Future of Education and Culture Schetauna Powell
For the past two years I have been working on a design curriculum that communicates Afrocentric knowledge through design. The curriculum has been created based on feedback from the Houston community members on what they need and want in an Afrocentric educational curriculum. The result is an art based learning product that presents information simply and graphically.
When I was a little girl, I enjoyed art and hence, wanted to become an artist. In my household, education was valued but participation in art was seen as an extravagance; nice but unnecessary. I attended the University of Houston for undergraduate training. I excelled in my art classes and enjoyed discourse about race through art. I also began to feel the ire of racism and became disengaged with the ivory tower’s route towards a career as an artist. As I grew as both an artist and intellectual, gaining a Masters degree in Pan African Studies from the University of Louisville, I decided to shift my focus towards engaging the community through art. During my 10+ career in K-12 education I began organizing around arts advocacy and I noticed divestment from public education leaves students of color in increasingly hostile environments where state mandates create propagandized curriculum. Ultimately I realized that the response to these issues in public education is not effective. Therefore, I decided to devote my Life Work to using art as a tool for liberation.