Ce’Ondra is a rising senior from Greensboro, NC majoring in Psychology and African and African Americans Studies with a certificate in Human Rights. On campus, she is a Chapel Scholar, Showcase Chair for Nakisai African Dance Ensemble, Research Assistant for the Duke Identity and Diversity Lab, under Sarah Gaither, and an undergraduate researcher for the “Strengthening Partnerships between Durham Public Schools and Local Universities” Bass Connections team. She is interested in the construction of race and how this racial construction has been upheld and implemented throughout American society. In addition to understanding this racial construction, Ce’Ondra is interested in the ways in which the laws that created it have impacted the development of African Americans with regards to education, mass incarceration, health outcomes, and racial identity development.

This summer, she will build upon research from her 2018 Story+ Left of Black Project which focused on the importance of expanding education to incorporate black studies within secondary schools. Her research this summer will expand upon this work by examining the role of school curriculum on racial identity formation. Historically, school curriculum has been exclusionary as it perpetuates whiteness as the normative lens through which to view history and citizenship within the United States. This, in turn, validates the racial identity and social belonging of white students while reinforcing the racial inferiority and otherness of students of color within American society. The research gathered from the summer will contribute to her senior thesis on black women’s experience in education and how school culture and curriculum contributes to their racialized experiences in educational institutions, racial identity formation, and academic achievement.