Michael R. Fisher Jr.

Fisher Jr. Headshot

Assistant Professor 
Department of African American Studies


Preferred: michael.fisher@sjsu.edu

Office Hours



Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

M.A., Vanderbilt University

M.Div., Howard University 

B.S., Howard University 


Michael R. Fisher Jr., Ph.D. is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of African American Studies and a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Humanities and at the Institute for Metropolitan Studies at San José State University. He is also an Affiliate Scholar at the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Gender Studies at the University of South Africa. During the 2022–23 academic year, he is a Public Voices Fellow with the Op-Ed Project and a Visiting Poverty Scholar at the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions, sponsored by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Fisher’s areas of specialization include poverty, race, and inquality, housing and urban policy, and civil rights and Black (religious) activism. His current book project—Black Community Building: Public Housing Reform and the Promise of an Alternative Model to Mixed-Income Neighborhoods (under contract with Georgetown University Press)—reorients the debate on public housing reform by arguing that mixed-income housing creation as market-driven urban policy must be abandoned given its disparate impact on Black communities living in high-poverty neighborhoods in U.S. cities.

Before his career as an educator, Dr. Fisher was a public policy advocate on Capitol Hill. His policy portfolio included financial reform and federal social welfare programs addressing poverty. He later transitioned to local politics and public policy when he became the inaugural Director of Advocacy at a nonprofit organization. There he was responsible for the development of the organization’s policy agenda and advocacy strategy for affordable housing creation and the elimination of chronic homelessness in the nation’s capital, working with other activists, agencies, D.C. residents, and elected officials in the process.


Dr. Fisher's Website