Dr. Crystal Belle
Educator, Poet, and Activist
Dr. Belle’s experiences are vast and include teaching in NYC public schools as a middle school and high school English teacher, working as a literacy coach/consultant in underserved schools in the Bronx, and teaching graduate courses in the English Education department at Teachers College of Columbia University, where she earned her Doctorate.
Belle developed and launched The Trayvon Effect conference in 2014 at Columbia University, which served as a space for educators and community activists to develop culturally relevant strategies for valuing the lives and experiences of Black and Brown students through education and community-based organizations. She was also an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she launched a racial literacies dialogue initiative titled Racial Literacies at UHD, which investigated the intersections among race, class and urban education.
A notable scholar, her research is centered on urban education, literacy and race, and has been featured in English Education, The Journal of Black Studies and Education Review. Belle is also the author of Woman on Fire, a collection of poetry that explores the nuanced experiences of Black women in the Diaspora.
Dr. Belle was Director of Teacher Education at Rutgers University from 2017 until last month when she became Director of Partnerships for EL Education, Inc. EL Education was born out of a collaboration between The Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound USA. Its mission, now as then, is to create classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations and students achieve more than they think possible, becoming active contributors to building a better world.