I have been working with/for Black girls in education for over a decade. I started mentoring Black girls in schools at the age of seventeen. As a Masters student at Tufts University, I designed Girls Rising Above Circumstances to Excel (GRACE), my own successful program to provide a space during the school day for fifteen Black girls to discuss and address challenges they faced in a nurturing, affirming, and supportive environment.
In teaching my class, "Becoming:" Understanding the Learning and Development of Black Girls in Schools, I want to make space for all student to thrive, but this is especially important for Black girls who live in a world that constantly tries to deny their humanity. As students read books by Black women & girls, they will also watch films featuring Black girls in leading roles and read over fifty articles that tell additional stories of Becoming. We will have important conversations, like about what it means to feel like your presence is a threat or that you do not belong. We will discuss Maddie Whitsett and McKenzie Nicole Adams, two 9-year-old Black girls who died by suicide after being subjected to bullying because they’re Black girls in America so that students can stand in the gap for Black girls. At the end of the course, students will apply their knowledge to draft new research proposals, policies and practices.
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