James Banks Honors & Awards

Honorary Degrees

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), Bank Street College of Education, 1993.

Doctor of Letters (L.D.), University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 2000.

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 200l.

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), DePaul University, Chicago, 2003.

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), Lewis and Clark College, 2004.

Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), Grinnell College, 2006.

Honors and Academic Societies

Graduated from Chicago City College with High Scholastic Honors

Graduated from Chicago State University with High Honors

Elected to the following honor societies: Phi Theta Kappa (Junior College); Mu Beta Phi (Science Education); Kappa Delta Pi (Education); Phi Kappa Phi (All Disciplines).

Elected as an Honorary Member, Golden Key National Honor Society, 1985.

Elected to the Laureate Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education, l997.

Elected to membership in the National Academy of Education, October, 2000.

Awarded the UCLA Medal (The University’s Highest Honor), University of California Los Angeles, June, 2005.

Annual Faculty Lecturer, 2004-2005, University of Washington.

Lifetime Achievement Award, National Association for Multicultural Education (with Cherry A. McGee Banks), 2018

Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2021


Recipient of the Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Leadership Award, 1982.

Outstanding Service in Education Award, Seattle University Black Student Union, 1985.

Distinguished Scholar/Researcher on Minority Education Award, American Educational Research Association, Committee on the Role and Status of Minorities in Educational Research and Development, 1986.

Annie Ray Riffey Multicultural Award, REACH Center, 1992.

American Educational Research Association Research (AERA) Review Award for 1994.

Senior Career Scholar/ Researcher Award, American Educational Research Association, Committee on the Role and Status on Minorities in Educational Research and Development, 1996.

Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Education, American Educational Research Association, Research Focus on Black Education Special Interest Group, 1996.

Recipient of the 1997 Book Award from the National Association of Multicultural Education for the Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education (shared with Cherry A. McGee Banks).

Recipient of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) 1998 Presidents’ Award.

Jean Dresden Grambs Distinguished Career Research in Social Studies Award, National Council for the Social Studies, 2001.

Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Education, Michigan State University, 2004.

Distinguished Alumni Award, Michigan State University, 2005.

Inaugural Social Justice in Education Award, American Educational Research Association, 2004.

Recipient of the Social Justice Award, Fielding Graduate University, 2014.

Recipient (With Cherry A. Banks). 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, National Association for Multicultural Education. Given at the NAME National Conference, held November 27-30, 2018, Memphis, Tennessee.

Recipient of the Friday Medal, Institute for Educational Innovation, Carolina State University, 2022

Recipient of The Irving Morrissett Award for Excellence in Social Science Education, The Social Science Education Consortium, Inc.,  June 25, 2022. 

Recipient of the 2023 American Educational Research Association Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award

Recipient of American Educational Research Association (AERA) Presidential Citation from AERA President Tyrone C. Howard,
April, 2024.

Special Appointments and Recognitions

James J. Hill Visiting Professor, General College, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Spring Quarter, 1991.

Member, Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (1999, July 1- 2005, June 30)

Russell F. Stark University Professor, University of Washington (2000 to 2006)

The 29th Annual Faculty Lecturer, University of Washington, 2004-2005. The University's highest honor for a faculty member.

Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California, 2005-2006.

Kerry and Linda Killinger Endowed Chair in Diversity Studies, University of Washington, 2006 to 2019.

Tisch Distinguished Visiting Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2007.

Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, University of Washington, 2018.

Presidency of National Organizations

President, National Council for the Social Studies (1982)

President, American Educational Research Association (1997-1998)