This summer, I received the wonderful opportunity again to work with Dr. Erica Walker at Teachers College. Last year I helped her prepare for conferences and with her research for an upcoming project that tells the stories of black mathematicians through different mediums such as videos. This past year, Dr. Walker went on sabbatical, so we also needed to organize her office for a visiting professor. Thus far this year, Dr. Walker has already acclimated herself up to speed at Teachers College. In early June, we had Dr. Linda Furuto from University of Hawaii come and speak about her journey on Hokule'a, a voyaging canoe that has been used by Polynesians to continue traditions of storytelling and teaching through navigation. Fortunately, the canoe’s journey around the world lined up with Dr. Walker’s return to TC; allowing for Dr. Furuto’s presentation to have a full audience, even though, we didn’t have much time to plan.
Currently, I am participating in the Teaching Experience for Undergraduates Program at Brown University by taking a Math Methods course and teaching Brown Summer High School. Though I’m in Providence, Dr. Walker and I have been able to work together remotely in order to continue completing the research she needs done for the summer. As of now, I have compiled a list of popular publishing companies that have published books about math instead of academic publishers. Dr. Walker’s last two books have been published by Teacher’s College Press, and she wants the next book to reach a wider, non-academic audience. I mostly researched publishers that have worked with Robert Moses, Danica McKellar, Keith Devlin, and Jo Boaler. It has been really interesting learning more about how Dr. Walker’s previous books have been published in comparison to her next goal.
Dr. Walker is aiming to plan a symposium or conference this upcoming year that looks into the history of mathematics education in Black America. I have been looking for journals that have discussed the relationship between success in mathematics and relationships with kin. I have also been evaluating how mathematics education actually looks like in Black America by researching the Ware High School - the first public high school for African Americans - in Augusta, Georgia. I am currently finding different Black professionals in STEM, who may be available, or even interested, in attending the conference. Working on the conference has also given me an insight in all of the planning that it takes before the actual planning occurs for conferences. I have been researching grants from different organizations to find funding; it has really made me realize that there are resources available from large organizations that I would have never thought about!
I was extremely excited to find out I would be working with Dr. Walker, again, because I had such an amazing experience, last summer. Now, as the summer moves, I realize that I also needed to have the chance, in order to further learn so much more with Dr. Walker. At my current program, we are often missing key teaching/learning moments, when it comes to race and education. Therefore, I am so fortunate to still be able to investigate that intersection through my work with Dr. Walker.