Author Bio

Stacey Chimimba Ault (she, her, dr.) is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Work at Sacramento State University. A community engaged scholar, Dr. Ault has over 25 years of experience working with children, youth and families; especially those most marginalized through exploitation and incarceration. Dr. Ault is a community leader, certified professional coach, and national speaker. Her research focuses on Critical Post Traumatic Growth and the intersections of Blackness, resistance, joy and healing. Dr. Ault is also founder/CEO of the Race and Gender Equity (RAGE) Project, uplifting individual and collective transformation through healing, education, advocacy and research. stacey.ault@csus.edu


Both educational research and practices pay little attention to the experiences of girls related to trauma within the school-to-prison pipeline. Educators typically take a deficit approach toward youth experiencing trauma and often reinforce trauma through discriminatory and exclusionary disciplinary practices. Using a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) methodology centered in the authentic experiences of Black girls, with an intentional focus on their agency and growth, I conducted a research study that educated, coached, and supported a research team collectively known as Queens Speak. This research explored the emerging, explanatory conceptual framework of Critical Post-Traumatic Growth. This framework combines Critical Race Theory and Post-Traumatic Growth, highlighting eight tenets that can be used as a lens to both explore and increase the growth among Black girls. These tenets are: context, identity, struggle, resistance, navigation, community, voice and hope. Drawing from this framework, this article examines educational justice through the eyes of Black high school femmes: cis, trans and gender fluid girls who developed a research team to explore and share their lived experiences. It focuses specifically on the growth exhibited by Queens Speak during and after the YPAR project.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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