Deanna Blackwell

Intercultural Competence, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist

Company: United States Peace Corps
Role: Session Presenter

Deanna Blackwell is Intercultural Competence, Diversity & Inclusion specialist with United States Peace Corps and holds a BA in literature and composition at Eastern Illinois University; an MA in African studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and a PhD in the sociocultural foundations of education from the University of Utah.

Deanna is a teacher, trainer, and student service professional with 25 years of experience. She conducted research on the racialized experiences of students of color in white-dominated college classrooms, and published an article in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Education about her experiences as an African American woman graduate student.

Deanna’s career has been dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion for members of underrepresented groups. She has taught courses such as Research in Multicultural Education, Race and Schooling in U.S. Society, and Cross-Cultural Leadership Development. In 2015, she established a TRIO Student Support Services Program at Lincoln Land Community College. As the TRIO director, she promoted awareness of issues facing college students, such as their struggle to meet basic security needs and the prevalence of mental health issues.

Deanna served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in China (2011–2013) where she worked as a TEFL instructor at a teacher training college and as an instructor for China’s National Teacher Training Program. While serving, Deanna designed and delivered diversity trainings for volunteers and Peace Corps China staff. After serving, she was hired as a TEFL Technical Trainer for Peace Corps China.


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