ADDRESS:
 

Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students (CEEAAS)
University of South Carolina

1530 Wheat Street

Columbia, SC 29208

803-777-0092

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
 

Dr. Jennifer Reed, reedjc@mailbox.sc.edu

803.777.0092

or
Dr. Gloria Boutte, gsboutte@mailbox.sc.edu

803.777.2018

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Faculty Affiliates

Dr. Eliza Braden

Assistant Professor of Elementary Education. University of South Carolina

Dr. Eliza Braden's major fields of interest and research include critical language practices of culturally and linguistically diverse young children, in and out of school literacy practices, family literacy, social justice and education, and digital literacies.

Dr. Anthony Broughton

Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education. University of South Carolina

Dr. Anthony Broughton’s work in the community and around the nation is multifaceted. His passion is demonstrated through his roles as an Author, Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker, Recording Artist, lay minister and Professor. His former roles as a Kindergarten, 4th grade teacher and education associate for the SC State Department of Education compelled him to inspire and empower ‘transformational teachers’ as an Assistant Professor of Education and Early Childhood Coordinator at Claflin University. Dr. Broughton’s Kindergarten class scored 100% criteria met during a National Association for the Education of Young Children site accreditation visit. Since then, Dr. Broughton has demonstrated his expertise in early childhood education by becoming a national program reviewer for the National Association for the Education of Young children. Dr. Broughton, having earned a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina by the tender age of 29, has authored/illustrated 3 children’s books which features his mascot Joshua and produced 3 Hip Hop CD’s, one featuring the Youtube Children’s Hit song, “Watch the letters get down.” Dr. Broughton is both a graduate and site coordinator of the highly acclaimed Call Me MiSTER program; and an Active member and State officer of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Incorporated. An alumnus of Benedict College, Dr. Broughton has received numerous honors and recognitions such as the SC Black Pages’ Top 40 under 40, Claflin University’s Instructor of the Year during his first year of teaching, and the National Council of Black Negro Women, Young Innovator’s Award, just to name a few. He has presented across the nation in various capacities including the United States Department of Education. As the CEO Inspirational Voyages with MiSTER B, LLC, MISTER Dr. B's motto is "To whom much is given, much is required."

Dr. Michelle L. Bryan

Associate Dean, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. University of South Carolina

From 2006-2015, Michelle L. Bryan was a member of the Educational Foundations and Inquiry faculty in the Department of Educational Studies in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina where she previously taught introductory and advanced qualitative research methods courses, as well as Foundations of Education courses that specifically explored the role of race and racism in educational settings. Most recently, she served as the chair of the Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. In July of 2017, Michelle re-joined USC's College of Education and currently serves as the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
 

Research/Areas of Expertise


A sociologist of education and qualitative methodologist by training, Bryan's research focuses on issues in the field that illuminate the complex intersections of race, culture, class, and other socio-demographic factors within educational settings. Her areas of expertise include the application of critical race theory to complex issues in educational settings as well as the use of qualitative methodologies and culturally-responsive practices in educational research and program evaluation.

Dr. Nathaniel Bryan

Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education. Miami University

Dr. Nathaniel Bryan is a clinical assistant professor at Miami University. His teaching and scholarship explores issues of equity and diversity, critical race theory, culturally relevant teaching, urban education, and Black education. Though he studies broadly these frameworks, he is particularly interested in the constructed identities and pedagogical styles of Black male teachers and the schooling and childhood play experiences of Black boys in early childhood classrooms through critical lens. In his spare time, Dr. Bryan enjoys reading novels, traveling abroad, and spending time with family.

Dr. Brandy Bryson

Assistant Professor Appalachian State University

Dr. Brandy S. Bryson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies in the Reich College of Education and the Director for Inclusive Excellence with the Center for Academic Excellence at Appalachian State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of South Carolina in 2012. Dr. Bryson’s activist-scholarship, teaching, and service focus broadly on inclusive excellence and specifically on the social constructions of race and the manifestations of systemic racism and white supremacy in society and educational institutions, PK to higher education. Dr. Bryson posits that her commitment to heightening racial literacy (her own and others) is crucial to healing the deep wounds carved by historical and contemporary racism. She believes that to work toward racial literacy, we must critically examine and repetitively question the ways in which race, racism, power, and supremacy inform our beliefs, values, worldviews, and practices. Dr. Bryson has published numerous manuscripts, articles, and book chapters and has given over 30 presentations at international, national, and regional conferences. Dr. Bryson has received a number of awards for her service in the area of inclusive diversity and has been recognized with the Outstanding Scholarship Award by her College in 2017.

Dr. Daniella Cook

Associate Professor Secondary Social Studies. University of South Carolina

Dr. Daniella Ann Cook is an Associate Professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education (ITE) at the University of South Carolina. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she received her masters and doctoral degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Dr. Cook served as an Assistant Professor of Education at The University of Tulsa and the Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality in the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. Her interdisciplinary research concentrates on understanding how class, race and power affect the everyday schooling lives of students, teachers and communities traditionally under-served by public education across diverse contexts. Most recently, she conducted an ethnographic study of black educators in New Orleans to explore urban school reform narratives with an explicit focus on their effects on black communities during the single largest displacement of African American educators since desegregation. Dr. Cook is actively involved in several professional organizations including the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) where she serves on the Executive Council. In addition to presenting at international and national conferences, Dr. Cook has published in a wide range of journals including Multicultural Perspectives, The Journal of Culture and Mathematics, Southern Anthropologist, Voices in Urban Education and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Dr. Mary E. Earick

Associate Research Professor and the Director of the Holmes Center. Plymouth State University

Dr. Mary E. Earick is an activist scholar, focusing on Critical Whiteness Studies, Shared Leadership, Transformation through Innovations and Educational Equity.  Currently Dr. Earick is an Associate Research Professor and the Director of the Holmes Center for School Partnerships and Educator Preparation at Plymouth State University. She is the author of Racially Equitably Teaching, and has served as a State Education Agency (SEA) Administrator overseeing federal funding, as well as a classroom teacher for over 18 years. Her teaching is featured in the Teaching Tolerance in the Early Years Documentary and Book funded by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Dr. Gwenda Greene

Associate Professor English Education. Benedict College

Dr. Gwenda R. Greene is a tenured Associate Professor of English at Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina, USA.She has devoted more than 30 years to academia serving in various roles that include educator, administrator, research associate, and grant writer. Her expertise is in curriculum and program development that embeds foundational infrastructures in education, policy, and collaboration.Dr. Greene earned the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Speech from Columbia College and Master of Arts in Teaching English from the University of South Carolina, both institutions located in Columbia, South Carolina. Additionally, she obtained the Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.Furthermore, she has completed advanced studies at Clemson University and New York University.She also holds the South Carolina Highly Qualified teaching certification in secondary English, having taught in Richland School District II and the South Carolina Department of Correction’s GED Program.At Benedict College, Dr. Greene is the founding Director of the Service-Learning Program, which has state, national, and international acclaim. Established in 1995, service-learning continues as a curriculum requirement where students earn 120 hours of academic-based service for graduation.In additional to several publications of service-learning as a teaching/research methodology and other scholarly journal articles, Dr. Greene’s international scholarly activities include presentations at Saint Monica University, Buea, Cameroon, Central West Africa; scholarly research with the Association of Caribbean Studies in Georgetown, Guyana and Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan-Egypt; and teaching English in Ruiru, Kenya, East Africa.

Dr. Jon Hale

Associate Professor of Educational History, University of South Carolina

Dr. Jon Hale is an Associate Professor of Educational History at the University of South Carolina.  His research focuses on the history of student and teacher activism, grassroots educational programs, and segregated high schools during the civil rights movement. His award-winning book, The Freedom Schools: A History of Student Activists on the Frontlines of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (Columbia University Press, 2016) examines the role of educational activism during the Civil Rights Movement. He is a co-editor of The Freedom School Newspapers: Writings, Essays and Reports from Student Activists During the Civil Rights Movement, (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). His current book projects focus on the history of southern black high school student activism after the Second World War and the history of the school choice reform movement. His research has been published in history and education journals, including the Journal of African American History, the History of Education Quarterly, The Journal of Southern History, South Carolina Historical Magazine, and the Journal of Social Studies Research. He has also published editorials and commentary pieces in The Atlantic, CNN, Education Week, the African American Intellectual History Series, and Process: A Blog for American. His research was also referenced in interviews with The New Yorker, CNN, the Associated Press, “This Morning” (ABC), PBS, and California and South Carolina Public Radio. Dr. Hale has worked with PBS as a consultant for Stanley Nelson’s documentary, Freedom Summer, as well as the Grammy-nominated Two Trains Runnin’, which was produced by award-winning author and filmmaker Benjamin Hedin. Dr. Hale currently serves as an advisory board member of the Charleston Freedom School, co-director of the Quality Education Project, co-director and co-founder of the Charleston Civil Rights Film Fest, and a board member of the Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project.

Dr. Damara Hightower

Dean of Education. South Carolina State University

Dr. Damara Hightower has been an educator and administrator for more than 20 years. Within one year of beginning her career as an English Teacher, she was promoted to Dean of Students and went on to become an Assistant Principal by the age of 24. Since that time, she has held progressively more responsible leadership roles in K-16 settings to include Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Benedict College, Education Associate at the South Carolina State Department of Education, Assistant Professor and Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Claflin University, and an Academic Administrator in the Office of the Provost and instructor at the University of South Carolina.In August of 2015, Dr. Hightower proudly accepted the challenge of rebuilding educator preparation at her undergraduate alma mater and was appointed Dean of the School of Education at Benedict College. Beginning fall of 2017, Dr. Hightower will take office as the President of the South Carolina Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (SCACTE). She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Education from Benedict College, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Supervision-K-12 from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Ronnie Hopkins

Executive Vice President. Voorhees College

Dr. Ronnie Hopkins serves as the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English (tenured) at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, USA. Dr. Hopkins has provided academic and student leadership fostering students’ personal development, endorsement of life-long learning and continuing education, community and world service, and preparation for an ever-changing global society. Dr. Hopkins’ synergistic activities include international scholarly research and presentations at Saint Monica University, Buea, Cameroon, Central West Africa, the University of Technology at Quibdo, Choco, South America; Guilan, Beijing, and Shanghai, Republic of China; University of Ghana-Legon, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Merida, Mexico, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cape Town, South Africa. Additionally, he is Founder and Senior Artistic Director for NGOMA African Cultural Performance Troupe, founded in 1994 at Norfolk State University and continued to present. Dr. Hopkins earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in English in 1994 and the Master of Arts degree in English in 1991 from Michigan State University respectively. Also, he has completed postdoctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1995). His foundation in English studies came from North Carolina Central University where he earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in English with Secondary Teaching certification in 1986. Additionally, he has been conferred the Doctor of Humane Letters (LLD) Honoris Causa from Saint Monica University in Buea, Cameroon, Central West Africa in May 2016. Dr. Hopkins is the author of Educating Black Males: Critical Issues in Schooling, Community and Power (State University of New York Press: Albany, 1997) among other scholarly journal articles.

Dr. Joy Howard

Assistant Professor. Teacher Education. University of Southern Indiana

Dr. Joy Howard graduated in 2013 from the University of South Carolina where she earned her Ph.D. in Educational Foundations. Prior to that she taught in public schools in South Carolina and taught English in California and China. She describes her research agenda as comprised of three inter-related lines of inquiry related to questions about navigating and mediating educational spaces where we learn about, talk about, and are divided by race. The first line of inquiry is about teachers and race. The second line of inquiry involves an exploration of ethical engagement with communities around issues of race. The third line of inquiry is developing around youth and families who do not fit into the Black/White racial imaginary. She is currently developing work that will focus on multiracial elementary students’ schooling experiences. Dr. Howard is also a national co-chair of the educational node of URBAN, a network of engaged scholars and practitioners from across the world who are committed to community-based research.

Dr. Tambra Jackson

Associate Professor. Teacher Education. Indiana University

Dr. Tambra O. Jackson is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education in the Indiana University School of Education at Indianapolis. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Miami University (Ohio), a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Education Policy from Michigan State University. Dr. Jackson considers herself to be a scholar-activist committed to social justice issues pertaining to the historical and contemporary oppression, miseducation, and liberation of children of Color in U.S. schools. She studies these issues within the field of teacher education where her research and teaching focus on teacher learning and development across the professional continuum specifically centered on preparing teachers to teach for social justice, developing culturally responsive teaching and pedagogy, and examining the experiences of preservice teachers of Color and Black women faculty.

Dr. Rhonda Jeffries

Associate Professor. Curriculum Studies. University of South Carolina

Dr. Rhonda Baynes Jeffries is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Curriculum Studies at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Jeffries currently teaches in the areas of curriculum and diversity in education, staff development and qualitative research methods. Her research interests include school desegregation and de-tracking, equity pedagogies, and performance theory in education. She is the author of Performance Traditions among African American Teachers and is co-editor of Black Women in the Field:  Experiencing Ourselves and Others through Qualitative Research, and editor of Queen Mothers: Articulating the Spirit of Black Women Teacher-Leaders (forthcoming 2018), as well as numerous articles and chapters in her area of research.

Dr. Toby Jenkins

Associate Professor. Curriculum and Instruction. University of South Carolina

Dr. Toby Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at the University of South Carolina.  Her work focuses on the utility of culture (contemporary culture, folk culture, and pop culture) as a politic of social survival, a tool of social change, and a transformative space of non-traditional knowledge production. She is also interested in the ways in which culture influences one's leadership proxy and sense of citizenship/social commitment. She has authored two books focused on the evolving ideologies of culture, family, and education in contemporary society.  My Culture, My Color, My Self: Heritage, Resilience and Community in the Lives of Young Adults (Temple University Press, 2013) was named by the Association of American University Press to the list of "Top 100 Books for Understanding Race Relations in the US". Family, Community, & Higher Education (Routledge Press, 2012) is an edited volume that explores the critical role of family and community in the lives of first generation college students.

Dr. George L. Johnson, Jr.

Professor and Special Education Program Coordinator. South Carolina State University

Dr. George Johnson is an Professor and Academic Coordinator of the Special Education Program at South Carolina State University. For more than two decades, Dr. Johnson’s scholarship, teaching and service has focused on equity pedagogies, teaching for social justice and critical race theory in education with an emphasis on culturally and linguistically diverse students. He has taught and presented nationally and internationally on special education, diversity, and disproportionality, community, and equity issues. Dr. Johnson has numerous publications and received $250,000. in grants and has presented his work in Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, England, Botswana, South Africa, and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Lamar L. Johnson

Assistant Professor. English Education. Michigan University

Dr. Lamar L. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy for Linguistic and Racial Diversity in the Department of English at Michigan State University. He is interested in the complex intersections of race, language, literacy, and education and how English language arts (ELA) classrooms can become sites for racial justice. Before entering the academy, he taught secondary English Language Arts (ELA) at Richland Northeast High School in Richland Two County School District. He has presented nationally and internationally on literacy, curriculum, pedagogy, equity and racial justice.  Dr. Johnson’s awards and recognitions include Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color research program through the National Council of Teachers of English and the Scholars of Color Transitioning into Academic Research institutions (STAR) through the Literacy Research Association.  Johnson’s work is featured in the journal of Race Ethnicity and Education, Literacy Research: Theory, Methods, and Practice, English Education, Journal of Negro Education, and English Journal. In addition, Johnson is the recipient of the 2017 Promising Researcher Award through the National Council of Teachers of English.

Dr. LaGarrett J. King

Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education. University of Missouri—Columbia

Dr. LaGarrett J. King is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education and affiliated faculty member of Black studies and the kinder institute on Constitutional democracy at the University of Missouri. His research and professional interests focus on Black history education in schools and society, critical theories of race, social studies history, and critical multicultural teacher education. His work has been featured in Theory and Research in Social Education, Journal of Negro Education, Race, Ethnicity, and Education, Teaching Education. He has received numerous awards including two early career scholar awards from the Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural studies special interest group of the American Educational Research Association and the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies. He also received the Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland Social Justice Paper award from the National Council for the Social Studies. He co-edited Teaching of African American history in Social Education and is the editor of the upcoming book, “Global Perspectives on the Teaching of Black History in Schools.” He was a high school social studies teacher for 8 years in Fortbend independent school district in Sugarland Texas, Dekalb County Schools in Decatur, GA, and Atlanta Public Schools in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Susi Long

Professor. Early Childhood Education. University of South Carolina

Dr. Susi Long is a Professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on culturally relevant, decolonizing, and equity pedagogies that challenge and replace unjust practices in elementary and early childhood literacy and teacher education. Books written with teachers and colleagues include Tensions and Triumphs in the Early Years of Teaching, Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards, Many Pathways to Literacy, and Courageous Leadership in Early Childhood Education, currently completing, “We’ve been doing it your way long enough”: Choosing the Culturally Relevant Classroom. Susi teaches courses in literacy methods, culturally relevant pedagogies, linguistic pluralism, language acquisition in diverse communities, and critical qualitative methodologies. She was a classroom teacher of students in kindergarten through grade eight, past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Teachers Research Foundation, 1997 NCTE Promising Researcher, and the 2013 Early Childhood Education Assembly’s Early Literacy Educator of the Year. She is a mentor in NCTE’s Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color initiative and co-founded the NCTE Early Childhood Assembly’s Professional Dyads and Culturally Relevant Teaching project supporting teacher-teacher educator partners in generating anti-bias and culturally relevant practices in early childhood.

Dr. Darius Means

Assistant Professor Counselor Education. University of Georgia

Dr. Darius R. Means is an Assistant Professor of College Student Affairs Administration in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on diversity and equity in secondary and higher education contexts. Specifically, he examines how geographical locale, policies, and other mechanisms support and/or hinder college access and choice for minoritized youth, including rural students of Color and Black and Latinx students. Additionally, he examines the collegiate learning and development experiences of Black and Latinx college students; low-income, first-generation college students; and Black gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer students. Dr. Means has also used youth participatory action research methods to collaborate with minoritized youth on research related to college access. He was named a 2017 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow to conduct research on rural Black students and college access and choice. His recent publications have appeared in The Review of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, and Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.  Dr. Means earned his Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis with a concentration in Higher Education from North Carolina State University, a M.Ed. in Counselor Education with a concentration in Student Affairs from Clemson University, and a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from Elon University.

Dr. Erin T. Miller

Assistant Professor. Language and Diversity. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Erin Miller is an  Associate Professor of Language and Diversity; Coordinator, Reading Strand of the Curriculum and Instruction PhD program, University of North Carolina at Charlotte | Reading and Elementary Education Department. She teaches undergraduate courses in elementary language arts methods and diversity in urban education. Miller’s special areas of interests are early literacy, anti-racist teaching pedagogies, critical whiteness studies, white teacher identities and ethnographic methodologies. She is currently serving as the chair of Early Childhood Education Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English and investigating signs and symbols of whiteness with elementary aged children.

Dr. Meir Muller

Assistant Professor. Early Childhood Education. University of South Carolina

Dr. Meir Muller has earned rabbinical ordination as well as a doctorate in the area of early childhood education. Dr. Muller serves as an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. In 2016 Dr. Muller was awarded the Early Childhood Teacher Educator Award by National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Education. His research interests include cultural relevant pedagogy, anti-racist pedagogy, constructivist theory, Jewish education, and pre-service teacher education.  Dr. Muller is also in his 26th year as head of the Cutler Jewish Day School, a NAEYC accredited school for children birth through the fifth grade. Dr. Muller has lectured across America and delivered a paper in Israel for the International Research Group on Jewish Education in the Early Years.

Dr. Kindel Turner Nash

Associate Professor. University of Maryland

Dr. Kindel Turner Nash is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and Coordinator of the Early Childhood Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  She earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2012. Her scholarly interests center on critical race theory, critical sociocultural theory, culturally sustaining pedagogies, highly effective literacy practices, and preparation for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students.  Dr. Nash’s work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and published in The Reading Teacher, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education, Teachers College Record, Language Arts, The Urban Review, and other national journals. Her forthcoming book entitled Culturally Sustaining Early Literacy Teaching: New Approaches, Strategies, and Practices will be published by NCTE/Routledge Press in 2018.

Dr. Samuel Aniegye Ntewusu

Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana

Samuel Aniegye Ntewusu holds a PhD in History from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and an Mphil in African Studies from the University of Ghana. Since August 2011, Ntewusu has worked as research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. He teaches Chieftaincy and Development in Africa (undergraduate course), and in collaboration with other lecturers, handles the following post-graduate courses: The Slave Trade and Africa, African Historiography and Methodology, Colonial Rule and African Responses and Pan Africanism. He has supervised a number of graduate students in their research projects/theses both within and outside of Ghana. His research focuses on transport history, historical methodology, chieftaincy and development, the history of urbanization in Ghana, mining and the sex industry, rituals and ritual spaces, social transformations and colonialism in Ghana. He is a recipient of the 2016 Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) Fellowship. The award is intended for top-notch researchers working outside The Netherlands who have shared their knowledge and experience with researchers in Dutch institutes and universities. A promising scholar in his field, he has developed himself as an all-round scholar of international repute, with invitations for collaborative engagements in his field from universities nationally and internationally, including The Netherlands, Norway, Canada, USA, Germany, South Africa, Portugal, Nigeria and Cameroon.

Dr. Spencer Platt

Assistant Professor. Higher Education. University of South Carolina

More info coming soon...

Dr. Dywanna Smith

Assistant Professor at Claflin University

Dr. Dywanna E. Smith is an Assistant Professor At Claflin University.  She received her doctorate in language and literacy from the University of South Carolina.  Her dissertation interpreted how eighth grade African American girls perceived obesity in their daily lives and analyzed what happened when opportunities were given to create counter-narratives about race, gender and size.  Informed by Critical Race Theory and Black Feminist Theory, the study centered the body as a textual artifact, broadened notions of what counts as text which can be critically read, and provided models for nurturing adolescents in tackling school and community issues. As a scholar-educator, Dywanna’s research focuses on two related interests: 1) examining the intersections of race, literacies, and education and 2) equipping teachers with equity pedagogies to successfully teach linguistically and culturally diverse students. She has presented nationally and internationally on these subjects.  

Dr. Nancy D. Tolson

Assistant Director of African American Studies. University of South Carolina

Dr. Nancy D. Tolson is the assistant director of the African American Studies Program at USC. Thanks to her parents, Nancy has had a strong interest in Black literature and culture throughout her life. She has a Master’s degree in African World Studies and a PhD in English Education from the University of Iowa where she studied African folklore and Black children’s literature. Nancy has been a storyteller as long as she has been vocal. She has proudly been one of the storytellers for the Augusta Baker’s Dozen Storytelling Festival for the past three years. Nancy is the author of Black Children’s Literature Got de Blues: The Creativity of Black Writers and Illustrators and Tales of Africa. Her other critical and creative work can be found in various academic journals, books, and walls. Nancy and her husband were successfully raised by their three children and are now being empowered by their five grandsons.

Dr. Berte Van Wyk

Professor of Education. Stellenbosch University

Dr. Berte van Wyk  is an Associate Professor in Philosophy of Education and former chairperson of the Department of Education Policy Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.  He also served as the chairperson of the Caribbean and African Studies in Education special interest group of the American Education Research Association form 2015-2017. His research interests focus on African philosophy, higher education, and institutional culture. On African philosophy: he has published on several areas such as the African university, the future of university research in Africa, the curriculum in an African context, and reconstruction of indigenous epistemologies. He co-edited a book entitled “Indigenous Concepts of Education: Toward Elevating Humanity for All Learners” in 2014. This book contains philosophical, sociological, as well as political perspectives on how indigenous communities develop concepts which serves as drivers for (the) education that articulate their aspirations. On higher education, his research focuses on the form and direction which higher education should take to transform, and what new approaches and relevant paradigms are worth pursuing. Relevant publications here relate to: political consciousness, affirmative action, the transformation of university teaching and learning, democracy, and social justice. Lastly, institutional culture is an under-studied concept, and his research focuses on the cultures of typologies of higher education institutions (Traditional Universities, Universities of Technology and Comprehensive Universities) in South Africa, and cultural change.

Dr. Toni M. Williams

Assistant Professor. University of South Carolina

Toni M. Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Instruction and Teacher Education department at the University of South Carolina. Creating meaningful, authentic learning for students of all backgrounds is Williams' priority in teaching. She currently works with middle school pre-service teachers. Research interests include life histories of middle school pre-service teacher and literate lives of students of color. She is interested in issues of social justice and diversity in education through literacy with a critical race lens.

Dr. Kamania Wynter-Hoyt

Assistant Professor. University of South Carolina

Dr. Kamania Wynter-Hoyte is an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina. She teaches several reading and writing method courses, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, and a Family Dynamics course for undergraduate students. For all courses, it is imperative for her students to understand learning does not occur in a vacuum and schools are a reflection of the larger society. She supports her students as they investigate how Eurocentric curricula, privilege, and monolingualism disempower communities of color.

 

Dr. Wynter-Hoyte’s research agenda blends seamlessly with her teaching and her focus on educational equity and social justice. Her most recent co-authored article focuses on the revitalization of Indigenous African knowledge among people in the African Diaspora by engaging students in learning about African Diasporic history as a healing antidote against oppression, imagining possibilities for a better world, taking reflective actions to interrupt ongoing oppression, and organizing and planning with others who are seeking to dismantle oppressive structures. She also has an article that disrupts the educational status quo by exploring culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies for young diverse leaners. She is devoted to social justice and educational equity.

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