Racial Justice in Education
Welcome! The Racial Justice in Education Program is an academic research community at the University of Missouri--St. Louis (UMSL) in the College of Education. For the past ten years, under the direction of Professor Matthew D. Davis, this community of doctoral students and peers have consistently examined the myriad of educational practices and policies that are anti-Black or oppressive to others excluded from robust schooling due to their marginalized identities.
Organized by Amber Christian, ēNiCōL, and Jaqui Melton, three UMSL scholars who identify as black womxn, The Crooked Room Conference specifically focuses on the plight of black girls and womxn in K-12 academic institutions. In an attempt to shed light on their experiences and work being done to ensure equitable practices on their behalf, this conference invites leaders, educators, artists, and activists to join in this conversation.
About the Crooked Room Conference
In her groundbreaking book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Womxn in America, Melissa Harris-Perry historically captures the ways in which Black womxn are forced to navigate a virtually “crooked room” that perpetually shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Framed within the stereotypical contexts of Jezebel’s sexual lasciviousness, Mammy’s devotion, and Sapphire’s outspoken anger, society has often times relied on these constructs to assign identities to Black girls. Consequently, within the context of education, the testimonies of this demographic when considered, all too often, yield a grimly perpetuated cycle of violence and marginalization. Nevertheless, both the trials and resiliency had by Black girls and womxn is something to be recognized and learned from—especially if we are to serve them equitably.
The aim of the Crooked Room Conference is to engage St. Louis educators, administrators, artists/activists, students, and parents in dialogue and healing that centers the experiences of Black girls and womxn in our schools.