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Educating for Change

#FergusonSyllabus creator to speak at Mizzou

Published March 6, 2015
Story by Angela Dahman
Photos courtesy of Marcia Chatelain

Marcia Chatelain in class

Former Mizzou student activist Marcia Chatelain, BA, BJ ’01, is now an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University.

Marcia Chatelain came to Mizzou for a journalism degree and left with a passion for social advocacy and education.

As a freshman from Chicago, Chatelain got involved in the “Inclusion Now” movement to add sexual orientation to the university’s nondiscrimination policy. The student initiative also led to the creation of a full-time staff position in the LGBTQ Resource Center.

marcia chatelain tap day

Chatelain made a name for herself early at Mizzou. She was inducted into LSV, above, in 2000. From left are Chatelain; Steffani Pealer Lautenschlager, BA '00; Michaella Hammond Thornton, BA, BJ '00; Rozana Carducci; Elizabeth Stallone-Lowder, BSW '99; Joan Hermsen; Jeimmie Nevalga, BJ '00; Latricia Buckner, BA '00; and Princess Reyes, BJ '01.

In addition, Chatelain directed the “Hate Report,” chronicling hate speech on campus. Her efforts were documented in a Missouri Students Association resolution in 2006 that resulted in the creation of a campus bias incident reporting system.

“Those two experiences where I developed leadership skills and a real interest in how campuses can help transform communities [were] so transformational for me,” says Chatelain, now an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University.

“I don’t really know who or what I would be without those experiences.”

Ferguson Syllabus

When events in Ferguson, Missouri, unfolded last year, Chatelain created the Twitter hashtag #FergusonSyllabus, encouraging classroom dialogue about the crisis.

The effort “has allowed me to talk to a lot of communities and schools about how to have civil, honest and transformational conversations about race in classrooms and homes and communities,” she says.

Women's History

South Side Girls book cover

Chatelain recently completed South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015).

Chatelain recently completed a book, South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015).

“The things they struggled with in the 1920s and 1930s are things that girls and women still struggle with today,” Chatelain says. “Fitting in at school, negotiating … power struggles with parents over the way they dress, what music they want to listen to, who they hang out with."

She will discuss the book at a talk, “Black Girls’ Lives Matter: Writing the History of Black Girlhood.” Her presentation at 3 p.m. Friday, March 13, is open to the public.

Women's Leadership

Chatelain will also deliver a keynote address, “You’ve Leaned In, Now Brace Yourself,” March 14, 2015, to students registered for the Women’s Leadership Conference.

“I’m going to talk about my very personal struggle with figuring out my life at various points,” Chatelain says. “It’s about this moment I think a lot of women have when they’ve worked so hard to get somewhere, and then they realize they have to deal with that.”

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail:

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Last updated: Aug. 15, 2017