicano Studies from my hometown college San José State University (go Spartans!). My love and life partner, Shaheed, was born and raised in Oakland. We’re thankful to return home to our Bay Area roots. Far too many of our family members and friends have been pushed out of our hometowns due to the enduring legacy of racial capitalism. 


I strive every day to put my sociological knowledge, skills, and passion into action as a Regional Community Organizer with Faith in the Valley– a multiracial, multiethnic, and multifaith grassroots community organization dedicated to working alongside residents to advance racial justice across the Central Valley. My teaching, research, and organizing philosophy is rooted in Critical Race Theory and methodologies, Critical Pedagogy, Community Cultural Wealth, and Funds of Knowledge. Collectively, this model centers students’ lived experience, fosters critical consciousness and praxis, is inspiring, loving, joyful, academically rigorous, and aims to advance racial and economic justice. I care very deeply about my family, my students, and my community. I’m passionate about connecting classroom learning to meaningful community change. If you’d like to know more about me, check out my ePortfolio: and connect with me on Twitter @JanineNkosi.  


I look forward to working alongside you in the classroom, on campus, and/or in the community!