THE HOMEPLACE RESEARCH COLLECTIVE 

What is the Homeplace?

The homeplace is a safe space where black people can affirm one another and heal many of the wounds in­flicted by racist domination. This space will foster love, respect, growth, and development which is intended to nurture our spirits. We view this homeplace as a community of resistance. (bell hooks, 1990).

 

Homeplace Goals:

  1. To engage in radical healing with Black graduate students.

  2. To foster a space of support for scholarly development, authenticity, and resistance to systems of oppression. 

  3. To build community with Black students, faculty, and staff to operate as a collective within UF


Radical Healing in the Homeplace Collective:

Radical healing is designed to assist marginalized groups with coping with racial trauma that negatively impacts their well-being (French et al., 2020). Radical healing moves beyond individual blame to calling out systems of oppression. We will use this framework to resist oppression and move towards liberation with our Black graduate students through five key components: critical consciousness, strength and resilience, emotional and social support, radical hope, and cultural authenticity.

The Research Project:

Utilizing the Black feminist epistemology of homeplace (hooks, 1990), the psychological framework of radical healing for communities of color (French et al., 2019), and a critical race counternarrative (Solorzano & Yosso, 2002), this study will explore the racialized experiences of Black graduate students at the University of Florida. 

 

Drawing on the visual methodologies of photovoice (Wang & Burris, 1997) and photo-elicitation (Harper, 2002), this study will explore and amplify the voices of Black graduate students at The University of Florida. Embedded in critical participatory action research (CPAR), this study seeks to promote racial healing for Black graduate students within the university by centering their voices and experiences and engaging them as researchers collectively towards the provision of actionable policy and practice recommendations for key stakeholders (Manis et al., 2018). 

 

Visual methods enhance the richness of data by discovering additional layers of meaning, adding validity and depth, and creating knowledge (Boucher, 2018; Harper, 2002; Wang & Burris, 1997). Photo elicitation evokes information, feelings, and memories due to the photograph's particular form of representation. In the expansion of photo-elicitation, the research team will also use the critical participatory action research (CPAR) approach of photovoice simultaneously, which also uses participant-generated photographs.

This project is currently being sponsored by The Advancing Racial Justice Through Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Grant from the University of Florida. 

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MEET THE TEAM

Dr. Tee (a Clinical Assistant Professor) earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Higher Education at Clemson University. As a critical educator, he focuses on inquiry, practice, and pedagogy that helps disrupt oppressive systems in order to support racially minoritized students. His research agenda is centered in Black student involvement, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Black graduate students. His previous work utilizes critical methodological qualitative approaches such as phenomenology, photo-elicitation, photovoice, and critical participatory action research. Travis’ work can be found in the Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, The Bulletin, The Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, and The Journal of Student Affairs. He ultimately hopes to become a university president of an HBCU.

Dr. Tee

Clinical Assistant Professor 

Student Personnel in Higher Education

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Dr. Lane Washington (he/him) serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives within the Division of Student Affairs. Lane’s research interests focus on race, ethnicity, and social justice, specifically studying the experiences of Black students at predominantly white institutions. A qualitative researcher, Dr. Washington has employed narrative and case study methodologies to best understand Black collegians. Within his professional role, Dr. Washington engages in programs dedicated to access concerning precollegiate students interested in college, graduate student preparation work, international partnership opportunities, and staff development.

Dr. Lane Washington

Director of Strategic Initiatives 

Division of Student Affairs

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Jerell is a Student Affairs educator focused on bridging the divisions in higher education through a Critical Race Theory lense, and equipping racially minoritized students to add meaningful contributions to their communities as role models of character, leadership, and scholarship. He came to the University of Florida in 2018 to help build the UF College of Dentistry Office of Student Advocacy & Inclusion. In this role he focused on developing and maintaining student programs, building collaborative relationships, proactively solving problems and effectively managing multiple, competing projects. Continuing on to manage the UF College of Medicine Office of Student Affairs, he focuses on staff development and student services that  bolster students’ personal, professional and academic growth.

Jerell Blackburn  

Doctoral Student

Student Personnel in Higher Education 

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Sendi (she/her) is the Assistant Director for the Women’s Center at Florida International University (FIU). A 2nd-year doctoral student in the University of Florida’s Higher Education Administration program, her scholar-practitioner research interests lie in undergraduate Black feminist identity development. Sendi is a product & producer of Florida’s higher education system, attending FIU & FSU for her undergraduate & graduate degrees while serving FGCU and UM in professional capacities. Sendi’s joy trifecta consists of brunch, Beyoncé, and becoming a budding oenophile. A native Miamian, she is a wife and finer woman of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Sendi (she/her) is the Assistant Director for the Women’s Center at Florida International University (FIU). A 2nd-year doctoral student in the University of Florida’s Higher Education Administration program, her scholar-practitioner research interests lie in undergraduate Black feminist identity development. Sendi is a product & producer of Florida’s higher education system, attending FIU & FSU for her undergraduate & graduate degrees while serving FGCU and UM in professional capacities. Sendi’s joy trifecta consists of brunch, Beyoncé, and becoming a budding oenophile. A native Miamian, she is a wife and finer woman of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Cherita Clendinen is currently a graduate student in the Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Florida with a concentration in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. She received her Bachelor of Science degree at Georgia State University in Psychology in 2014. Cherita’s research interests include genetic and environmental risk and resilience factors impacting behavioral and psychological outcomes in underserved and underrepresented populations. Specifically, her focus is on the impact of stressful life experiences on development during early and adolescent years.

Cherita Antonia Clendinen

Doctoral Student

Psychology

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Kenesma John was born in St. Thomas U.S.V.I. and descended from a Lucian mother and an Anguillan father. She was raised in Houston, Texas, and is an experienced Teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the primary education industry in both Texas and Florida. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida with scholarly interests in Black Immigrants, Black Feminist Thought, and Culturally Responsive Teaching/Learning. Before starting the graduate program, Kenesma self-published her first children’s book, The Newest Addition: A Tale of Siblings, available on Amazon in English, Spanish, and French.

Kenesma John 

Doctoral Student

Curriculum and Instruction

(Teachers, School, and Society)

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Dashana is a School Psychologist in the District of Columbia and is pursuing her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of Florida. Dashana’s research interests include the impact of trauma and the importance of Social and Emotional Learning in Early Childhood Education. An integral part of Dashana’s focus surrounds community service as she serves as a member of several non-profit organizations focused on at-risk populations and mentoring.

Dashana Lane

Doctoral Student 

Educational Leadership

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D’Annette Mullen, a former high school special education teacher, and leader is a special education doctoral student. She has experience writing and supervising a 21st Century Grant at a New York City public school. Her research interests include racial discrepancies in school discipline, the impacts of various forms of restorative justice in schools, and school leadership. 

D'Annette Mullen

Doctoral Student 

Special Education

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Hank Samuels is a Ph.D. student in the Teachers, Schools, and Society program in the College of Education. His research interests include preservice education, professional learning experiences for teachers, and arts integration into the elementary classroom. Specifically, he is interested in examining how educators can support the imagination-intellectual development of their students.

Hank Samuels 

Doctoral Student

Curriculum and Instruction

(Teachers, School, and Society)

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Jerri is a student affairs practitioner who draws from over six years of higher education assessment experience, particularly through her work in career services, academic affairs, and now, Student Affairs Assessment and Research (SAAR). She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (major in Management), a master’s in Student Personnel in Higher Education and is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Research and Evaluation Methodology. In her current role, Jerri incorporates into her everyday work her enthusiasm for assessment, passion for learning, and commitment to building assessment capacity within the Division of Student Affairs.

Jerri Berry Danso 

Student Affairs Practitioner

Assistant Director of Analytic Services, Student Affairs Assessment and Research

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Temi is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Florida. She completed her BA in psychology and sociology at Rice University, mainly focusing on the socio-cultural implications of convict leasing (in Texas specifically) and de jure and de facto Jim Crow laws on current-day mass incarceration. Currently, Temi studies the fluidity of race. Her research looks at how diasporic, cultural, and transnational processes, ethnicity, and identity politics influence the construction and conceptualization of Black identity. Her thesis will examine how immigrant generation status and diasporic cultural processes influence African immigrants’ attitudes towards the Black Lives Matter social movement.

Temi Alao 

Doctoral Student 

Sociology 

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Sendi (she/her) is the Assistant Director for the Women’s Center at Florida International University (FIU). A 2nd-year doctoral student in the University of Florida’s Higher Education Administration program, her scholar-practitioner research interests lie in undergraduate Black feminist identity development. Sendi is a product & producer of Florida’s higher education system, attending FIU & FSU for her undergraduate & graduate degrees while serving FGCU and UM in professional capacities. Sendi’s joy trifecta consists of brunch, Beyoncé, and becoming a budding oenophile. A native Miamian, she is a wife and finer woman of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Sendi Brewster 

Doctoral Student

Higher Education Administration 

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Alexis Freeman is a doctoral student at the University of Florida within the College of Education, concentrating in special education. Her research concentration is rooted in language, literacy, and culture. Specifically, she focuses on African-American Language/Black Language (BL) pertaining to students' identity, expression, and means of access. Her research grounds beyond acceptance toward liberatory practice in ensuring that mother tongues are kept alive and flourish.

Alexis Freeman

Doctoral Student

Special Education

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Ebonie Jones is currently a Ph.D. student, Instructor, and Clinical Supervisor in the College of Education at the University of Florida. Ebonie's research interests include racial disparities existing in impoverished schools and communities. As a former teacher in a predominantly African American community, she noticed that many of the racialized experiences endured in her schooling still exist today. Through counter-storytelling and critical scholarship, Ebonie aspires to contribute to scholarship in a way that pays homage to her lived experiences, counteracting the structural inequities many students of color endure today.

Ebonie Jones

Doctoral Student

Curriculum and Instruction

(Teachers, School, and Society)

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Kandysee' Leonard is a first-year School Psychology Ph.D. student. She is from St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, and received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology at Howard University in May 2019. Currently, she serves as the Test Librarian for the School Psychology program. Her research interests include monitoring and maintaining all students' well-being students' and, most recently, the adjustment of students who identify as Black at predominantly White institutions. 

Kandysee Leonard 

Doctoral Student 

School Psychology

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Tresha Robinson is a doctoral student in the Higher Education Administration program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English Education from the University of Florida, and a master’s degree in higher education administration from New York University. Her research interests include recruitment and retention of students of color at PWIs and student activism's influence on education policy. She is currently student affairs professional in South Florida.

Tresha Robinson

Doctoral Student 

Higher Education Administration

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Ayanna Troutman is a proud graduate of Spelman College, where she majored in psychology. She is currently a doctoral student in the School Psychology program at the University of Florida. Her research interests include integrating social justice practices into graduate training programs and practicum and adapting social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) interventions to be culturally responsive for students from minoritized backgrounds. Her ultimate goal is to become full-time faculty at a university to conduct research highlighting minoritized students' experiences in the education system.

Ayanna Troutman

Doctoral Student 

School Psychology

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Jalea is a first-year doctoral student in the College of Education's Curriculum & Instruction program in the specialty area of Teachers, Schools, and Society. This her third time completing a degree at UF completing a degree (Go Gators!). Her research interests include pre-service teacher education, teachers of color retention, and racial equity structures in schools. She is currently a first-grade teacher at PK Yonge, completing her third year in the classroom. Outside of work and school, she enjoys cooking, eating, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.

Jalea Turner

Doctoral Student 

Curriculum and Instruction

(Teachers, School, and Society)

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Chanel Williams has been in the field of education for over 10 years. She is a proud alum of Florida Memorial University and Florida International University. Her specialization is working with students with learning disabilities from urban communities. Chanel's research interests are education equity and reading disabilities in urban education.

Chanel Williams 

Doctoral Student

Higher Education Administration

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