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Associate Professor of American Studies and Sociology

Kesho Scott

Grinnell College

Dr. Kesho Y. Scott is an internationally renowned Cultural Competency Trainer, an Associate Professor of American Studies and Sociology at Grinnell College, and an award-winning writer.  In over two decades of developing unlearning racism work, Kesho has led hundreds of professional and community-based workshops; she has been keynote speaker for national conferences as well as a participant on several dozen national and local radio debates, discussions and public service announcements.  

        Kesho’s breadth of expertise has led her to the international lecture circuit as a sought-after keynote speaker.  Her work and unique methodology has also attracted media attention including appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Sonya Live and CNN. Kesho, an accomplished writer, has won an American Book Award (for Tight Spaces, 1988) and a Human Rights Award (for The Habit of Survival: Black Women in America, 1991).Currently, Kesho is completing her Memoirs as a Diversity Trainer, Stop Hurting Others and Yourself, which outlines the unlearning racism process and includes her personal notes from the “field” for challenging individual and institutional practices of intolerance and “isms.”  

         In 2001, Kesho won a Fulbright Fellowship to teach research and write in Addis Abba, Ethiopia.  Kesho has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa and an M.A in Sociology from the University of Detroit.  In 2008, Dr. Scott won the Christine Wilson’s Medal for Justice and Equality; in Fall of 2009, traveled on the University of Virginia’s Shipboard Education Program (Semester at Sea); participated in 2009 at the first Chinese Women’s Studies Conference, hosted by the Ford Foundation in China; and is currently teaching and consulting on issues of Diversity, Classroom Pedagogy, Race and Ethnicity, and Gender Studies, as a guest Lecturer at several universities in Beijing and Shanghai, China from 2010-2014.  In 2013, Kesho was selected for the Boll Heinrich Cottage Writer’s Residency in Ireland. She will reside in Ireland for two weeks before going to China to teach courses in American Studies and Sociology at Beijing Normal University.