Acacia M. Warren, Ed.D.

Managing Director, UCLA Prison Education Program


  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of Southern California 
  • M.A., Educational Administration, California State University, Dominguez Hills 
  • M.A., Education, University of California, Berkeley 
  • B.A., Liberal Studies, University of California, Riverside


  • Clear Administrative Services Credential, UMass Global
  • Clear Teaching Credential with CLAD, University of California, Berkeley


  • Google Certified Educator – Level 1
  • Adaptive Schools – Advanced, Thinking Collaborative 
  • Cognitive Coaching – Advanced, Thinking Collaborative
  • Gifted/Talented Certification, University of California, San Diego


Dr. Acacia M. Warren has devoted 20+ years to public education, service, and assisting urban youth beat statistical odds against their success. After completing her master’s and credential program at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!), Acacia started teaching summer school in juvenile hall. This experience ignited a life-long passion for justice-centered work in education. The author of two books, Acacia has presented her work on PBL, STEAM, transformative leadership, decolonizing curriculum, inclusion, and equity-centered pedagogy at multiple local and national conferences. 

Acacia is the proud daughter of first-generation parents who fought Jim Crow and systemic racism to become change agents in education. Her father was incarcerated as a young adult and her mother taught in Alameda County schools, including juvenile hall, for over 20 years. Acacia is continuing her parent’s legacy by respectfully disrupting norms that perpetuate institutional and systemic barriers to educational attainment, belonging, and success – especially for minoritized and system-impacted populations. 

Born in Michigan and partially raised in Southern California, Kenya, and the Bay Area, Acacia enjoys listening to jazz music, traveling, reading, writing poetry, spreading kindness, smiling and talking on the phone with her twin sister. She has dedicated her life’s work to amplifying student outcomes and cultivating inclusive spaces for educators and students. Receiving her doctorate in Educational Leadership from USC (Fight On!) further enhanced her knowledge and expertise in highly effective leadership and program management. You can learn more about Acacia’s work on LinkedIn.

Previous Professional Experience

  • Single Subject Program Coordinator, Master of Arts in Teaching + Credential Program, UC Irvine
  • Lecturer and Supervisor, Teacher Education Program, CSU Dominguez Hills
  • Assistant Principal (middle school), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
  • Secondary ELA Coordinator, RtI Expert, and CCSS Facilitator, LAUSD – East District Office
  • Data Coach, Intervention Coordinator, and GATE Coordinator, LAUSD
  • Teacher – 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade, LAUSD
  • Teacher – 2nd Grade, Oakland Unified School District

Previous Courses Taught at UC Irvine

  • ED 302 Directed Secondary Fieldwork Experience 
  • ED 307 Student Teaching in Secondary Schools 
  • ED 247 Teaching Investigation: Exploring Dilemmas of Practice

Previous Courses Taught at CSU Dominguez Hills

  • TED 433 Teaching Practices Seminar 
  • TED 403 Reading/Language Arts Methods 
  • TED 465 Fieldwork: Secondary Interns



  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Advancement (IDEA) Grant
    Role: Facilitator
    Facilitated a series entitled, Enhancing Brave Spaces Through Inclusion Activities.
    Participant goals: learning the critical importance of activism over advocacy, anchoring and advancing equity, social justice and inclusion through collective dialogue and discussion, acknowledging personal bias and blind spots, committing to listening, growing and improving, and being more intentional about creating inclusive spaces in academia.
  • Racial Equity Special Research Grant (Spencer)
    Role: Co-Investigator
    UCI team awarded a Spencer Grant to conduct a qualitative comparative case study along with CSU San Bernardino utilizing the Improvement Science approach to examine recruitment processes and practices for Black/African American teacher candidates.
  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Advancement (IDEA) Grant
    Role: Co-Facilitator
    Co-facilitated a summer book club for the School of Education entitled, “(Re)Imagining the Post-Pandemic Classroom: Book Club and Webinar Series”. Met weekly via Zoom to facilitate the book Stories from Inequity to Justice in Literacy Education: Confronting Digital Divides (2020) by Ernest Morrell, Professor at University of Notre Dame.
  • UCI/Santa Ana Teacher Residency STEM Grant
    Role: Coordinator
    UCI MAT 4-year grant awarded by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to support the recruitment of 10 teacher candidates (science and math), mentor teachers, and university supervisors for a STEM residency. Responsibilities included coordinating student teaching placements, providing training and support for mentor teachers, planning and facilitating quarterly meetings with residency stakeholders, supervisors, and district personnel, generating a student-led newsletter, and collecting and analyzing data.
  • UCI Teacher Academy – Schools First Mini Grant
    Role: Facilitator

    • Conducted a summer PBL Institute for Equity, Social Justice, and Inclusion for K-12 educators
    • Conducted a summer PBL Institute for K-12 educators – article


  • Inspirational Teacher Award – 25 Teachers to Watch, United Way of Los Angeles
  • Certificate of Recognition, LAUSD Board of Education
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office

Intercultural Experiences

Acacia enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures. Traveling also provides the benefit of enhancing knowledge and understanding of schools in a global context. The following countries and states have diversified Acacia’s cultural lens while traveling:

International Travels

  • Africa – Tanzania and Kenya (Acacia attended 5th and 6th grade in Kenya)
  • Albania – Sarand
  • Canada – Victoria and Vancouver
  • Caribbean Islands – Jamaica, Haiti, Aruba, Dominica, Cayman Islands
  • China – Beijing, Tianjin, Hong Kong
  • Croatia – Dubrovnik
  • Greece – Olympia, Mykonos, Athens
  • Italy – Venice and Bari
  • Mexico – Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam
  • Puerto Rico – San Juan
  • Tahiti – Bora Bora
  • U.S. Virgin Islands – St. John and St. Thomas 

​Within the U.S.

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C.