Dr. Jack S. Monell

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Dr. Jack S. Monell is the Faculty Senate Chair and Associate Professor of Justice Studies in the Department of History, Politics and Social Justice.  He instructs a range of courses from Criminology to Juvenile Justice to Social Justice and tackles many of the societal issues often seen through popular culture and the media.  He has over twenty eight years working for various government and institutional entities and his last 11 years at Winston-Salem State University.  Dr. Monell’s recent work includes, “Black Masculinity, Media Stereotyping and its Influence on Policing in the United States: A Functionalist Perspective,” (Palgrave & Macmillan),“Policing and the Black Community: History, Reality and a Model for Change” (Brill Publishers) and “A Preliminary Examination of Hegemonic Masculinity: Definitional Transference of Black Masculinity Effecting Lethal Tactics against Black Males” (MSU Press), delves into the historical violence perpetrated towards black males because of police violence, popular culture misrepresentations and bias.  
Dr. Monell was awarded the Margaret Lang Willis Outstanding Criminal Justice Educator Award by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Association in 2022. The Martin Luther King, Jr. “Building the Bridge” award for his social justice activism in the Triad by Winston-Salem State and Wake Forest Universities in 2021 and 2016.  Additionally, Dr. Monell was awarded the “Citizen of the Year” award by the Psi Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated in 2020 for his tireless service not only in the community of Winston-Salem, but overall state of North Carolina. 


As a national trainer, he provides technical and supportive services to local, state, and Federal agencies in the fields of criminal justice and social work.  His many speaking engagements address African American masculinity, delinquency, and gang activity.  Dr. Monell received his PhD from Walden University, MSW from Howard University, post graduate certificate in Sociology from Appalachian State University, and BA from Towson State University, respectively.   Dr.  Monell’s areas of interest include Afro-Latino communities, African American male masculinity, urban youth and their families, popular culture, gangs, and delinquency paradigm shifts.  He is an active member of the American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the North Carolina Criminal Justice Association.  

What is your title and job responsibilities?

I currently serve as the Faculty Senate Chair and Associate Professor of Justice Studies in the Department of History, Politics & Social Justice, at Winston-Salem State University.  In the faculty senate role, I advocate for our dynamic faculty interests not only institutionally, but throughout the UNC system. On a system level, I serve on the Executive Committee in representing our three-delegate caucus, covering five institutions.

In my role as associate professor, my duties range from instructional, to mentoring, to empowering our undergraduates to be social change agents while unleashing their genius.

What would you like for your legacy to be?

I have dedicated my life in ensuring all students have an opportunity to better themselves through educational access.  I live by the statement, “education saved my life,” and believe all persons deserve equitable access to educational options to place themselves in better positions in life.  I am a scholarly activist and hope that when I am long and gone, students, community activists, and practitioners, will continue the work combatting social injustices against our community.

What has been the most difficult thing you had to overcome?

I strongly believe that we all have a testimony!  In that, all of our challenges have made us who we are today. I am no different. My story, though similar to others, is unique to me.  Growing up in public housing in Brooklyn, New York, during the torrid crack epidemic, and having relatives involved in criminality, I was exposed to a lot as a child during the 70s/80s.

Because of my early exposures to poverty, interpersonal violence, and criminality, I became engaged in delinquency. As I often say today to students and my own sons, behaviors have consequences, and mine was the ultimate one, sadly.  Despite being incredibly bright and gifted, during high school I allowed the streets to get a hold of me.  My juvenile incarceration was the worst period in my life.  For four years I dealt with abuse, depression, and anger, but through some guidance, reading a lot of books, I was able to turn it around.  Clearly, there is more to the story, but the stigma associated with those being formerly incarcerated has been one of my biggest hurdles to overcome.

Why such passion towards black male initiatives?

The reality is that there continues to be a war against the black male. We see it in inner cities to suburbia, to the school systems, to corporate America. The inequities and injustices we see daily are incredibly exhausting! We see popular culture misrepresent black males as every negative stereotype one can imagine, and for others, all we can do is play sports, as if we have no depth! It is my life’s work to change that narrative, through activism, publications, speaking engagements, and of course mentoring our young black males. It saddens me when I hear self-identified intellectuals or religious leaders talk as if we should write off the younger generation, as if they weren’t awry as adolescents. Am I my brothers’ keeper, YES I am!

Where would you like for your career to be in the next five years? 

I have been teaching in the academy for 22 years, the last 11 years at Winston-Salem State University, GO RAMS!  Where I thought I would retire out in the classroom, a leader told me, “Jack- you are a great in the classroom but imagine how much more you can influence outside of the classroom, more administratively, on a macro level.”  That really resonated with me because as much as I enjoy engaging with young people in that capacity, the needs of our students, especially at an HBCU, extend far beyond the classroom.  So, in short, I plan to be in some administrative position, preferably at a Historically Black College & University, because quite frankly, it’s our WAKANDA, and nothing exhilarates me more than seeing black excellence all around you!

His mantra – “It’s not how you start, but how you finish”, a code he lives by…… 


 Social Media

Linkedin – Jack Monell

Twitter – @jackmonell

Instagram – projectkidwphd

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