Research Trajectory

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As a transdisciplinary scholar of social justice pedagogy, literacy, and linguistics, I use my lived experience and participatory community-based methods to examine linguistic variation, discourses of deviance, and the intersectional experiences of underrepresented groups in P-12 education research—namely Black youth in elite, independent schools and Black youth who are members of African diasporic religions. 

As a creative writer, educator, and member of African diasporic religious communities, my scholarship seeks to integrate racial and religious identities with studies of language. Religion, while a critical aspect of identity and important driver of politics, has largely been marginalized in literacy and sociolinguistic study. Studies of the ‘self’ in indigenous and traditional African ontologies must engage with dynamic notions of temporality, gender, and person. Understanding these epistemological and ethical systems are critical to developing inclusive, culturally sustaining pedagogy for youth members of these traditions and a pipeline of educators from these traditions, as well. Broadly, I am interested in how African and diasporic spiritual and religious identities impact linguistic socialization. Inspired by Flores and Rosa’s raciolinguistic ideologies (2015), I examine what I call African diasporic religious literacies and the co-naturalization of language, race, and spirituality in the lives of African descendant people globally.

Through my research, service, and community engagement, I strive to: (1) disrupt narratives of deviance and deficit ascribed to racialized youth and educators in schools and (2) create joyful, humanizing pedagogical tools that inspire learners of all ages to pursue their dreams.  

In social justice pedagogy, my interests include:

  • Black education studies

  • inclusive and game-based learning

  • culturally sustaining pedagogy

  • pre-service and in-service teacher education

  • social justice pedagogy in elite, independent schools

In literacy studies, my interests include:

  • African American Language 

  • Black immigrant literacies

  • African diasporic religious literacies

  • disciplinary literacy

  • teacher dispositions and discourse in critical conversations

  • methods of teaching linguistic variation and critical translanguaging pedagogy

  • decolonial, culturally sustaining word study

In linguistics, my interests include:

  • discourse analysis

  • raciolinguistic ideologies

  • African American Language

  • African and Caribbean languages

  • co-naturalization of language, race, and spirituality

  • intersections of neurodiversity and disability studies in language 

Research methods that I mostly employ include:

  • participatory community-based methods

  • narrative inquiry

  • discourse analysis

  • textual analysis

  • case study

  • interviews

  • focus groups

  • surveys

                                                                   Download a full version of my CV here.