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Project Proposal

Afro-Caribbean Women Teachers: Race, Transnational Labor and Decolonial Diasporic Resistance

Project Description

Between 2001 and 2003, the New York City Board of Education recruited 1,500 Black, English-speaking teachers from the Caribbean to serve in the city’s urban schools deemed “failing.” The teachers, primarily from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Barbados, arrived to teach in schools said to be “hard to staff,” populated by mostly Black, LatinX and Caribbean students. While the Board targeted Black teachers in their perceptively inclusive recruiting strategy, it bypassed African American teachers in preference for Black international teachers because they needed teachers who could teach math and science and who would be willing to work in the urban center of New York City. According to them, African American teachers were either not trained in math and science or were not willing to live in New York City. In a 2015 report, Broken Promises, the Black Institute which is a Black-led policy and organizing institution working on local issues and serving Black and immigrant communities, wrote about the struggles of these teachers who had been recruited under false pretenses. According to the report, the teachers were promised green cards, masters degrees and other amenities including higher wages than they made in their Caribbean homes in exchange for their labor. Afro Caribbean Women Teachers: Race, Transnational Labor and Decolonial Resistance tells the stories of despair, survival, resistance and hope these teachers experienced as they negotiated their Black, immigrant and teacher identities in the United States.

Anticipated Project Activities

I will ask the students to:

  • Curate a list of Afro-Caribbean K12 teachers
  • Disseminate survey to teachers
  • Enter data from surveys

Preferred Student Qualifications and Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Impeccable research skills
  • Someone who is a good communicator with me and possible participants

Anticipated Follow-up Teaching/Professional Activity for Student

Students will be invited to present with me at a national conference. Specifically, in Spring 2021, I will invite them to attend the Comparative and International Education Scholars conference. There may also be an opportunity to publish a paper with me.

Project Location

Full remote

Project Duration

Eight weeks

Project Start Date

June 7, 2021

Project End Date

July 31, 2021