LeMar Clifford is co-founder of the The Young Scholar Society and is a contributing writer. He is currently completing master’s course work at Louisiana State University and is an Instructional Specialist focusing on literacy at South Baton Rouge Charter Academy. Mr. Clifford was a participant of the LSU study abroad program, Teaching in Chile 2015 cohort and was also selected as a 2015 National Endowment for the Humanities scholar. Mr Clifford is currently working on curricular material that fuses Hip Hop and literature. He is a member of the International Literacy Association and the National Council for Teachers of English. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @lcliff06.
Jalissa Bates is an English educator, poet and co-founder of The Young Scholar Society. Bates graduated from Louisiana State University in 2010 with a B.A. in English: Creative Writing and a Master’s of Art in Teaching in 2012. Bates is a member of the National Council for Teachers of English, hosting read-ins to promote African-American literature and literacy and serves as Louisiana K-12 Policy Analyst. Bates was selected as a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Scholar in 2012, working with professionals nationwide on the relationships of abolitionism in literature. Bates has taught secondary education in public, private, and charter schools. Bates is an English instructor for Louisiana State University and Baton Rouge Community College’s Upward Bound program, a historic federal program for first generation college students. Bates has been recently selected as a recipient of the 2015 NCTE Early Educator of Color Leadership Award. Bates is a contributing author of Can I Teach That? Negotiating Race and Taboo Topics in the ELA Classroom published by Rowman & Littlefield July 2016.
Meagan K. Belvin is a poet and writer and is active in community development. She received her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from Louisiana State University in 2015 with special concentrations in African American Studies, Sociology, and Leadership Development. She is a contributing author and was recently published in “America, The Beautiful: In Spite of It All!,” an exploration of cultural identities. Currently, Meagan is a Workforce Development Coordinator at a local nonprofit agency where she assists with resume writing and career planning, as well as facilitates trainings that teach employability skills. She is an active member of Greater Baton Rouge Society of Human Resource Management.
Nicole Jackson is an intern for the Young Scholar Society. Jackson is currently a Peace and Conflict Studies and Caribbean Studies double major at Colgate University and will be graduating May 2018. Jackson was born and raised in Houston, Texas, where she has recently launched a college-prep program named “A Better Hand” that she co-founded with childhood friends. Jackson dedicates as much time to education as possible, volunteering at a Somalian Bantu Center in Utica, NY in her free time. An active member of the Black Student Union and the Model African Union, Jackson works for the Africana and Latin American Studies department at her school and plans on remaining within that area of study past her undergraduate studies, aspiring to one day be a member of the Peace Corps.