Josette Ferguson is a second-year doctoral student at UNCG, where they are earning their PhD in Educational Studies with a concentration in Cultural Foundations. While earning their PhD, Josette also works full-time as the Special Projects and Research Associate for Advance Carolina, which is a non-profit that builds black political power in North Carolina. For the organization, they do what they can to galvanize black community members to be more engaged in local elections and build curriculum for the organization centered around citizenship education, staff cohesiveness, and decolonizing the minds of their fellow staff members.
As a Queer, non-binary, Guyanese African American womxn, Josette uses their identities to connect with the Black community members in North Carolina to expand the potential of the Black political capital in the state. Powered by their love of education and community, Josette believes that the most powerful tool in making change is being a bridge builder and a convener of stories. They believe that through storytelling, trust is cultivated, and communal power is built.
Josette grounds themselves in the teachings of Bettina Love (2019) who states, “we cannot pursue educational freedom or any type of justice without a model of democracy that empowers all”. As they work with Black community members, Josette also centers themselves in the mantra “we have to be the change we want to see in this world”. They use this mantra and Love’s quote to push Black community members to actively participate in the United States democratic system to create change.