Inaugural Speaker: James Crawford

Date: August 19, 2021

Time: 12-1 PM PST

Advancing Knowledge of Self in Black Education

In an education system designed to reinforce racial inequities and injustice, what does it mean for Black students to matter? How does knowledge of self contribute to personal and collective empowerment for Black students? These and other essential questions will be addressed in this session through a discussion of Black critical theory and education practices that actualize Black student achievement. Additionally, the fundamental connection between knowledge of self and love will be emphasized as a way to deepen our discussion of potential pathways towards education transformation that are cultivated via shifts in teaching and learning strategies, curriculum, and policy.


Melanin, which is in the universe (black hole) allows for energy absorption, and on Earth, black bodies are known for their ability to absorb information and transform that information into the movements of our American culture. It’s clear the movement of black bodies is well known and loved, in all areas of art, music, transformative social movements. Black bodies on Earth are aware of the pineal gland, and yet, aren’t incorporating this knowledge into a regime to build our mental capacity to transform this energy enough to solve our social problems. If it holds the key to improving our problem-solving skills, why not give more attention to nourishing and nurturing it to aid in our success. And keeping a practice that reinforces this knowledge, as holidays do, media and television are designed to do. The lunch series will host various presenters on topics that will share insight into knowing thyself and how to nurture and nourish melanin for the greatest benefits. It will be 12 to 1 PM PST, thirty minutes to present, and thirty minutes for discussion. If you’d like to present, please fill out the form to lead a session here.


He is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Education Studies department at UCSD. He has extensive experience in education consulting and capacity-building to center the voices and academic supports for Students of Color. Currently, James is the Graduate Researcher for the UCSD Black Studies Project, a principal member of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, and also serves on the Black Academic Excellence Initiative Advisory Committee. He is a published scholar with research interests including Black critical theory, critical media analysis, and culturally responsive pedagogies and curricula to help transform education systems and outcomes.

What is KOS-Melanin-ology™

KOS is Knowledge Of Self and Melanin is a black biochemical substance that everyone has that drives all life. Melanin is found in the environment, springs, lakes, soil, plants, animals, and the atmosphere. The Pineal Gland secretes melanin, which regulates all functions and glands in the body. Black Bodies have the highest concentration of this biochemical and aren’t aware of how to nourish it or gain positive usage from it to solve racial problems. But it is necessary, should we want to transform our lives and all those with lesser quantities of it.

I’ve used it here as a play on words, but, in essence, it is the study of black bodies, to solve racial problems. (The more you know yourself, the more you can problem solve and put boundaries in place to shield as well.) Melanin is a topic not widely discussed, but bringing greater awareness to the subject is relevant to transforming, understanding, and solving our social problems. And, because people with the highest concentration of this chemical on their skin suffer racial problems most widely, it seems more than relevant to gain a greater understanding of its importance in our lives. If you’d love to contribute and be a part of the conversation, please contact us to learn more.