Khalilah Ali Wins Global Education Initiative Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Award

Spelman College | Feb-28-2024

Khalilah Odessa Ali, Ph.D., an assistant professor and admissions coordinator in education has been awarded the Global Education Initiative Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad (GPA) award, focusing on Afro-Brazilian curriculum development and research.

The program provides grants to support overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Projects may include short-term seminars, curriculum development, group research or study, or advanced intensive language programs.

“This initiative will not only enrich our understanding of Afro-Brazilian culture and history but also promote global citizenship and enhance the international studies curriculum within our department,” Ali wrote.

The Fulbright-Hays Group Project award focuses on Ali’s research on diasporic Black street art. Her latest study, titled “Spray Black, Spray Strong,” examines the social justice-oriented pedagogy of diasporic Black street artists across Atlanta, Accra, Ghana, and Bahia, Brazil. 

Through this research, Ali has shed light on how street art preserves cultural funds of knowledge and fosters various literacies among students. Her findings also highlight the role of street art in addressing digital inequity, utilizing mixed reality applications to bridge the digital divide and empower marginalized communities.

Ali has also recently completed her book, The Conscious Cultural Worker: Counternarratives of Black Women Artivists as Radical Educators for Lexington Press. The book discusses how Black women cultural workers "work the culture" despite the current anti-woke moment, advance social justice agendas, and share cultural knowledge through their art, activism, and teaching.