At CCER, we relish the opportunity to highlight our amazing leaders—this week, we’re featuring Dr. Kristin McCowan (she/her), Director of Research Partnerships. Between her fearless work in guiding research strategy and working collaboratively with community, we had the chance to ask her a few questions. 

How do you spark joy in your work?

The joy shows up through me being authentic in everything I do. It lives in the space of being authentic in the various places I show up. I always stay curious about everything, which is why research is my realm.

When you envision a world with equitable education, what does that look like?

Equitable education, for me, looks like a system that was designed for Black people by Black people—or “FUBU” education. When we start with Black, everybody wins.

What does starting with Black mean to you?

From pre-K all the way through higher ED, there’s the Black history, culture, Afrocentric/Indigenous ways of knowing are embedded in the subject matter, extracurriculars, educator education…it looks like “whole-ism”. Not just educational but for [our] mental/emotional health as well.

What’s your favorite part about being Black?

The ever-present sense of collectiveness and or understanding that goes without words. It operates in a spiritual sense…there’s a spiritual connection between all Black people. Feeling connected to everybody else Black is the best part–down to the expressions and unspoken understandings. Most of the time, no words or explanations are needed.

You can read more about Dr. McCowan here.

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