Voices of Black Women as Directors of Informal STEM Programs

Jessica Alyce Wilson, Natalie Simone King

Abstract


This autoethnographic study highlights the personal experiences of two African American women graduate students who direct summer STEM programs designed to engage and mentor students who are underrepresented in the STEM disciplines. They share reflections and personal accounts of how they position themselves in their directorship roles and provide insights into their struggles and successes. The programs take place in different cities with unique program structures, but are united in their goal of providing 5 weeks of culturally-relevant STEM-learning experiences for Black and Latino/a middle school students. Both researchers self-reflected and shared narratives expressing how the intersections of their race, class, and gender have interacted in complex ways to shape their identities as Black working class women in positions of power empowering the next generation of Black and Latino/a students to pursue careers in STEM.

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