Ataraxia & Placemaking: BlackMothering in the academy
Julia Lynch is a Visiting Assistant professor who earned her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction
from The University of North Carolina Wilmington, her MAEd in Reading Education, and her
BS in Elementary Education from East Carolina University. As a Black public educator, Julia’s
tenure was focused primarily on under-resourced rural schools that served Black and brown
communities. There, she was able to become a teacher leader in her district, building critical
communities around conversations of culturally sustaining practices for the advancement of
Black and brown student success.
Julia’s interests are guided by a focus on the identity of the Black women teachers,
students, and their lived experiences across their educational experiences. Generally speaking,
her scholarship explores teacher identity and pedagogical practices within rural education
contexts. She operates primarily from a Black feminist epistemology with a critical sociocultural
framework to engage in critical qualitative research that promotes equity and social justice in
rural education teaching and learning. Using culturally sustaining pedagogy as a foundation,
Julia’s teaching/scholarship allows students to begin to construct, perform and assess their own
knowledge as they engage in critical reflection that challenges them to (re)imagine equitable
teaching that may counter their cultural identity and interrogate race and racism. Reconciled
cultural identity creates a more liberatory teaching practice that is inclusive of academic freedom
for teachers and students. A Black poet scholar, she engages in critical qualitative research that
attempts to center the lives and experiences of other Black scholars while also disrupting
normative research that doesn’t honor the authenticity of the researcher or culturally sustain the
community of participants.
Dr. Atkinson obtained her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Curriculum and Instruction
from The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She also has a Master of Arts in Adult
Education and Training (MAAE&T) from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science
in Family and Community Services from East Carolina University. Monisha's major focus as a
Black woman educator has centered attention on implementing culturally affirming pedagogy
and fostering linguistic justice in learning environments.
Dr. Atkinson’s research interests revolve around cultivating a feeling of belonging among
Black students in educational settings and promoting linguistic justice. Her schooling as a former
student in the Not Yet united states school system has informed her study of linguistic justice.
She conducts critical qualitative research focusing on disrupting anti-Blackness in education by
drawing on a Black-Crit epistemology and critical sociocultural framework. Monisha's teaching
and scholarship are grounded in culturally affirming pedagogy, encouraging students to engage
in critical reflection that pushes them to challenge normative instructional practices.