Born and raised in Jamaica, Felecia immigrated at the age of 12 and spent her adolescence in Inglewood, California. She earned her BA in Political Science and Legal Studies from California Lutheran University in 2013. She then went on to earn her master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and her doctorate from Temple University. 

Dr. Felecia Russell, Ed.D. is the Director of the Higher Ed & Immigration Portal at the Presidents’ Alliance and an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University. Her research agenda explores the experiences of Black undocumented students and the intersections of race and immigration status. Her upcoming book, titled “Amplifying the voices of UndocuBlack Students,” is focused on understanding the experiences of undocumented Black students on college campuses. Other projects include The Invisible Experiences of Black Undocumented College Students, Undocumented immigrants’ movement and activism toward educational justice in the United States, and Illegally Exhausted. She teaches and writes about undocumented students, educational leadership, and undocuBlack methodologies. She is the founder of the UndocuBlack Research Collective, a research group focused on releasing stories about undocuBlack people. Additionally, Dr. Russell is the founder of Embracing Undocumented, an online platform for undocumented students. 

Felecia’s mission is to create access to higher education for under-served, marginalized, and undocumented students. Additionally, she hopes to bring visibility on Black undocumented people.

In May of 2022, Felecia graduated from Temple University with her doctorate in higher education, making her apart of the 1% of people with a terminal degree. Her dissertation: The Invisibility of UndocuBlack Students Within the Undocumented Community in Higher Education can be found at:

Features and Associations

Felecia wrote a story for the National Immigration Law Center in 2018 to document her journey as a DREAMer, check it out here.

Felecia was also featured in Pepperdine University’s Magazine


May 2022
Ed.D Temple University, Higher Education
April 2015
Master of Public Policy Pepperdine University
April 2013
BA, California Lutheran University
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