Black Girl Refusals, Consent, and the Possibilities of Chosen Spaces
Jazmen Moore

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Washington, Seattle

Primary Discipline

Black Education
Building with the work of Black Girlhood Studies, my dissertation research explores how the refusals Black girls make disrupt the ways they are framed as illegible (i.e., invisible, invalid, and dehumanized) in the context of U.S. schools and society. Refusals are a method Black girls use to navigate compulsory school learning environments that frame them as always and already deficient. This study highlights how Black girls render themselves and each other legible (i.e., seen, valid, and humanized) through their agentic refusals that occur when they participate in chosen, consent-based learning spaces. Through a three-tiered, multigenerational approach, this qualitative study centers the lives of three groups of Black girls and women while examining the roles consent and refusal have played throughout their learning experiences. Study participants/co-researchers engage in arts-based research methods through interviews and small group dialogues while also co-creating a chosen learning space (CLS) to reflect on their educational journeys and to imagine more justice-based learning experiences for Black girls. Through the co-construction of their CLS, the girls and women in this study model how consent- based learning practices position them to imagine and create (poetry, self-portraits, multi-media pieces, organizing practices, etc.) beyond anti-blackness and cis-heteropatriarchy. In turn, this study deepens understandings of the intergenerational navigational practices of Black girls and discusses nuanced ways meaning is made by Black girls and women in CLSs.
About Jazmen Moore
Jazmen Moore is a Black girl from the Midwest, a grandchild of the Great Migration, and an educator raised on Anishinaabe homelands in Lansing, Michigan. She is also a doctoral candidate in the Culturally Sustaining Education program in the College of Education at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on Black girl refusals, consent-based learning, and chosen learning spaces. Her dissertation study draws from the field of Black studies, Black and Indigenous theories of consent and refusal, arts-based research design, and literacies studies within education. Before the University of Washington, Jazmen taught high school English in and around Chicago and coordinated a youth-based spoken word club. She now collaborates with Seattle-based organizations and educators as a teaching artist and has facilitated poetry workshops with elementary through undergraduate classes, as well as intergenerational community groups. She holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Women?s and Gender Studies from Michigan State University and a M.A. in Teaching from Dominican University.

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