Talia Leibovitz

Talia Leibovitz (she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate in School Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores how white parents’ school choices for their children are informed and shaped by policy; notions of merit; colorblindness; neoliberalism; racism; and the social construction of race, focusing especially on the ways in which white parents construct, contest and reinforce school quality through dialogue and behavior. Talia is motivated by the following questions: How does school choice among white parents take collective form? How is the school choice process identity making for white parents and their children? Where are the contradictions, and what do they sound like in the school choice process among white parents? How do white parents (dis)engage in racial discourse?

Talia is currently working on her dissertation, which is an ethnographic community-based research study that examines how white and/or wealthy parents organizing for racially desegregated schools in the San Francisco Bay Area reproduce and/or disrupt systems of advantage and power. While at Cal, Talia has taught in the undergraduate Minor in Education and is nominated for the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award. She is a semi-finalist for the 2021-2022 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship; a recipient of the Marcus Foster Fellowship; and a recipient of the UC Berkeley ACES Learning Community for Graduate Scholar Activist Fellowship. She holds a Post-Baccalaureate in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a double Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications from San Diego State University.

Specializations and Interests

School Desegregation; Race and Schooling; Parent School Involvement; School Communities; Qualitative methods


M.A., School Psychology, Berkeley
B.A., Political Science, San Diego State University
B.A., Communication, San Diego State University