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College of Education

February 2023

Messages From the Team

Hello Team!  

I begin with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please understand the use of what we now recognize as gendered language and focus on the larger message.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy"

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Black and white photo of Dr. martin Luther King, Jr. caption reads "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy" ` Martin Luther King

February is Black History Month. Ironically, while Black History Month is being celebrated by many, the teaching of Black History is being contested.  

Governor Ron DeSantis speaks on decision to reject Black history course  [video, 4 minutes]

Grounded in the principles of the Carolinian Creed, my hope is that we can use USC’s ethos of civil discourse to have robust conversations about the current debate about Black History.

In the 90s, I created and taught a course on Multicultural Education, EDTE 779. In 2012, I updated the course into online format in 2012 and the content is ever-evolving (thankfully). EDTE 779 is now called Equity Pedagogies in Teacher Education. An important strategy used in the course then and now is multiple perspectives. ‘Back in the day’ (lol), I used a text which featured opposing viewpoints on educational issues. The idea of multiple perspectives is to put two different viewpoints in conversation with each other. For example, instead of questioning if which project (1619 or 1776) should be included in K-20 schooling, both can be presented in a manner that supports critically conscious discussions. I think you get the point. Freedom cannot be limited to one perspective.

Teaching the African American Experience in the Palmetto State. Educator Resource Guide [pdf]


Here are a few articles about Black History month from national expert, LaGarrett King, Ph.D.:



Can we ‘talk’?  Let’s engage in robust discussion and civil discourse on our Blackboard site (COE-Office-Diversity-Equity-Inc). What are the implications of the current debate on Black History and education have on your professional teaching, scholarship, and service? 

I close my comments by sharing Ella’s Song (video, 5 minutes), performed by the phenomenal a cappella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Enjoy!

The students of the Apple Core Initiative attended the 6th annual CEEAAS conference in Columbia, S.C. During the conference, students attended professional development sessions and had a special question and answer session with New York Times Best Selling Author Tiffany Jewell.

Happy Black History month, Happy Groundhog Day, and Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! Please continue to send future submissions to my email by the third Friday of each month.

February Holidays

  • February 1 – National Freedom Day
  • February 11 – International Day of Women & Girls in Science 
  • February 13 – International Epilepsy Day 
  • February 15 – Nirvana Day (Buddhist)
  • February 18 – Maha Shivarati (Hindu)
  • February 20 – World Day of Social Justice

ODEI Updates

two women standing in front of a SCABSE banner

CarolinaCrED at SCABSE

On behalf of CarolinaCrED, Cindy Van Buren, Ph.D. and Deanna Taylor, Ph.D. presented at the South Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators (SCABSE) conference in North Charleston in January.  The presentation provided an opportunity to share with SC teachers and education stakeholders about the micro-credentials and platform the COE has developed for our state. Participants were able to experience one micro-credential from the Classroom Bias stack called Understanding Name Bias. A micro-credential recognizes a discrete skill of an educator that is related to his/her practice, based on evidence that demonstrates competency of that specific skill. These digital credentials allow educators to demonstrate their expertise in very specific areas (thanks to the College of Education for advancing this work) and can even be accumulated for certificate renewal credits (thanks to the South Carolina Department of Education for their forward-thinking.) We continue to build partnerships throughout South Carolina, bringing personalized professional learning to SC leaders and learners through micro-credentials and other innovations. Visit for more information.

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Join us for Centering Diaspora Symposium: Asian Diaspora Literacy

Join us for a symposia focusing on Asian Diaspora Literacy featuring our own Christina Yao and Yang Wang. This event is part of efforts to engage faculty, staff, and students in deepening awareness and understandings of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Thursday, March 2, 6:00 p.m.
Wardlaw 126

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Solomon-Tenenbaum Lecture: “It Could Happen Here: Why America Is Tipping from Hate to the Unthinkable―And How We Can Stop It” Thursday, Feb. 16, 7PM

We are excited that Solomon-Tenenbaum lectureship will feature Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. You are invited to join us for two captivating conversations featuring Jonathan Greenblatt on Thursday February 16.

Greenblatt in conversation with Dean Joel H. Samuels, College of Arts and Sciences

7 p.m. | Karen J. Williams Courtroom, School of Law 1525 Senate Street, Columbia, SC
Reception and book signing to follow. 

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Solomon-Tenenbaum Lecture: "What should we do about anti-Semitism?" 2 p.m.

"What should we do about anti-Semitism?” 2 p.m. | The Big Apple | 1000 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 

Jewish Studies Brunch Series

Jewish Studies is also continuing the Sunday brunch lecture series and we invite everyone to join us from 11:00-1:00 for intellectual engagement and brunch (kosher options available). Doyle Stevick has graciously offered the Anne Frank Center seminar room for three Sundays. Please save the following dates:

February 26:
John Mandsager, Ph.D. - Agricultural Space, Visuality, and Performance in Early Rabbinic Judaism.

March 26th:
Katherine Chaddock, Ph.D. - Heritage and Coincidence in Jewish Involvement During the Struggle for U.S. Racial Equality: The Example of Joel and Arthur Spingarn.
Campus Visit:  
Jewish Studies has received a very generous donation from the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation in Charleston to host a Yaschik Foundation Fellow at the University of South Carolina for one week. Wendy Lower, Ph.D. will visit campus on March 13-17.

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Join us for The Sounds of Blackness: A Musical Interpretation of the Exhibit, “Revolutionary Love and Black Joy"

Join us as we close the exhibit, "Revolutionary Love and Black Joy in Schools, Universities, & Communities" with a musical interpretation of the memories, perspectives, thoughts and feelings captured in the exhibit. Acclaimed artist, Dante Lewis will musically guide us through an artistic interpretation of this educational exploration of Black Joy. Light refreshments will be provided.

Event is free and open to the public, but you must register.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.