Skip to main content

Spring / Summer 2019 Newsletter

Posted by on Friday, August 23, 2019 in Newsletter.


Book CoverDr. Claudine Taaffe, Senior Lecturer in the department of African American & Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, and Misha Inniss-Thompson, graduate student in Community Research and Action at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University partnered with MLK Jr. Academic Magnet High School Principal Angela McShepard-Ray, Ed.D., a Vanderbilt/Peabody alum, to create fun and engaging activities in collaboration with the MLK Jr. Academic Magnet High School’s afterschool program for black female students.

Programming included preparing for college, intersectionality, self-esteem, student activism, hip-hop and literacy, and mental health. Participation in the program began with four girls in Fall 2018 and increased to 12 girls by the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Students also participated in a tour of the Vanderbilt University campus, attended a college prep panel event, and attended a keynote lecture with best-selling author, Angie Thomas of “The Hate You Give.” The program concluded with a recognition and graduation dinner for MLK Jr. Academic Magnet High School graduating seniors.

The Black Girl Magic Crew afterschool program will serve as the framework for developing a summer research academy, scheduled to launch in 2021, for black high school girls across Nashville.

2nd Annual March for Black Women in STEM

MarchThe second annual march for Black women in STEM took place on October 13, 2108. The march brought together the Vanderbilt University and Nashville communities to raise awareness and disrupt gendered racism in STEM.

“We walk in solidarity to actively dismantle the structural oppression in the workforce and academia and celebrate the ways black women resist, speak up and out, and embody agency.”
Nicole M. Joseph, Ph.D.

Wilson Hall


Black Girl Lit Magic

#BLACKGIRLLITMAGIC is a research-based book club analyzing the portrayal of Black girls in children’s literature.

Book club members, pre- and in-service teachers from various programs within Peabody College at Vanderbilt University Department of Teaching and Learning, met weekly from March to April 2019 to read and discuss scholarly articles and children’s literature texts on various topics related to Black girls’ representation in children’s literature.

Facilitator Sara Jones, a former literacy schoolteacher, is currently a Ph.D. student at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University Department of Teaching and Learning.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
Maya Angelou


Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison

Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Lecture Series guest speaker Mae Jemison. “Charting the Future of STEM Education: Innovation, Discovery, and the Critical Role of the University” May 1, 2019.

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it and make it the life you want to live.”
Dr. Mae Jemison

Claudine Taaffe

Dr. Claudine Taaffe

Dr. Claudine Taaffe, Senior Lecturer in African and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University led the “Black Girls Speak Truth to Power” teach-in on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Vanderbilt University on January 21, 2019.