The Spirit of Our Work

An exploration of how engaging identity and cultural heritage can transform teaching and learning for Black women educators in the name of justice and freedom in the classroom.

Black Women Teachers (Re)member

The Spirit of Our Work addresses questions that remain largely invisible in what is known about the animating work of the spirit in teaching and teacher education. According to Dillard, (re)membering the powerful approaches to education that are embodied and marshalled by Black women teachers can inform policy, practice, and theory toward education that is truly about equity and justice.



Searing and transformative, The Spirit of Our Work highlights the intersectional identities of Black women teachers and how they matter in a teaching life.



The Spirit of Our Work highlights the intersectional identities of Black women teachers and how they matter in a teaching life.

Advanced Praise For

The Spirit of Our Work: Black Women Teachers (Re)member

“Dr. Cynthia Dillard has given us all a precious gift in this book.

No matter what your race is, hold this book in your hands with anticipation. Soak up, pause, and reflect as you read each page and prepare to act upon what you learn. Dr. Dillard has shared a road map for how we can transform education through uplifting the lineage and power of Blackness, Black women teachers, and the sacred educational road to Black freedoms. In doing so, Dr. Dillard teaches us that to develop liberatory educational environments where Black women educators can (re)claim and (re)member their inherent freedom means nothing less than liberation for us all.”

Anneliese Singh, PhD, LPC
Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity/Chief Diversity Officer
Office of Academic Affairs & Provost | Tulane University
Author of The Racial Healing Handbook

“With poetic eloquence and intellectual brilliance,

this exploration of The Ghana Study Abroad in Education program as a space for inquiry offers a unique genre of educational research from the vantage point of Black women’s scholarship, spirituality and practice. The Spirit of Our Work (re)presents both old and new understanding of Blackness with conceptual clarity regarding universally human themes. Dr. Dillard calls us back to Africa–to memories of our future that affirm a role for Black identity and culture in the education of Black teachers but also for the benefit of everyone’s shared humanity.”

Dr. Joyce E. King
Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning & Leadership and Professor
Georgia State University
Author of Black Education: A Transformative Research and Action Agenda for the New Century

“(Re)member, (re)imagine, (re)claim, and (re)center!

That is, fundamentally, the purpose of The Spirit of Our Work: Black Women Teachers (Re)member. Cynthia Dillard beckons us to love, honor, and listen to Black women teachers who have always led and will always lead us to liberation and freedom. The very spirit of Black women are manifestations of Africa and the spirit of our ancestors. Let these serve as daily reminders for Black women to live fully as we move closer to freedom. What a powerful testament!”

Valerie Kinloch
Renée and Richard Goldman Dean & Professor School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh
Author of Harlem on Our Minds

Social Media Mentions

“Sometimes you don’t even know you’re missing something unless you surrender and become center dint he process of understanding what is happening and begin to untangle the questions, emotions, fears and uncertainties. Teaching has been so different this year and I found myself exploring my life’s passion and purpose in ways I’ve never done before.  My students and the art of teaching are one of mu greatest loves and I did not wan the first that ignites me each day to burn out (no pun intended). In the midst of feeling lost, through conspiring, the universe and the incredible Gog I serve found it fitting for me to cross paths with these two books: “The Three Mothers by @annastea_honesty and “The Spirit of Our Work” by @drdillard. I (re)member who I am and will continue to answer the call and push my scholars forward so they can truly shape our world for the better!”

@jodiwilson25, Instagram

“Dr. Cynthia Dillard I have started my reading. #awesomeness”

Terri Adams-Kincaid , Facebook

“This book is sacred. Poetic. No matter who we are, especially if we are educators to Black folks, there are deep wells of wisdom, truth and transformative healing here.  This is a call to remembrance of Black brilliance, Black love, Black joy. The profession is under duress. Reforms will not help by transformations are overdue. (Re)membering is made up of five related processes:  (Re)searching; (Re)visioning; (Re)cognizing; (Re)presenting; and (Re)claiming. Dr. Cynthia Dillard says: “Our healing as educators sounds like a whisper.” Read the book to grasp what this means. It includes a moving forward by Dr. Bettina Love. I would’ve gifted copies to mom and momma Alice (our ancestor Black women educators whose lessons carry me and mine).”

Gayatri Sethi @desibookaunty, Twitter

“I started Dr. @cynthiabdillard’s THE SPIRIT OF OUR WORK this morning during my planning period and the introduction has me crying and clapping, often at the same time!  To be seen for the whole of who I am and Whose I am is an honor. Black women educators: This is THEE book.”

Chanea @heymrsbond, Twitter

“Grateful for elder scholars like @drdillard who provide guideposts and inspiration for folks like me.  I am a teacher at heart, and I want to (re)member this gift to be in service to myself and my people. I am on my way. AND it’s an audiobook! Winning.”

@erica.wrencher, Instagram

“Shout out to @cynthiabdillard for this great work. I needed to read today that Black women “know that our (re)search will help us see ourselves and our work more clearly – as teachers, as women, as humans.” #thespiritofourwork”

@Dr_S_Betrand, Twitter

Upcoming Events


Dig A Little Deeper Into The Work


Learning to (Re)member

Engaging Culture, Race and Spirituality: New Visions


On Spiritual Strivings