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Biography

Welcome to toddmealy.com, the online home of Todd M. Mealy! Todd is an accomplished author with a diverse range of published works. His titles include:

1. Shades of Brown: The Official Biography of Jane Elliott and the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise (2023): This moving and comprehensive official biography of Jane Elliott uses never before seen documents to reconstruct the life of Jane Elliott along with her controversial Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes exercise.   

2. Like A Champion: A Story about Building Confidence (2023): Coauthored with his son, Carter, LIke a Champion is an empowering children's book that follows the journey of a sloth who learns the importance of self-belief and willingness to respond to coaching while overcoming fear of performing sports in front of an audience. 

3. The N-Word in Music: An American History (2022): This groundbreaking book explores the complex history and cultural impact of the N-word in music, shedding light on its use, transformation, controversy, and evolving significance.

4. Race Conscious Pedagogy: Disrupting Racism at Majority White Schools (2020): Highly endorsed, this thought-provoking work delves into experiences teaching race and ethnic studies at a predominantly white school in rural Pennsylvania before the politicized environment of the 2020s.

5. Displaced: A Holocaust Memoir and the Road to a New Beginning with Linda Schwab (2019): This poignant memoir shares Linda Schwab's inspiring story of survival, resilience, and hope in the face of the Holocaust.

6. Glenn Killinger, All American: Penn State's World War I Era Sports Hero (2018): Focusing on the remarkable life of Glenn Killinger, this book explores his athletic achievements and contributions during and after World War I -- a time of great cultural shifts in the United States.

7. This Is the Rat Speaking: Black Power and the Promise of Racial Consciousness at Franklin and Marshall College in the Age of the Takeover (2017): Offering a compelling historical account, this book examines the Black Campus Movement at Franklin and Marshall College and elsewhere in the Late 1960s.

8. Legendary Locals of Harrisburg (2014): This book celebrates over 100 remarkable individuals who left an indelible mark on the city of Harrisburg.

9. Aliened American: A Biography of William Howard Day, 1825-1900, Vols. I and II (2010): This comprehensive biography chronicles the life and achievements of William Howard Day, an influential figure in the fight against slavery and racial injustice in the 19th century. 

10. Biography of an Antislavery City: Antislavery Activists, Abolitionists, and Underground Railroad Operatives in Harrisburg, Pa (2007): Exploring the rich history of Harrisburg as an antislavery stronghold, this book highlights the courageous individuals who played an important role in Pennsylvania's abolition movement as well as the complicated relationship between white and black abolitionists. 

 

In addition to his books, Todd has contributed chapters in In Sheep's Clothing: The Idolatry of White Christian Nationalism (forthcoming 2023) edited by Dr. George Yancy and From the Pews: The Story of the Bethel AME Church in Harrisburg (2015), edited by Lenwood Sloan. He also has published numerous articles in Pennsylvania Heritage and American Heritage.

 

Todd's scholarship on the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania along with Black abolitionist and educator William Howard Day has been cited in works by Steve Luxenberg (Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation), Richard Blackett (Making Freedom: The Underground Railroad and the Politics of Slavery), and the late Hari Jones ("Deciphering the African American Mystery in American History"). His research on Glenn Killinger is featured in Anne R. Keene's acclaimed book The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win World War II (2018).

 

Mealy holds a Ph.D. from Penn State University, Harrisburg, where he demonstrated his dedication to the fields of American history and American studies. Prior to his doctoral studies, he attained a Master's degree from the same institution. In recognition of his outstanding academic and creative achievements as a Master's student, Todd was honored with the John S. Patterson Award. In 2018, Todd's work on his dissertation earned him the university's prestigious Sue Samuelson Award.

He is a contributing writer for Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine. His published works within the magazine encompass significant moments in civil rights and sports history. Some notable publications include an article about the 19th-century trials that led to the end of legal segregation in Pennsylvania's public schools; a piece highlighting the abolitionist and cofounder of the Liberty Party, Francis Julius LeMoyne; an exploration of Glenn Killinger, an All-American football player from Penn State who reached the pinnacle of his career following World War I; a comprehensive overview of the 100-year rivalry between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Pittsburgh Panthers, capturing the essence of this storied competition; and an examination of Ora Mae Washington, a groundbreaking African American athlete in tennis and basketball before World War II. Todd's scholarship on Ora Washington is featured in the BBC/Stance Studios Podcast "Untold Legends: The Ora Washington Story," where he appears as a history.

Additionally, Todd has authored several articles that have influenced public memory in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These include an in-depth exploration of Muhammad Ali's training years at a little-known camp in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, titled "Muhammad Ali at Fighter's Heaven." He also wrote a pieced titled "Without Fear and without Reproach: Octavius V. Catto and the Early Civil Rights Movement in Pennsylvania," which explores the life and impact of Octavius Catto, an African American civil rights activist and educator killed in Philadelphia trying to protect Black voters on October 10, 1871, just a year after the ratification of the 15th Amendment. In December 2021, Todd's article "Fastest Man on Earth: Barney Ewell and the Story of Two Missed Olympics" was published by the magazine.

Currently, Todd is immersed in two book projects that showcase his versatility as an author. The first book, slated for released in 2023, is the authorized biography of Jane Elliott, an educator renowned for her impactful Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes exercise on discrimination. Titled Shades of Brown: The Official Biography of Jane Elliott and the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise, this forthcoming biography explores the life of Jane Elliott, spanning from 1933 to the present day. Todd has devoted extensive time to conducting numerous interviews with Elliott, as well as members of her family, colleagues, and former students. Through these interviews and access to personal files, he aims to present a comprehensive and meticulous account of Elliott's life.

In addition to his work on the Jane Elliott biography, Todd is collaborating with his son, Carter, on a children's book titled Like a Champion: A Story about Building Confidence. Also set to release in 2023, this book is designed to help parents and coaches talk with young children about competitive athletics.

Todd is contributing a chapter to the book In Sheep's Clothing: The Idolatry of White Christian Nationalism, edited by George Yancy and published by Rowman & Littlefield (2023). Todd's chapter is tentatively titled, "The Pedagogy of Hegemony: A History of Christian Nationalism, Narrative Wars, and School Dominance." 

Todd serves as the Executive Director at the National Institute for Customizing Education, LLC, an organization dedicated to advancing scholarship and providing educators with necessary tools to customizing learning and supports for students. With a deep understanding that public schools vary across the United States, the institute takes an authentic approach to the work of advancing education, recognizing the need for tailored strategies. To that end, Todd's institute does not maintain a standard approach to working with school districts and institutions of higher education. The institute places great importance on studying the school district/college before customization school programming; an approach that invests time in research and data analytics to effectively address the diverse demographics of any educational setting. The National Institute employs a dedicated team engaged in various areas of expertise, including research, professional learning, institutional assessments or audits, educational equity certifications, curriculum-writing, and speech- and policy writing. 

Todd also is an adjunct professor in the History Department at Dickinson College, where he teaches undergraduate courses on United States history. At Dickinson, Todd collaborates with the House Divided Project to lead teacher-training workshops and programming for low-income, first-generation students.

Todd will soon launch The Leon 'Buddy' Glover, Jr. Public Learning Center (website forthcoming) during the fall of 2023. The learning center will engage high school students from the School District of Lancaster (Pennsylvania) in professional and publishable research on history projects related to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. J.P. McCaskey High School will house the public learning center. 

Mealy was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1979, grew up in Harrisburg, and currently lives with his family in Lancaster. He has taught in Lancaster County public schools since 2001.  

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