Clark-Woodson Research Fellowship


Kristen Young
Tarquiann Bates

Fellowship Responsibilities

  • Act as principal investigator or co-investigator on a research project to produce two (2) case studies on Black liberatory schools
  • Write and prepare a publication-ready systematic literature review (SLR) on one of the following topics:
    • the needs of Black liberatory pedagogy in the Black education experience
    • the literacy experiences and outcomes of Black children in X grade band
    • the mathematics experiences and outcomes of Black children in Y grade band
  • Contribute at least one co-authored education-focused publication in collaboration with BTC (building on case studies & SLRs)
  • Collaborate with the Program and Innovation (P&I) and Research and Policy (RaP) teams, to define a strategy to sustain and scale the Clark-Woodson Research Fellowship
  • Collaborate with the P&I team to apply research and literature review outcomes to developing ideas for programming
  • Plan and facilitate at least one (1) classroom strategy workshop designed for classroom K-12 teachers of Humanities or STEM courses
  • Share insights and contribute to the development of solutions on the P&I team
  • Advance BTCs research agenda by actively collaborating with members of the RaP team


Septima Poinsette Clark was a teacher and civil rights activist who, after teaching in South Carolina’s Black public schools, developed a citizen education program linking literacy to political empowerment through the Highlander Folk School. She lost her public school teaching job because of her refusal to relinquish membership in the NAACP and end her court battles for teacher pay equity for Black teachers and desegregation. Clark was a key figure in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) as they used her citizen education model in their work to advance voting rights.

An advocate for intellectualism and self-determination, Septima Clark said, “We need to be taught to study rather than believe, to inquire rather than to affirm.”

Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was an educator and scholar committed to documenting and celebrating the history of Black people and Black culture. Woodson’s seminal work, The Mis-Education of the Negro, focused on Black self-deterimination and intellectual self-empowerment. This fellowship is rooted in their enduring legacies of fierce commitment to Black education and scholarship for and about Black children.

Woodson said “…every man has two educators: ‘that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more desirable. Indeed all that is most worthy in man he must work out and conquer for himself. It is that which constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.”

Image Credits: Bob Fitch photography archive, © Stanford University Libraries, Library of Congress

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