Black Girl Gamers as Agents of Social Justice 

In this interactive workshop, we talk through designing culturally relevant pedagogical strategies for K-12 Black girls (Hispanic and Non-Hispanic). In particular, we will share with the BWG Symposium attendees a board game collaboratively designed with the students of a PS-5th grade public school in Washington, D.C. We will conclude by introducing a session of game play, with pauses to check in with players and attendees, in order to describe how game play might be adapted to a variety of classroom scenarios and reflect Common Core College and Career Readiness Standards. This last point is particularly important to us; while games like Pandemic, Payday, Apples to Apples, and Forbidden Island can be easily rationalized for inclusion in the K-12 classroom space because of their emphasis on strategy and visual literacy, it can be difficult to easily slot conversations on self, self-esteem, and agency into a curricular conversation that emphasizes concrete metrics instead of affective growth. Part of what we will be doing is modeling how this conversation on selfhood and self-care can be folded into a conversation on numeracy, media literacy, and design.

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Who We Are

 We are two dynamic educators and scholars who are passionate about black women and girls' empowerment. After meeting at through the University of Maryland College Park's Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity as fellowship recipients, Tamyka and Maria began a decade's long collaboration on culturally relevant pedagogies and educational access.

Lomax, Alan, photographer. [African American child singer for singing games, Eatonville, Florida]. Eatonville Florida United States, 1935. June. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2007660114/. (Accessed September 08, 2017.)

Lomax, Alan, photographer. [African American child singer for singing games, Eatonville, Florida]. Eatonville Florida United States, 1935. June. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2007660114/. (Accessed September 08, 2017.)

What is Critical Play? 

Critical play is a concept we borrow from the digital humanities and game studies. Developed by Mary Flanagan in Critical Play, it highlights the role games and game design can take in fostering conversations on social justice and wellness.

By Amanda Hirsch from Brooklyn, NY, USA (Black girl magic) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Amanda Hirsch from Brooklyn, NY, USA (Black girl magic) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A Primer on Black Girlhood Studies

Black girlhood studies takes seriously the lives and experiences of Black girls. Going beyond #blackgirlmagic, black girlhood studies looks at black girls as historical agents and social justice warriors.