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“If you love learning, you ought to teach.”

Tara’s pretty sure she didn’t make that up, but she lives by the phrase just the same.

Tara loves the traditional classroom, and has also embraced technology as a tool for learning.  Currently, Tara also provides online instructional design services and is an online instructor in Africana Studies, History, Literature, and Cultural Diversity.  She joined the trailblazing efforts of taking Cultural Studies & The Humanities to “the web” back in 2008.

Tara began her career in academic research when she was introduced to the world of Nineteenth Century African American literature and history. Soon she adopted her own interdisciplinary interests – ones that would take her to locations as far as France, Great Britain, South Africa and Belize in search of answers and, more importantly, new questions.

In addition to teaching literature, history, and sociology courses, Ms. Lake has delivered talks and lectures in U.S. Politics, African American Studies, Black Cultural Production, Gender and Sexuality at UCLA, Occidental College, the University of Southern California (USC) and numerous other institutions.  She’s also presented at a number of conferences.

For Ms. Lake, teaching is a first love and the way that she can make the most meaningful impact in her community.  Currently, she develops courses, builds online classroom environments, and teaches African American Studies at the University level. For several years, she served as the instructor of African American Studies at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) in Valley Glen, Ca, where she earned the Golden Apple Award for Teaching and developed an online curriculum for the program.   While currently pursuing research, writing, and community education projects, Tara serves as an online instructor of Africana Studies and Cultural Diversity.  Mentoring, along with supporting student success and involvement, is central to Tara’s teaching mission.  She has advised student clubs, spearheaded cultural celebrations, established student success programs, and led service-learning projects. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Lake also led a group of students and faculty to New Orleans for a rebuilding Service-Learning Trip after heading up vigorous fundraising effort.

Tara’s interest in sharing knowledge outside academia spurred her community education, historical fiction, and educational performance projects. She has begun a History Readings series for her students and other interested folks at her blog.


Tara Lake.com by Tara Lake is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Tara Lake, LAVC Students and Faculty, and Habitat for Humanity Staff at a New Orleans build site during the Hurricane Katrina Service-Learning Trip she led.

Tara Lake with students after hearing Derrick Bell at a UCLA School of Law Critical Race Theory Conference.

Tara Lake with celebrates with her “Shining Star” students at an student awards ceremony.

Tara Lake and her Academic Hero, Dr. John Hope Franklin, at Central Library in Los Angeles in February, 2006. More on Franklin here and here.