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Get to Know the Authors from Nurture's Inaugural Edition!

BCDI-Atlanta published it's inaugural edition of the Nurture journal summer 2020. Nurture is our new peer-reviewed, electronic journal championing topics important to Black children ages 0-8 and their families. Nurture includes high-quality original works based on the six NBCDI focus areas - Public Policy, Early Care and Education, Health and Wellness, Family Engagement, Literacy, and Child Welfare. The content from Nurture will influence practice, policy, and future research that will guide the experiences of Black children in families in their homes, communities, and learning environments.


Download a copy of the inaugural edition of Nurture today!


BCDI-Atlanta had the opportunity to work with esteemed authors in constructing the first edition of Nurture. Read more about the authors and their publications in Nurture below.


Tameka Ardrey, Ph.D.

Georgia Southern University

Title: Bridging the Gap: An Early Childhood Framework for Implementing Culturally Engaging Practices

Brief Bio: Tameka Ardrey, Ph.D. is currently an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University. With more than ten years dedicated service to the early childhood field as an educator, professional development specialist, and a program director, she is committed to enhancing the early care and education experiences of young African American children and their families.  As a champion of social justice and advocate for low-income students of color typically labeled as at-risk, Dr. Ardrey has authored several publications addressing issues of cultural diversity and social inequities within the early education field.  Additionally, she has had the privilege of sharing her work through presentations, workshops and speaking engagements both nationally and internationally.


Abstract: Although experts in early childhood education have acknowledged the need to address equity in the field, it continues to be a pervasive source of inequity for children all over the united states (UNICEF, 2019), particularly as it relates to Black students. Culturally inclusive pedagogical approaches such as NAEYC’S anti-bias curriculum and Developmentally and Culturally Appropriate Practices (DCAP) have paved the way for addressing this issue by creating meaningful and equitable learning environments for not only Black students but for all children. However, this widespread inclusiveness on multiple cultures may be a missed opportunity to thoroughly and intricately address the cultural needs of Black students, as they tend to focus on breadth and not depth. Thus, my article will strive to bridge this gap by introducing the Early Childhood Framework for Culturally Engaging Practices (ECCEP). This framework was birthed out of my work as an early childhood administrator and aligns with four guiding principles: 1) The fostering of a school culture of unity, 2) The study of scholars whose cultures reflect those of the teachers and students represented in the program, 3) An emphasis on school readiness, 4) and the inclusion of culturally consonant character education. Although many early educators now understand the importance of culture to the development of young children, effective and consistent implementation still remains elusive for many. This framework will provide a much-needed blueprint for them.

Christopher McMullen



Title: Ethnocultural Education and Awareness


Brief Bio: Christopher McMullen was born and raised in Macon, GA. Christopher received a bachelors in Sociology from Savannah State University. Upon graduating, Christopher relocated to Los Angeles, California to receive a master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Christopher worked with youth in educational, community, inpatient, and outpatient settings, and is passionate about providing trauma-informed care for the many Black youth that has sustained engrained complex generational trauma. Christopher currently works with adjudicated youth providing case management services in the Atlanta area.


Abstract: The working infrastructure of the United States has developed a systematic use of symbolic racism. Symbolic racism can be defined as an ideology rooted in conservative values and anti-Blackness. With many persons believing that the United States has moved beyond race and racism, a sense of color-blindness has been adopted in places of employment. This study presents a case study, highlighting the author’s experience working as a lead behavioral specialist at a summer therapeutic residential retreat in New York. This residential retreat serves youth from all over the world impacted by challenges not limited to socio-emotional, behavioral, physical, mental, and medical. This case study will examine a racially motivated event that occurred between an adolescent attendant and the author, highlight the author’s response, and implications for practice for Black professionals in the workplace.

Betty F. Nugent, EdD

Forest Lake Academy


Title: Reading to Learn: Improving K-6 Literacy with Project Based Learning


Brief Bio: Betty F. Nugent, EdD, is an educator with over 30 years of experience as a K-12 teacher, grant writer, special projects coordinator, and administrator. At the university level she has served as a supervisor of student teachers and professor of various educational methods courses. She graduated from Southern Adventist University, Andrews University, and Walden University with a doctorate in teaching mathematics.


Abstract: The ability to read at grade level is necessary for students to succeed in all subjects. Reading proficiency of Black students in the fourth grade in the United States is less than 20%, while White students are at 45% and Asian students are at 55%. Project based learning (PBL) provides a variety of reading to learn opportunities. In this article, stories of students who learned in PBL environments are woven into a discussion of how PBL might contribute to improved reading proficiency of Black students as they read to learn.

2021 Nurture Request for Abstracts

BCDI-Atlanta will soon launch its Request for Abstracts for the second edition of Nurture. Abstracts will be accepted from December 1, 2020 through January 29, 2021. Please visit this link for more information on abstract guidelines, the submission process, and advertisement packages.

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