CEIS 2024 Black History Month Spotlights

March 1, 2024




For Black History Month, CEIS did spotlights of CEIS Students, Faculty, and Staff. They were encouraged to share their achievements and advice to their peers.

Here are the spolights:

Michelle L. DeJohnette (ECS Assistant Professor)
Hi I am new to the CPP community, joining in fall 2022. I was born and raised in San Diego and just moved to the IE to become a Bronco! I am an Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood Studies department, teaching antiracism and equity in early childhood education. My research focuses on critical theories, culturally-responsible pedagogy, anti-bias and anti-racist education, and issues of equity in early childhood education.
I am excited to be a part of the CPP community and the progressive initiatives our college is putting forth. One achievement I would like to share is a co-authored book chapter I recently finished on the topic of criminalizing Black boys’ play. Stay tuned!

Janiya T. Crumbley (Early Childhood Studies)
My name is Janiya Crumbley, and I am currently a senior at Cal Poly Pomona majoring in Early Childhood Studies. My ultimate goal is to teach elementary school and eventually establish my own childcare business.
Message to the CEIS community:

I want to extend my heartfelt thank you. Being a part of this community has been an incredible experience. We may be small in number, but we are powerful in our shared goals, values, and camaraderie through this experience. Together, we exemplify patience, love and respect. Our qualities are essential in our field. As we continue our journey, let’s remember that we are the future, and contributions are invaluable. Keep persevering, keep advocating, and let your voices continue to be heard. We are so close to the finish line.
I’m proud to share that I will be graduating this semester with my bachelor’s degree while already having two associate degrees from community college, all in early childhood. Additionally, I plan to pursue a teaching credential and a master’s degree. This journey hasn’t been easy, but I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m motivated by the prospect of graduating alongside some of the most amazing individuals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Together, we’ll go out into the world and make a positive impact for future generations.

Janetta Dismuke Page (Ed.D Ed Leadership)
Janetta Dismuke Page serves as the inaugural Director of the Promise Plus program at Mt. San Antonio College. In her role as the Director of Promise Plus, she oversees a robust program supporting students during their first two years at the college towards student success and academic wellbeing. During her 23 years of working in higher education in various roles, she has provided guidance to thousands of students including those that come from the most underserved and under-resourced communities. Janetta is currently working on her doctoral degree at Cal Poly Pomona in Educational Leadership and will graduate in May 2024. Her dissertation titled, Exploring what works at a Public University: An Asset-Based Programmatic Approach to Black Student Success. The study aims to explore asset-based approaches to Black students’ success, including institutional support through sense of belonging, student-faculty engagement, student development programs, campus climate and peer support.

An upcoming achievement: Janetta has been selected to attend the All African Diaspora Education Summit in the fall (2024)in Ghana, Africa with the Mt. San Antonio College Presidet and a team of three colleagues.

Rodney B Hume-Dawson (LS Professor)
Rodney Hume-Dawson is an expert in Resilience Studies, Inclusive Practices, Education, and Disability Studies. He is a certified English Educator in Los Angeles, California. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy, a Master’s in Teaching and Curriculum. He completed his Ph.D. in Education with emphasis on Disability Studies at Chapman University. Rodney has lived with a physical disability almost all his life. He was diagnosed with poliomyelitis at the age of eighteen months old in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa, where he was born and raised. The polio left him paralyzed from his waist down. In spite of his obvious disability, Rodney was raised to believe that with God all things are possible. His mother instilled in him a deep faith in God and that has been his greatest source of energy and inspiration since he was a child.

Rodney’s intention, research, and teaching are mainly to educate, sensitize and transform the human mind about what he refers to as the three Ds - Difference, Disability, and Diversity. His personal experience with disability and academic expertise elevates him to a place where he can help the world realize that all three Ds are part of the human experience. His provocative lectures are aimed at changing the status quo, deconstructing ideologies about disabilities, and transforming people’s attitudes about what it means to be human, resilient, and disabled.

Yvette S Liggins (Liberal Studies)
Message to CEIS Community:
Hello CEIS community! My name is Yvette Liggins and I am currently studying Liberal Studies to become an elementary school teacher. I am so thankful for all I have learned in school and through life experiences that I hope to carry into my teaching career to better the lives and education of my students. To the CEIS community, I wish to remind you that even though things may be tough right now, it is important to keep moving forward because the hard work will pay off, as long as you try (don’t be too hard on yourself either!). I believe a great achievement that is often overlooked by myself is that even when life has become very difficult, I have continued to pursue my passions and goals!

Karen D. Harris Tyrell (Ed.D Ed Leadership)
I am a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) candidate studying Educational Leadership at CalPoly Pomona. I am in the final few months of my studies, on track to graduate on May 20, 2024. My research interests include examinations of the social and affective development and intersectional disability identity formation of neurodivergent people with historically minoritized ethnic identities. I am also interested in examining how to dismantle the systemic, institutional, and structural barriers that create equity and opportunity gaps for neurodivergent people. For close to forty years, educational research has informed my practice as an educational leader, advocate, and activist. I am one of the co-founders, and for the past eight years I have served as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles-based social impact non-profit Let’s Talk. After graduation, I will continue to serve as the Executive Director of Let’s Talk LD and hope to pursue opportunities to write, publish, and teach at the postsecondary level. I remain committed to building capacity as an educational researcher, leader, and activist in both social innovation and higher education spaces. I also intend to encourage and mentor other scholars of color as they embark on their own doctoral journeys.

Message to the CEIS Community on the occasion of Black History month: In 2022, Black or African American earned 647 of the 4509 doctorates conferred in the United States, according to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ Survey of Earned Doctorates. Completing my doctoral journey will represent one of my greatest achievements, and it could not come at a more perfect time. Our nation is experiencing significant social and political upheaval, and there are concerted efforts to reverse hard-won advances towards racial equality. As Black scholars we must not only embody radical Black Joy as resistance, but we must also build capacity as transformative educational leaders who facilitate the creation of educational systems that are just, inclusive, and liberatory for Black children and other Children of Color.