Profile: Crystal Belle

Director of Teacher Education

Staff
Department of Urban Education

Dr. Crystal Belle is an educator, poet, and activist. Her experiences are vast and include teaching in NYC public schools as a middle school and high school English teacher, working as a literacy coach/consultant in underserved schools in the Bronx, and teaching graduate courses in the English Education department at Teachers College of Columbia University, where she earned her Doctorate. Belle developed and launched The Trayvon Effect conference in 2014 at Columbia University, which served as a space for educators and community activists to develop culturally relevant strategies for valuing the lives and experiences of Black and Brown students through education and community based organizations. Belle was also an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she launched a racial literacies dialogue initiative titled Racial Literacies at UHD, which investigated the intersections among race, class and urban education. A notable scholar, her research is centered on urban education, literacy and race, and has been featured in English Education, The Journal of Black Studies and Education Review. Belle is also the author of Woman on Fire, a collection of poetry that explores the nuanced experiences of Black women in the Diaspora.