Student Spotlight Roundup
Mentoring Others: Kwanbe D. Bullard Jr.
Kwanbe D. Bullard Jr. is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a member of the Austin-East High School Class of 2017. Bullard also graduated from Pellissippi State Community College Class of 2020 with an associates of science in reaching. He’s continuing his education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville majoring in Africana Studies with a minor in sociology and is expected to graduate May 2022.
As a college student at UT, Bullard is a member of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Project Grad Knoxville, Tau Sigma National Honors Society, Gamma Beta Phi Society and National Society of Leadership and Success, and Campus Events Board. Bullard is a Project Grad Ambassador for UT. As ambassador, he helps incoming freshmen transition into college life.
Bullard currently works at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center as an executive staff member. In this role, he’s responsible for community outreach and engagement. He also serves as the lead contact for the Knoxville Community Step-Up program that focuses on reducing incarceration and the recidivism rate among Black males that operates out of Beck. Bullard has been working and/or volunteering with Beck since his senior year at Austin-East High School. Beck president, Rev. Reneé Kesler has served as his mentor throughout.
Advocating for Universal Daycare: Isabella Reed
Isabella Reed is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in rhetoric and writing and minoring in Africana Studies and business.
As part of her minor in Africana Studies, Reed has an opportunity to conduct research with Professor Danielle Procope Bell, who is working on a project about Black women’s early involvement in advocating for universal daycare, starting in the late 19th century.
Specifically, Bell examines how Black women’s unique relationship to paid labor drove many Black women activists to take a positive view of daycares and kindergartens, while it was still very taboo among white suffragists or considered something only “unfit” mothers should utilize.
Reed will read sources related to the topic and assist Professor Bell to develop fully the historical breadth of her research. Findings will generate an article or book chapter that will bring awareness to the subject.