Prospectus Presentation – Melissa Speight Vaughn

April 28, 2014 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
College of Education, room 481
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303

Indigenous Citizenship Education, A Community Praxis: A New Ceremony for Youth Citizens
by Melissa Speight Vaughn

Mainstream citizenship education in the U.S. is based on a narrow conception of citizenship that is rooted in ancient imperialistic Rome. This civilization created a nation-state of homogenized citizens, which by institutionalizing “otherness” sealed a bond between race and humanity that continues to exclude Indigenous and Black communities from citizenship and humanity. This inherent injustice prevails at the expense of human freedom. Previous research suggests a need for a more inclusive and contextualized conception of citizenship. This study will explore the possibility that excluded communities conceive and practice citizenship differently. This study proposes that such community based praxis has the potential to expand present understandings of citizenship and citizenship practices. Informed by a Black Studies perspective, this interdisciplinary qualitative study will investigate three research questions: How does an Indigenous Knowledge Community critically conceive and practice citizenship? How is citizenship knowledge preserved, produced and transmitted in out-of-school community spaces? How does the Indigenous Knowledge Community challenge social spatial demonization by the dominant society?