j  leggett
advocate for social change



I am most interested in how disempowered social groups use rights talk as a way to mobilize against injustice. As a professor at an urban community college I am able to learn with a diverse population that represent some of those most common forms of discrimination in everyday life. These dialogues help us deconstruct systemic inequity and reconstruct new knowledge about possible alternatives together. As an educator I have the role-power to design specific interactions in and out of the classroom envirionment. I call these intentional designs structured learning opportunities.

I have engaged in this work for over 20 years. This journey has not been what most would describe as traditional or linear. I was the first in my immediate family to attend college and came from a modest working class family. For much of my post-high school education I was a part-time student, working full-time, and took several breaks. At each turn in the journey I found experienced new ways of integrating my social justice interests with a variety of educational theories and methods.









Jason Leggett is an Assistant Professor of the City University of New York at Kingsborough Community College.  He earned a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Honors with Distinction) focused on political participation and communication at the University of Washington in Seattle. 


He moved to New York City in 2008 to study public interest legal education and began working for City University of New York in 2010. In addition to his full-time teaching load at CUNY Kingsborough in Brooklyn, he has taught for the opportunity programs initiative at Barnard College – Columbia University, and the college experience through Brooklyn Public Libraries.



Jason is the outgoing Director of the CUNY Kingsborough Global and Environmental Studies Concentration and is a nationally recognized contributor and researcher for civic learning and democratic engagement.

Jason conducts most of his research in “Law and Society”. He is completing a 10 year study of legal exclusion within the American immigration and health care systems. This book project will be broken up into three articles examining courts and the law, the history of exclusionary legal language, and legal mobilization, and a legal non-fiction narrative about his journey to find an undocumented immigrant who was illegally deported by a private hospital in Florida.

Jason is also published with co-researchers in culturally responsive teaching, fake news and participatory democracy, civic identity and agency through dialogue, and political ecology and democratic theory. He is currently publishing a chapter on rights consciousness and legal mobilization education. His forthcoming publication is about theory and rights consciousness with students.

Jason’s other major research project builds on a grant awarded by the CUNY interdisciplinary studies initiative examining local community action groups, language and legal advocacy. This work focused on urgent social problems including racism, gender and sexuality discrimination, migration and the climate crisis. Part of this project includes the use of mapping and digital tools to analyze homelessness through these intersecting social problems. He is fortunate to be working with a science honors student to examine neuroscience and the languge of agency.

Jason is also a dedicated nature lover, absurdist-impressionist oil painter, children’s cartoonist, and plays guitar and sings vocals in a one-man garage band with many cameos.



Jason Leggett, J.D.

New York, NY 10023

Course Website: jasonmleggett.commons.gc.cuny.edu
Professional Website: jleggett.commons.gc.cuny.edu
E-Mail: jason.leggett@kbcc.cuny.edu

Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA
J.D., Law focused on International Human Rights, June 2009.
Visiting Research Student: CUNY School of Law, New York, NY.
Comparative Law Program, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Florence, Italy, Summer, 2008.

University of Washington, Seattle, WA
B.A., Political Science, Honors with Distinction, 2005.
Honors Thesis: “Democracy, Window Softening and the Battle for Media Attention: a study of messaging and the policy process in the medical malpractice debate.”

Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA
A.A., Liberal Arts; September 2001 – May 2003.

Teaching Appointments:
Current: Assistant Professor with Tenure Fall 2019
Kingsborough Community College
The City University of New York (CUNY)
Brooklyn, NY 2012-2019

Summer 2018: Instructor of Law and Politics of the Environment
Barnard College at Columbia University
New York, NY 10027-6598

2011-2012: Substitute Assistant Professor
Kingsborough Community College
2010–2011: Substitute Lecturer
Kingsborough Community College

2010: Adjunct Lecturer
Kingsborough Community College

Civic & Professional:
Americorps Vista Community Organizer, Rainier View Elementary School, Seattle, Washington. 2005-2006.

Campaign Manager – 30th Washington Legislative District, Jim Ferrell for State House of Representatives, Federal Way, Washington. 2005-2006

Regional Political Director, Citizens for Transportation Solutions; Pierce County Transit Union; Council of the Blind; the Audobon Society, Tacoma, Washington. 2000-2001.

Program Director, YMCA Youth & Government, Olympia, Washington. 2000.
Volunteer and Outreach Director, “Zoo Trek Parks” – Point Defiance Zoo, Northwest Trek, Metro Parks, Tacoma, Washington. 2000 – 2001.

Legal Research and Writing, Gentile & Associates, New York, New York. 2009 -2010.

Legal Research, Law Offices of David Ruzumna, Esq., Seattle, Washington. 2007 – 2008.

Legal Research and Writing, Workplace Counselor – Beth Van Moppes, Esq., Fremont,
Washington. 2007 – 2008.

Research and Writing & Litigation Preparation, Hainline & Associates, Seattle,
Washington. 2007.

Selected Publications:
Leggett, Jason M., and King-Reilly, Reabeka. (2020). “In the Age of Fake News: Shifting Citizenry, Shifting Thresholds.” Currents in Teaching and Learning. Volume 12, Issue 1.

Jason Leggett (2019) “The Community in Technology: How Collaboration Drives Virtual Spaces,” Liberal Education, https://www.aacu.org/liberaleducation/2019/winter/leggett; https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1222085

Leggett, Jason (2019) Reflection. Bringing Theory to Practice Newsletter.

Leggett, Jason M.; Wen, Jay; and Chatman, Anthony (2018) “Emancipatory Learning, Open Educational Resources, Open Education, and Digital Critical Participatory Action Research,” Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Innovative Pedagogy: Vol. 1 , Article 4.

Leggett J. (2016) Supporting Critical Civic Learning with Interactive Technology. In: Schnee E., Better A., Clark Cummings M. (eds) Civic Engagement Pedagogy in the Community College: Theory and Practice. Education, Equity, Economy, vol 3. Springer.

Leggett J. and Nasser H. N. (2018) The Law and Identity Reader: Cultivating Understanding, Agency, and Advocacy. Cognella, University Readers. A “Coursepack” Anthology for Critical Participatory Action Research.

Submitted Publications:
Accepted. Law and Society Handbook: Legal Mobilization in the Community College Classroom. Estimated Publication Date: Spring 2021.

In Review. Jason Leggett and Helen-Margaret Nasser, “Holistic Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement: From the Ground Up.” Book Chapter, Community Colleges for Democracy: Aligning Civic Engagement with Institutional Priorities. Revise and Resubmit. Seeking alternative publisher due to COVID related setbacks.

Research in Progress:
“Statutory Interpretation, Separation of Powers, and Democratic Theory of the Rule of Law: an  examination of EMTALA in light of globalization.” This articles examines a case study of
international patient dumping. This draft is in the final editing stage.

“Finding Luis,” a book and multi-media project documenting the story of an undocumented immigrant who was unlawfully deported by a not-for-profit hospital in Florida and my subsequent journey to retrace his steps and experience.

“Finding Luis:Law, Identity, Human Rights.” Book Project in Progress.

“The Politics of Legal Exclusion.” Book Project in Progress.

Grants Received
City University of New York. Interdisciplinary Climate Crisis Research Grant. “Sea Rise at our Doorstep: Interdisciplinary Research for Community Action.” March 16, 2021 – April 21, 2021.

Humanities New York. Vision Grant. “UnHomeless.”  October 1, 2019 – April 30, 2020.

Competitive Faculty Development Civic Prompts Institute for Global & Environmental Studies. American Association of Colleges and Universities. March, 2020.
President’s Faculty Innovation Award 2011-2012, Professor Jason Leggett, History, Philosophy,  and Political Science, Hybrid American Government Course and Linked Criminal Justice  Course.

National Endowment for the Humanities and the Association for Colleges & Universities, A Voice and a Force for Liberal Education in the 21st Century. Grant for  “Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking.” Co Research Professor, Motivational Theory & Pedagogy and co-grant writer.

Association for Colleges & Universities and the Bridging Theory to Practice Project,  Supporting and Encouraging Liberal Education in Linking the Learning, Well-being, and Civic Development of Students. Grant for  “Brooklyn Public Scholars.” Co-Research Professor, Digital + Critical Participatory Action;  Interactive Technology & Pedagogy.

Presentations in Conferences:
Presentation Title: “Reimagined Global Education Through Theory and Praxis for a Civic Ethos.” 2020 Virtual Conference on Global Learning: Lessons on Global Learning from Higher Education’s Response to a Global Crisis. American Association for Colleges & Universities. October 8, 2020 to October 10, 2020. https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/global20/Global20-FinalProgram.pdf

Presentation Title: “How environmental legal scholars should analyze the prospects of global-legal cooperation in light of the Paris Accord and the U.S. political impasse.” Mid-Atlantic Conference of Irish Studies. November 2, 2019. https://midatlanticacishome.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/conference-program-ma-acis-2019-page-8-1-1.jpg?w=1582

Webinar Title: Why it Matters More Than Ever: The Community in Technology: How Collaboration Drives Virtual Spaces. (2019). https://aacu.org/webinar/student-success

Presentation Title: “Allyship and Respect.” City University of New York Diversity and Inclusion Conference. March 26, 2019.

Presentation Title: “Engendering Safe Spaces in Global Dialogues amid Intolerance,” Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice: Global Challenges across Disciplinary Boundaries conference, American Association for Colleges & Universities, Seattle, Washington, October 11-13, 2018.

Presentation Title: “Divided Powers, Divided Justice: The Politics of Legal Exclusion,” Paper presentation at the Law and Society Association International Conference,Toronto, Canada, June 7-10, 2018.

Presentation Title: “OERs: An Almost Magical Means of Improving Learning While Saving Money,” CUNY IT Conference, Instructional/Information Technology at CUNY: Good Moves in Hard Times. NYC, NY, December, 2016.

Presentation Title: ”Assessing Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement: Exploring Identity, Agency and Advocacy,” Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Stewardship of Place: A Civic Mission of Higher Education, Presentation Title: New Orleans, 2015.

Presentation Title: “Democratic Discourse and Action in Courses: How Do You Actually Do It?”
Annual Meeting, Association for Colleges & Universities, A Voice and a Force for Liberal Education in the 21st Century, Washington D.C., 2014.

Invited Talks:
Kingsborough Achieving the Dream Panel Presentation: Equity in the Classroom in the Dual Pandemics.

Moderator: A Coordinated Policing Advising Panel with NYS Troopers among CRJ classes.

Kingsborough Eco-Festival 2019 Co Presenter: The Politics of Plastics

College Experience, 2018, Bensonhurst Library

College Experience, 2017, Sheepshead Bay Library

Kingsborough Eco-Festival 2016 Co Presenter: Environmental Ethics.

Kingsborough Eco-Festival 2011-15 Presentation: Eco-Parks for Education and Engagement: Changing Paradigms of Inaction.

Kingsborough Reads Annual Conference 2016: Playing Democracy: Dialogue in the Age of Hate. Co-Presenter with students Jazmin De La Cruz, Andy Samuel Voltaire, Anshera Galan,Yulissa De La Paz.

Kingsborough Reads Annual Plenary 2015: Teaching Social Justice. Co-Presenter with Dr. Jay Bernstein, Library, Dr. Caterina Pierre, Art History, Dr. Maureen Fadem, English, Dr. Madeline Sorel, Art.

Kingsborough Reads Annual Conference 2015: Examining Civic Identity: The Critical Political-Legal Issues of Public Art. Co-Presenter with Samantha Sowizdral, Cody Hayes, Erik Wiggins.

Kingsborough Reads Annual Conference 2014: Re-examining Democratic Thinking: Analysis of Neoliberal Economic Policies on Food Security in Less Developed Countries. Co-Presenter with students Schontasha Dyce, Lena Ivash, Jorge Rolon.

Kingsborough Reads Annual Conference 2013: Social Justice and the Rule of Law through the Humanities: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Co-Presenter with students Kira Brannigan, Artem Gordon, and Daisean Brewster.

Kingsborough Reading and Writing Center: Motivation and Writing. 2012.

College Service:
Director: Global and Environmental Studies Concentration: 2018-current.

Provost’s Civic Engagement Committee Faculty Professional Development Coordinator.
Provost’s Liberal Arts Advisory Group.
Faculty Interest Group Facilitator: Global & Environmental Studies. 2019-2020.

Kingsborough Center for Teaching and Learning Advisory Board: 2012-present.

Department Curriculum Committee, 2014-2016.

Civic Engagement Committee, 2012-2014; 2018-present.

Kingsborough Online Learning Committee: 2013-2016.

Kingsborough Global & Environmental Studies Program Development Committee: 2012-2014.

National Society of Collegiate Scholars Founding Faculty Advisor: 2015 – 2017.

Law, Society and Justice Student Club Founding Faculty Advisor: 2011 – 2016.

CUNY SPS Certified Online Instructor

Certified Writing Intensive Instructor

Faculty Interest Group Facilitator: Motivation and Culturally Responsive Learning, 2011-2014.

Honors Student Research Program, 2012-2018

Distinctions, Awards and Professional Service

President’s Faculty Innovation Award 2018: Using Technology for Systems Thinking in the Community College Classroom.

President’s Faculty Innovation Award 2011-2012, Hybrid American Government Course and Linked Criminal Justice Course.

Kingsborough Faculty Achievements Recognition Award, 2011.

Reviewer: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Innovative Pedagogy:

Member: Civic Prompts National Consortium for Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement.

Member: CUNY Legal Studies Consortium.

Member: Law and Society Association Displaced Persons Collaborative Research Network.

Member: Law & Society Association

Member: American Association of Colleges and Universities

Participant: Center for Migration Studies

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