Remembering and (Re)reading Black Girl-Oriented Programs for Multiple Girlhoods and Futures
Tiffany Nyachae

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Pennsylvania State University

Primary Discipline

Guided by endarkened feminist epistemology, Black feminist pedagogy, Black girlhood theories/pedagogies, and various explanations for success, this project examines the impact of Black girl-oriented programs from the perspectives of approximately 70 young adults who participated as youth over a decade ago to understand the impact and possible areas for growth in programs for Black girls, towards their futures, and in approaches to addressing Black girls in education. The current knowledge of longitudinal impact for youth programs overall is weak, and almost non-existent for Black girl-oriented programs. Drawing on phenomenological research, Black Girl Cartography, and memory work methodologies, the following research questions guide this qualitative study: (1) How do former participants remember the program?; (2) What are their (re)readings of program curriculum?; (3) How do they articulate Black girlhood and success?; (4) How, if at all, was/is the program responsive and relevant to who they were, became, and hope to become? This research provides unique contributions to theories about, and methodologies for including, the range of Black young adult perspectives and experiences in educational research as they interact with the pedagogies and epistemologies of Black women researcher-educators. Additionally, this research brings together scholarship on Black girlhood and memory work to consider how education contributes to Black girl thriving and socialization processes across time and contexts. A major implication of this project is holding education policy and practice accountable for supporting Black girl-oriented programs beyond the 1?2-year (or less) lifespan that many suffer due to lack of support and funding.
About Tiffany Nyachae
Tiffany M. Nyachae is an Assistant Professor of Education and Women?s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the College of Education at Penn State University. Dr. Nyachae earned a Ph.D. in Literacy Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning from the University at Buffalo (SUNY). As a Black Feminist pedagogue and transdisciplinary, community-engaged scholar, Dr. Nyachae?s lived experiences and complicated historical connection to this land foreground her justice work in various contexts for the purposes of reimagining schools and overall social transformation. Specifically, she employs critically conscious and humanizing research approaches to qualitative studies guided by various justice-oriented theories of race, Black girlhood, Black woman knowing/being/experiences, space, and becoming. Informed by her experiences as a middle school teacher, Dr. Nyachae?s research portfolio includes: (a) ethnographic and multiple case studies on supporting urban teachers committed to social justice through ?race space? critical professional development; (b) design-based research studies of learning, learning environments, and literacy development in social justice literacy workshops for youth of Color; and (c) content and critical discourse analyses of extracurricular programs and curriculum for Black girls. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Urban Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Gender and Education, and Qualitative Inquiry. Additionally, she completed fellowships in the International Society of the Learning Sciences? (ISLS) Emerging Scholars Program; STAR (Scholars of Color Transitioning into Academic Research Institutions) Mentoring Program through the Literacy Research Association; and Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color (CNV) Program through the National Council of Teachers of English.

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