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Clare Washington's Biography

Clare J. Washington, a transplant from Southern California, holds a B.S. with high honors and distinction in Black Studies and English/Professional Writing from Portland State University (2007); and an M.S. (Summa Cum Laude and Phi Kappa Phi) in Interdisciplinary Studies from Portland State University (2010).   She is currently a Doctoral student in Higher Educational Leadership, where she focuses on intervention strategies addressing the challenges that  first-generation, older, non-traditional African-American and other minority female college students face in higher education at predominantly white universities in the Pacific Northwest.

Her scholarly research and teaching interests include women and resistance in the African Diaspora, exploring the roles of the lesser-known women in resistance movements both in the Caribbean and the USA, during and after the period of enslavement; African American cowgirls of the Old West; and black women sharecroppers in the southern U.S. 

She is currently an adjunct instructor in the Black Studies Department at Portland State University.

She is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar (2006) and a J. William Fulbright Fellow (2008).  She spent one academic year on a Fulbright grant in Trinidad and Tobago at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus.  During her grant period, she traveled to the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), Puerto Rico (San Juan) and Trinidad and Tobago studying the lives of some of the more obscure women resistance leaders in those areas.

Her research currently focuses on a comparative study of African American women of the Black Power Movement in the Caribbean region in general and Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies, in particular, and women in selected cities in the USA; women and twentieth-century slavery, women sharecroppers and peonage in the USA in general, and the Mississippi Delta, in particular; the images of African American women in postcards, paintings, cartoons, and other media.

Clare has three biographical entries published in the African American National Biography (2008)-a multivolume-reference work that presents African American history through the lives of people. The AANB holds more than 4,000 individual biographical entries and now appears as an on-line edition in even more expanded form.   The volume is edited by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Professor Evelyn Higginbotham of Harvard University.

She has twice received the John Elliot Allen Outstanding Teacher Award (in 2009 and 2014) in the Black Studies Department at Portland State University,  and writes poetry as a means to venture into other worlds.