Darius Spearman brings his experience as a career educator inside and outside of the class into African Elements: Explorations in Black and Africana Studies.
Author of Between the Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier from 1769 through Reconstruction, Darius began his teaching career in 1999, and since then has taught courses in US History, Race, Gender, & Ethnicity, World History, and African American History, as well as numerous courses in the multidisciplinary field of Black Studies.
Professor Spearman joined the faculty of the Department of Black Studies at San Diego City College in 2007. While there, he developed curriculum for several online courses within the department, and earned recognition for “Exemplary Online Instruction,” in 2012 Darius received his first Master of Arts Degree in History from Sonoma State University in 2000.
His Master’s thesis, Smith Robinson: The Experience Of An African American In The Community Of Healdsburg, California From 1920 To 1963, grew largely out of a project in which Darius served as guest curator for an exhibit at the Sonoma County Museum in 1997 entitled, Rivers of Hope – Rivers of Change: The African American Experience in Sonoma County.
Darius began his professional career at the Sonoma Student Union Intercultural Center (ICC). The mission of the ICC was to support the recruitment, retention, and graduation of a culturally diverse student body. The office operates from a strong commitment to multiculturalism.
“I want to contribute to the online academic community through African Elements: Explorations in Black History and Africana Studies.”
At the ICC, Darius served as advisor for 13 multicultural organizations on campus that are affiliated with my office. Those organizations include, the Asian & Pacific Islander Organization (APIO), Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Alliance of Sonoma State (Bi-Glass), Black Men in Motion (BMIM), the Black Student Union (BSU), Filipino American Association of Sonoma State University (FAASSU), Hillel Jewish Organization, International Student Association (ISA), Kappa Alpha Psi, African American Fraternity, Inc. (KAY), Lambda Sigma Gamma Multicultural Sorority, Inc. (LSG), MovimientoEstudiantíl Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), Nu Alpha Kappa Latino Fraternity, Inc. (NAK),The Middle Eastern Club (MEC), Raza/Native American Council (RNAC).
Darius maintained the ICC as a clearinghouse for culturally related resources for students, faculty and staff such as videos, articles and books. From his initial experience as Coordinator of the ICC, Darius has been committed to promoting access to higher education for the multicultural/multiethnic communities, the disabled community, and students of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
Under the auspices of the ICC, Darius sponsored multicultural/multiethnic programming aimed at keeping students actively involved as members of an academic community in addition to providing academic advising. Special events and lectures Darius coordinated include Louong Ung from the Campaign for a Landmine Free World, who spoke of her experiences as a refugee from Cambodia, Deborah James from the Fair Trade Coffee Campaign at Global Exchange who spoke of the conditions under which (mostly children) work in order to supply corporations such as Starbuck’s Coffee, and Susheel Bibbs, whose chautauqua performance brought to life the experiences of Mary Ellen Pleasant – a former slave born in Georgia who became a multi-millionairess.
Other special events Darius sponsored include lecturers: Cornel West, Sister Helen Prejean, Ronald Takaki, Howard Zinn, Greg Sarris, Gloria Anzaldua, and Amy Goodman to name a few.
While at SSU, Darius served on five committees at SSU that were composed of students, faculty, staff and administrators. Those committees include the Campus Climate Committee on Diversity, the SSU Diversity Vision Steering Committee, and the Student Affairs Staff Development Committee.
Other committees on which Darius served include the Education Equity Access Committee, and the Equity Recruitment and Outreach Workgroup.
Darius has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has visited four Latin American countries including Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and, most recently, Cuba.
The Cuba Tour was sponsored and organized by myself in connection with the ICC and facilitated by Global Exchange. Entitled Cuba at a Crossroads, the tour included meetings with artists, journalists, community activists, city planners, and hospital workers, and aimed at an understanding of the dilemma Cubans confront in remaining true to the ideals of the Cuban Revolution in the face of severe economic crisis.
As an intern at the TRIO program at Palomar College (a federally-funded program is targeted toward low income and/or first generation college students), Darius administered support services providing access to resources such as laptop computers, the text book library, tutoring, and individualized educational plan support.
Additionally, Darius presented workshops and referred students to seminars on various topics such as study skills, the taking, and life balance.
In 2006, Darius earned a second Master of Arts degree in Education from San Diego State University’s Community Based Block Program (CBB). CBB is a nine-month intensive program that allowed Darius contribute to a learning community and to develop a learning theory based on his unique personal and cultural history.
The program helped Darius develop a baseline of cross-cultural knowledge, awareness and advocacy for each student in the program while creating methodologies that are culture/life orientation appropriate for the needs of the various underrepresented populations needing to be served.
The expertise he has gained in his two Masters Degree programs, co-curricular programing, travel, and in teaching in the Department of Black Studies at San Diego City College combined with his passion to provide accessible online education for students with disabilities as the father of a child with special needs is what Darius hopes to contribute to the online academic community through African Elements: Explorations in Black and Africana Studies.
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