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Dr. Andrea Joseph-McCatty Presents at UT Mic/Nite

Twice a year, the Office of the Provost hosts Mic/Nite, a “Pecha-Kucha Powered” social gathering featuring short, engaging presentations by faculty members on an eclectic blend of topics designed to enhance the intellectual, interdisciplinary, and cultural life of the faculty and staff at UT Knoxville. Dr. Andrea Joseph-McCatty recently presented on “The Disproportional Pushout of Black Girls from Schools – Re-envisioning Healing and Well-Being for Black Girls.”

Joseph-McCatty notes that nationally, Black girls in the U.S. are disproportionately suspended compared to all other girls across the country (Crenshaw, Ocen & Nanda, 2015; US Department of Education, 2018). Data from the 2017-2018 academic year reflect that Black girls, compared to White girls, have 4.19 times the risk of receiving an out-of-school suspension, 3.99 times the risk for expulsion, 3.66 times the risk for school-based arrest (Epstein, Godfrey, González, and Javdani, 2020). However, poor behavior is not the singular factor leading to disproportional discipline. Many Black girls experience school discipline for subjective infractions such as tone of voice, hair styles and clothes that are considered suggestive on their bodies compared to other girls. To mitigate these factors, this presentation will discuss how school-based interventions can center Black girls’ healing and well-being by seeing the best in them and concurrently dismantling racist, sexist, and trauma “un-informed” discipline practices.