Darnell Thigpen Williams

Darnell Thigpen Williams photo
Staff, Faculty
Program (What area of CES): 
Department of Youth Services, Professional Development
Associate Director of DYS Professional Development

Darnell Thigpen Williams, Associate Director of Professional Development at the Collaborative for Educational Services for the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) Education Contract, brings over 20 years of urban education experience in a variety of settings: classroom teacher, staff developer, curriculum specialist, program developer, and adjunct professor. His interests and passion have focused on transforming educational systems and practices within urban school districts, alternative school contexts, and juvenile justice educational settings. He has designed, implemented, and led professional development efforts in DYS and Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS). He also facilitated specialized trainings on key DYS education projects including, but not limited to, the learning team model, new teacher induction, teacher and staff development, and supervision and training of instructional coaches. Prior to joining the Collaborative for Educational Services, Darnell led the Education Quality Assurance (EQA) Initiative in DYS at Commonwealth Corporation for four years. Darnell is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Boston University (BU).

Darnell is an expert in creating educational opportunities for youth with multiple education deficits. He is uniquely qualified to address social and educational issues concerning populations of students who have been historically denied access to quality services, resources, and education. In addition to working at the Collaborative for Educational Services, he teaches Psychology, Sociology, and a course on the modern Civil Rights movement at the Urban College of Boston. Furthermore, he continues to provide workshops to educators in the Boston Public Schools and at conferences on topics such as,

  • The audacity of changing belief systems: developing a foundation for student success through culturally responsive practices;
  • Positive youth development and Adultism;
  • The sociology of educating boys of color and eliminating the achievement gap;
  • Positive behavior support for youth who have been historically denied access to quality services, resources, and opportunities;
  • A practical guide for having courageous conversations regarding social justice and equity; and
  • Implicit Bias in Educational Settings.