FAU COE professor and students at icue conference

by Teresa Crane | Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Florida Atlantic’s Melanie M. Acosta, Ph.D., Associate Professor, and FAU College of Education doctoral students Michael Strozier, Shanna Lillis, Michelle Beason-Rahming and Nerline St. Velus presented at the International Conference on Urban Education (icue) in Cancun, Mexico. Their presentation, Community-mindedness in the classroom: Making room for “the unseen” in classroom community-building for young African American children, coincided with the conference theme, Speaking Truth to Power: Sustaining Excellence in Urban Realities.

Acosta and students reported on research-in-progress related to the ways one African American woman teacher built and established community through her reading instruction with her African American elementary students. Their research question, “What can we learn about classroom community-building from one African American woman teacher in her instructional work with young African American children?”, addresses the need to examine manifestations of emancipatory pedagogies that emerge from the classroom community-building work of good Black teachers committed to normalizing well-being and joy in the early years of literacy learning.

"One of the most memorable experiences of this conference was sharing our work as a research group that wants to deliver some healing to Black education by giving voice for a community of learners. To be in a space provided by the ICUE conference with solution- based people, was a Sankofa experience needed for those doing the work of giving voice and presence in the education of Black and Brown people,” Michael Strozier, FAU doctoral student.

The ICUE conference is hosted biannually by the Urban Education Collaborative, an urban education research center at The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte working to improve K-12 urban education and quality of life through community partnership.

"The ICUE was an enjoyable experience made even better by Dr. Acosta and Michael.  This was my first time presenting at a conference, and I was nervous, but I met other doc students who were just as nervous as I was. I felt empowered after Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings delivered the keynote address. Each session I attended influenced how I approach my work and research, and it was great connecting with each presenter. One of the coordinators of ICUE said that this is a solutions-based conference where you can get help with your research from scholars and students. I will definitely attend and present in 2024,” Michelle Beason-Rahming, FAU doctoral student.