We're Not OK: A Community of Healing
In this episode, hosts Dr. Antija Allen and Justin T. Stewart, wrap up season 1 by answering your questions, discussing their book We're Not OK, telling you what to expect from Season 2, and sharing their goals for 2024.
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Dr. Antija M. Allen is the Director of the Pellissippi Academic Center for Excellence (PACE) and a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at Pellissippi State Community College with two decades of experience as an educator. She was the 2021-2022 recipient of the Roger Crowe Excellence in Teaching award and the 2022-2023 Staff Excellence award. She is certified in both DEI and online teaching. Antija championed Pellissippi Academy’s Emotional Intelligence cohort successfully for 2 years and served as the 2019-2021 PACE Faculty Fellow for First Year Experience. She was selected by the Tennessee Board of Regents to be a 2021-2022 Maxine Smith leadership fellow; her cohort developed a toolkit of best practices for Black male: student success, faculty recruitment and faculty retention in public higher education.
Dr. Allen is the Owner of Allen Ivy Prep Consulting (www.AllenIvyPrep.org), which specializes in career coaching and professional development. Antija’s recent publications include a chapter on Academic Freedom in Classroom Discussions and a bestselling edited collection entitled, We’re Not OK: Black Faculty Experiences and Higher Education Strategies. This Cambridge University Press publication discusses promoting mental health, diversity recruitment, faculty retention, and fostering an inclusive environment for Black faculty. It was book of the month for the society of diversity and recommended by the Journal of Blacks in higher education, INSIGHT into diversity, Diverse: Issues in higher education, Teaching in higher ed, and several DEI experts.
She has led and conducted research on several topics at NYU, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Teachers College Columbia University. Dr. Allen earned her BA in Psychology from Neumann University and MA in Psychology from Pepperdine University. Most recently, Antija has returned to Columbia University Teachers College where she earned her EdD in Adult Learning & Leadership to teach as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in their Summer Principals Academy, educating aspiring school leaders. Her research interests include: OER, faculty development, faculty retention, DEI, belonging/inclusion, online teaching, mental health, adult learning, leadership, and student engagement.
Mr. Justin T. Stewart is a Risk Management consultant in financial services, a faculty career coach at Allen Ivy Prep Consulting, and former entertainment journalist. He earned his B.A. in journalism from Clark Atlanta University and is a native of Boston, MA. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA where he was recently highlighted in Voyage ATL Magazine as part of ATL’s Most Inspiring Stories.
Since his days as an adolescent, Justin has gravitated towards literature, transforming into a passion to become a storyteller. Working in industries such as higher education, career services and corporate banking, these experiences, including being a member of the BOLD (Black Organizers, Leaders, and Doers) network has exposed him to diverse individuals, cultures and perspectives, enabling him to use his platforms to share the stories of those he has encountered. He has used his pen to highlight artists, business owners and non-profit organizations on local and national levels. Alongside his colleague Dr. Antija Allen, We’re Not OK: Black Faculty Experiences and Higher Education Strategies, their first collaborative publication through Cambridge University Press, is an opportunity to shine a light on racial disparities, continue conversations and create action that can lead to a meaningful and progressive shift in some of the unique challenges for Black faculty, and Black professionals, that work within predominantly white spaces.
Since the release of the book, he has presented at institutions including Columbia University, North Hennepin Community College, Virginia Tech, and the California Placement Association and been featured on podcasts including Black Mental Matters, In the Margins and Mental Talk for book talks and workshops to discuss issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and mental health. The title is currently featured at the bookstores of Emory University, Georgia Tech, Temple, Columbia University and Harvard.