Margaret Lawson, the 2022 Vivian Malone Fellow, is currently finishing both her Masters in Teacher Education and her Masters in History program at The University of Alabama in spring 2022.
In 2019, as part of her graduate studies, Margaret was awarded a Community Engagement Graduate Fellowship from the Center for Community-Based Partnerships to work alongside Dr. John Giggie, Associate Professor of Southern History and Director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South, and multiple community partners, including the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Foundation, Stillman College, and Central High School, to create “History of Us,” a course inspired by the work of the Equal Justice Initiative and designed to train high school students to become producers of history as they explore the legacy of lynching and racial violence in their community. As of 2021, this high school history course has been adopted into all three Tuscaloosa city high schools, and is partnered with the Civil Rights Foundation and the West Side Scholars Academy (WSSA) to develop social justice and local history education opportunities for middle and elementary schoolers as well.
In 2022, Margaret will continue her work with Dr. Giggie to develop community-driven education at the secondary-level while also continuing to expand her work with undergraduates UA’s department of History—especially the Summersell Center’s work to document the over 400 lives lost to lynching in Alabama on the digital memorialization website, Alabama Memory. In addition, she is looking forward to being a mentor to the 2021-2022 class of Summersell Scholars as well as continuing to work with the Queer History South project to center to stories of Queer southerners in our history.
Each of these projects reimagines what it means to teach engaging, culturally responsive, and inclusive southern history, and Ms. Lawson hopes to share this curriculum and its core values as a model for educators across the South.