Tara B. Blackshear is an equity scholar who specializes in health, physical activity, and education. She is an assistant professor of kinesiology in physical education teacher education at Towson University. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical education at Florida A&M University and a Doctorate in Education in exercise and sport science at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Before her current role, Dr. Blackshear taught for 17 years in public, private, charter, and international schools in the United States, Egypt, and Thailand. She also taught a three-year post at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working to prevent type II diabetes among middle school youth in the largest school-based physical activity intervention in the United States.
Dr. Blackshear examines the social determinants of health and physical activity, fitness measures and outcomes, and inequities in education with a particular focus on race, women of color, and youth. Her interdisciplinary approach allows her to challenge the status quo, bring awareness and provide solutions that aid in programming that confront structures that negatively impact the well-being of marginalized and minoritized groups. Dr. Blackshear’s commitment to equity is evident in her work that appears in Quest, Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, The Journal of Racial and Health Disparities, Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education, The Journal of American College Health, The Journal of African American Women & Girls in Education, The Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, and Curriculum in Health and Physical Education Studies along with her community, civic, and institutional engagement with SHAPE America, SHAPE Maryland, Maryland State Department of Education, Delaware State Department of Education, Partnership for a Healthier America, Physical Education Health Education Canada, U.S. Lacrosse, BAME PE, and Baltimore City Public Schools.
Dr. Blackshear’s research has garnered national and international attention. She has begun to impact institutional change, policy, and practice, as evident in her participation in global media and consultation requests with organizations and agencies that seek to create culturally responsive, equitable environments. Dr. Blackshear’s candid perspective has shown effectiveness in transforming performative institutional gestures into measurable outcomes with accountability.