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On Episode 16, we are talking about African American girls in K12 education and particularly the alarming findings by Kimberly Williams Crenshaw and associates in the study “Black Girls Matter” and what we can do to make their situation better…really so they can thrive in school.  Previously,  Oscar Cielos Staton recorded this important precast which acts as a preface to this main talk, which you may listen to as well.

We took on this topic at Teachers Talk Live because, frankly, it isn’t something we have heard very much on a national level. We hear efforts being made to assist African American but the focus seems to be on the males. According to the research, black male students are most frequently suspended and likely to receive harsh punishments at school disproportionally. BUT there is a bigger disparity in punishment between black and white girls than the disparity between black and white boys. In fact, black girls are six times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Black boys, on the other hand, are three times more likely to be suspended than white boys.

Vashti Dubois currently serves as the Executive Director and Founder of a new institution The Colored Girls Museum which focuses on celebrating the achievements and perspectives of the ordinary extraordinary colored girl. She also serves as a literacy coach for Philadelphia’s Out of School Time Initiative supporting programs in the after school in Philadelphia. DuBois has over thirty years of experience working in the non profits and much of her work has centered on the educational and socioeconomic needs of black women and girls.

Learning to read was her first political act, and that power to navigate through real and imagined worlds informs her creative pursuits. When not lost in a book, she is curating, directing and producing theater events which deal with social and cultural issues.

Her recent work often casts the environment as a principle actor, and incorporates multiple artists and art disciplines in that conception to render an enlivening final product.The Colored Girls Museum is committed to empowering women and girls from the inside out.

DuBois believes that we can dramatically improve the spiritual, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions of all communities by supporting women and girls at every stage of their development– education is critical. w She /DuBois is the former Executive Director of Tree House Books A Literary Café in North Philadelphia whose focus was developing a love of reading In urban youth .In this role DuBois was able to address the literacy challenges of women and girls as quite often caregivers (many of whom were single mothers) were struggling with literacy issues themselves.

Dubois also served as the Executive Director for Congreso’s Girls Center between 2003 and 2006, The Girls Center was an Extended Day Treatment program for adjudicated and delinquent girls. Under Dubois’ leadership, the Girls Center attracted national attention for its innovative use of the arts as an educational therapeutic and restorative justice practice. The Girls Center prepared young women to return to their communities as leaders and advocates for justice in their communities.
DuBois saw first hand how the educational system then the juvenile justice system unfairly penalized black girls.

DuBois is a 2007 awardee for the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award, which recognizes women who create art for social change and demonstrate a long-term commitment to social change work. In 2012 Vashti received Leeway’s Art and Change Award for the critically acclaimed “Eviction Proof Peepshow Home,” a multi-media installation and performance art project about a house fighting to keep its family, as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Dubois graduated from Wesleyan University with B.A. in Women’s Studies and Theater. Find her @thecoloredgirlsmuseum


Camile Earle. Those who teach and learn possess a power that must be nurtured. It is Camile Earle’s philosophy that if an educator is nourished with the necessary food, they may produce bright and brilliant future leaders.”

As a South Florida native, Camile has been teaching and consulting for over twenty years. She is a licensed professional that is committed to helping persons and organizations reach high levels of performance. She holds an irrefutable belief in the capacity of all students, educators, and business leaders as outlined in Dr. Yvette Jackson’s The Pedagogy of Confidence™. She currently holds a Master of Arts in Teaching with specializations in Reading and Instructional Leadership and is working toward a Doctorate in Education.

As a consultant, she has experience working closely with students, teachers, instructional coaches, administrators, as well as district leaders in K-12. Her expertise is in working with low performing schools, districts, and business leaders to bring them to a point of fearlessness whereby they have the courage and confidence to transform their mindsets toward an irrefutable belief in their own abilities and the abilities of their students and/or employees.

In the educational sector, she is most recognized for helping schools increase their test scores through a clear focus on strengths rather than deficiencies and a building of professional relationships that transform and enhance the environment and culture of the organization. She has been recognized by The Milken Family Foundation, New Jersey Board of Education, Newark Public Schools, and state and national school and policy leaders for her accomplishments and commitment to transforming learning experiences in urban education.

Camile is also recognized for her written articles, poems, and curriculum that focus on self-esteem and motivation in women and youth. For her efforts, she won the prestigious National Milken Educator Award (NJ) in 2005 and is currently working on a series of motivational books. Find her

Felicia Meadows currently works as a Professional School Counselor. She has worked in the field of education for almost 20 years and has experience at each level from elementary to high school.  In addition to being a counselor, Ms. Meadows is also a youth coach. She uses her skills and experiences efficiently to empower students to create fulfilling educational and life experiences, which embodies her motto “Step Up Your Life”.  As the Founder and CEO of Tomorrow’s Future Coaching and Consulting, Ms. Meadows helps young people discover their passion and purpose so that they can create the life of their dreams.

Ms. Meadows earned both her Bachelor of Science Psychology Degree and Master of Education Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Bowie State University and studied with the Institute for Life Coach Training to become a Life Coach.  She has taken coursework in Urban Education from Johns Hopkins University to enhance her skills working with diverse populations. Ms. Meadows has been a member of Congresswoman Donna Edwards’s Education Committee since the 2102-2103 school year and served as a moderator for the Congresswoman’s 2012 and 2015 Annual College Fair. She also serves as both panelist and facilitator at conferences, summits, workshops and symposiums with topics ranging from College and Careers to turning your Dreams to Reality.

Ms. Meadows was spotlighted in 2012 on the Careers in Psychology website for her interview on her role as a School Counselor.  In addition to being spotlighted, she has also written numerous articles and been featured through media. One of her biggest accomplishments in 2014 was working as part of a collaboration as a contributing author of the book, “Congratulations You Just Lost Your Job”. She is also the co-author in the anthology “Fabulous New Life” which was released in early 2015. Follow her @FeliciaGMeadows


Michael Washington is a social justice educator specializing in achievement gaps and opportunity gaps as they pertain to marginalized populations in education. His specific area of expertise is Black males in postsecondary education. He has 12 years experience as a classroom teacher in adult, alternative, career technical  and correctional education and is also an adjunct at CSU Sacramento in their Graduate program for Educational Leadership as well as an instructor for the College of continuing Education. He has a few publications and presented at several conferences nation wide. He is an Educational sociologist and a PhD candidate at Claremont Graduate University joint with San Diego State. Prior to becoming an educator, he has accumulated over 25 years of experience in socially related fields such as Social Services, I.T., Telecommunications and the Criminal Justice System. Follow him @mikemixx

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Check out this episode!

Posted by Oscar Cielos Staton

Oscar Cielos Staton began his teaching career in 1998 while continuing his passion for film production in Texas. He quickly developed an affinity for working with low socioeconomic Hispanic families. "The lives of my students," he says "very much mirror the life I once had as an immigrant in this country in a public elementary school. Actually, I tell them they are lucky because they have other students similar to them in the same classroom. My experience was that of a true minority in the classroom. Only one other student in my class spoke Spanish!" As a teacher, he established himself as someone in touch with the student experience. Nowadays Oscar continues his educational journey with the Teach Cow website and his podcast Teachers Talk Live, which brings together teachers from all over the world for talks on K-12 Education.


  1. Vashti, Felicia, Camille and Michael provide some amazing insights about black girls in K12. This is a must listen!



  2. Oscar Cielos Staton has created a powerful venue for educators to dialogue and “break bread” as referenced by bell hooks and Cornel West. That is, a professional environment that allows us to agree and respectfully disagree, highlighting our experiences, ideas, and plans for change in the process.

    This topic is one of extreme urgency as our girls are being overlooked and are at risk of becoming invisible. Our African-Amerian girls need us to identify, create, and celebrate stories of black women in their surrounding communities and beyond. Stories that celebrate the successes and most importantly the struggles that led to those successes. It is through these stories that our girls will learn that anything worth having is fought for and that many have already paved the way for us. As a result, they too have a responsibility to continue paving the path that women coming up behind them will proudly follow.

    Thank you again for the opportunity to collaborate with a panelist of remarkable professionals. Let’s keep the dialogue going.

    For the children,
    Camile Earle



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