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SIS Scholar

Spelman's Intergenerational Scholars are Serious About Research and #BlackAgedLivesMatter


The Bond Family Photo is SIS Archives



Students (called Young Scholars) enrolled in the course, are committed to excellence in research, writing, and interviewing.

They conduct roving interviews with peers and in-place interviews  with elders; participate in intergenerational celebrations that include Dancing with Elders, Worshipping with Elders, and Learning with Elders; and complete research on AGEISM and its impact on African American elders across lines of class, faith, and orientation.

  • They travel to Sapelo Island to study Gullah culture and the significance of elders to family, worship, and community.
  • They create a portfolio of their research, interviews, and blogs, and a video of their experiences in the course.

The Young Scholar’s research will be archived at the Atlanta University Woodruff Library and selected writings will be published in the SIS online journal, “They Saw the Sun First.”

Meeting Times

Psy200C meets on Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, and it satisfies the social science requirement.  

If you are interested in this twenty-first century course on an injustice we often ignore, please contact Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles ( or Sheree Franklin (


Who are Spelman's Independent Scholars?

We are a very diverse group of young scholars. We are sophomores, juniors and seniors, majoring in African American studies, biology, economics, English, math, political science, psychology, philosophy, sociology, Spanish, and women’s studies.

What are Students Saying About the SIS Project?

"Priceless! Invaluable! That's how I would sum up my experience as a Spelman Independent Scholar. What an honor to be part of a revolutionary project that tells Black women's stories and gives us voice!" -- Taneya Gethers, Writer/Communications Coordinator Brooklyn Public Library

"SIS is the kind of experience I wish every student of every ethnicity and gender could have. What better way to learn about the history and future direction of our country than to listen to African American women whose lives are rich testimonies of courage." -- AeuMuro Lake, medical student University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Who are the SIS Mentors?

As a group, our mentors are as diverse as we are. They are professional secretaries, caterers, receptionists, social workers, domestics, cooks, nurses, school teachers, high school counselors, journalists, college professors, school administrators, entrepreneurs, notary publics, artists, preachers, theologians, published scholars and community activists.

They are women who earned college and graduate degrees and women who earned GEDs; women who grew up in rural farm communities and women who grew up in urban areas; women who lived in housing projects and women who lived in middle class communities; women who came from families of three children and women who came from families of thirteen; women who have never left the confines of the community in which they were reared, and women who have traveled all around the globe; women who birthed daughters and women who adopted daughters. They range in age from seventy to ninety-five. All of them now reside in the South. All of them are remarkable women.

Clearly, with such a diverse group of women, we expected different stories, and yet we discovered that, at the very core of this difference, there are commonalities about belief in family and community, education and integrity, resistance and change, and in our future as leaders. All of us heard the same message from our mentors: “You are special, and you must achieve.” Because SIS is such a special course and a special experience, it is no coincidence that WOW is not only the acronym for Women of Wisdom, it is also the response we often make to our mentors'.