“This identity-safe space is not only a community, but also a space to hone skills related to youth participatory action research, leadership, and advocacy,” Powell said.
In the second phase, the students’ high school teachers will participate in a transformative, 8-week professional development centered on themes expressed by the focus group. Students’ multimedia artifacts will be integrated into their teachers’ professional development curriculum to creatively, and courageously, reveal students of color’s realities while provoking teachers’ critical reflection about how their classroom practices may influence those experiences.
“The goal of this study is to elevate students of color’s voices to illuminate their lived experiences in schools,” Powell said. “Their words are vital in shedding light on the educational, social, political, and racial inequities embedded within schools and classrooms. The goal of this study is to determine if this highly contextualized professional development, grounded in students of color voices, has the capacity to inspire the enactment of more culturally responsive teaching.”
Powell’s doctoral research explores diversity and equity, cultural competence, teacher-student interactions, and professional development. Prior to joining the doctoral program, Powell taught for 10 years in Title I schools in Georgia and in the Maryland/D.C. area. She is certified in Early Childhood Education, Middle Grades Social Sciences, STEM, and Gifted/Exceptional Learners. Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles and Assistant Professor Adriana Villavicencio serve as her advisors.
The UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement explores how the fundamental democratic and academic principles of free speech and civic engagement should enrich the discovery and transmission of knowledge in America’s colleges and universities. Through research, advocacy, debate and discussion, the Center is dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of leaders is prepared to understand, defend, and advance these values.