Reimagining the Mother Road with StoryMaps: Social Justice Work in Challenging Contexts




Peeples, Shanna

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Using the well-known Route 66 interstate highway, our StoryMap team, led by women of color, created an interactive, multimedia mentor text for public school teachers interested in creating learning that produces place-based projects. Teachers interested in equity and justice for their marginalized students, particularly those in censorious or condeming areas, can find inspiration for similar projects of place-conscious teaching as a subversive activity (Postman & Weingartner, 1969). These tools draw upon the collective wisdom, hidden histories, and current contexts of the user/creator communities in rural Texas spaces. Rural equity matters: nearly 1 in 5 students, (9.3 million), attend rural schools where the buildings house the sole possibility for innovation in a community (Showalter, et al. 2017). This multimedia presentation highlights action-oriented work that is emergent and does not lend itself to narrow definitions, reside in district offices, or exist solely in professional development focused on anti-bias training. It creates and supports an intentional disposition "to see the invisible structures, policies, and behaviors that sustain unequal outcomes and interrupt the ways of working that serve, implicitly or explicitly, to perpetuate gaps in opportunity for vulnerable communities" (Cheatham, et al., 2020). Localized, hidden histories made visible help to "disrupt patterns of inequity...[in] a community's history of oppression [and] helps highlight the historic wounds that need healing, wounds that continue to hurt" (DeWolf and Geddes, 2019). Along these lines, those who research their communities become architects of local historicity built among a place’s myths, legends, and flattering fictions.


The data collection methodology used was community-based participatory research through narrative and geographic inquiry frameworks.


2023 Faculty and Student Research Poster Session and Research Fair, West Texas A&M University, Department of Education, Poster, Route 66, Community-based participatory research, Narrative inquiry, Texas panhandle, Women of color


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