Equity in Education Interviews from OnlineEdDPrograms.com

In education, equity has become a central concern, as education leaders both in PK-12 and higher education seek to ensure that all students have access to the opportunities and support they need to grow and thrive both intellectually and emotionally. While simple in concept, achieving equity in education is a challenge that is going to be difficult to achieve, but one that must be addressed. Barriers to educational equity include systemic racism and prejudiced sociopolitical structures that do not adapt to diverse learners and their needs. Due to the complexity and deeply rooted nature of educational inequity, fostering equity in education requires a multifaceted and ongoing approach that combines on-the-ground work, larger community-wide initiatives, policy changes, ed tech innovation, and research into the causes and potential solutions to the prejudices that are at the root of educational inequity.

Increasingly, more educators, education leaders, and scholars have taken up the important work of fighting for equity at the classroom, school, district, and community levels. To highlight the ongoing efforts of these individuals, and to provide current and future education leaders with greater insight into equity advocacy and research, OnlineEdDPrograms.com has begun an Equity in Education interview series, where we speak with individuals who are working within their spheres of influence to develop solutions to educational inequity.

Through these interviews, we hope to provide educators and educational administrators with resources to help them identify and challenge educational inequities in their own schools, school districts, colleges, universities, communities, and places of employment. Interviews focus on:

  • The key barriers to equity that both students and educators face in PK-12 and higher education settings.
  • The ways in which real education leaders, such as district superintendents, professors of education, and directors of educational organizations are addressing the issue of equity at their places of work.
  • The latest scholarship that is being conducted on the issue of equity and how it affects different student and adult populations.
  • How education technology is helping to address academic inequities and empower educators to better adapt their teaching to each student’s learning style and needs.

Equity in Education PreK-12 Interviews

Interview with Nasser Cortez, Ed.D. – University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education

Dr. Nasser Cortez is Assistant Professor of Clinical Education and Director of the Teacher Residency Program at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. He mentors teachers-in-training and teaches courses on special education, multicultural student experiences, and classroom equity.

Interview with Cindy Cruz, Ph.D. – The University of Arizona

Dr. Cindy Cruz is Associate Professor in the College of Education at The University of Arizona. In this interview, Dr. Cruz discusses her research on LGBTQIA+ youth of color experiencing homelessness, youth resistance, and queer feminisms of color.

Interview with Mikal Amin Lee – Brooklyn Academy of Music

Mikal Amin Lee is Education Program Manager at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Discover Lee’s research on Hip-Hop pedagogy, his work co-curating BAM’s Hip-Hop and spoken word performance showcase Word. Sound. Power. and directing its associated high school creative writing workshop program, his own creative, equity-driven work as a Hip-Hop emcee, and more.

Interview with Jen Neitzel, Ph.D. – Educational Equity Institute

Dr. Jen Neitzel is the Executive Director of the Educational Equity Institute, an organization that is committed to fighting systemic racism and educational inequity by providing social justice trainings and professional development for educators and education leaders.

Interview with Briana Wilson, M.S. – Code Nation Chicago

Briana Wilson, M.S. is Director of Programs at Code Nation Chicago. Explore Ms. Wilson’s nonprofit work to promote equity in STEM education and learn about Code Nation’s programming and collaborations with high schools, communities, and technology organizations.

Equity in Education Higher Education Interviews

Interview with Veronica Jones Baldwin, Ph.D. – University of North Texas

Dr. Veronica Jones Baldwin is Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Higher Education at the University of North Texas. Learn more about Dr. Baldwin’s critical equity research, including her critical work on the diversity discourses of higher education institutions and the educational activism of higher education students.

Interview with Thomas Brock, Ph.D. – Teachers College, Columbia University’s Community College Research Center

Dr. Thomas Brock is the Director of Columbia University’s Community College Research Center, which combines applied research with education leadership training and action-focused publications to improve community college education outcomes.

Interview with George Dei, Ph.D. – University of Toronto

Dr. George Sefa Dei is Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies of Education. Dr. Dei discusses his work as one of the most influential proponents of anti-racist, decolonial, and anticolonial scholarship in education. Dr. Dei also discusses his role as Director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies, his current research on the cultural knowledges of Indigenous Elders, and more.

Interview with Erin Doran, Ed.D. – Iowa State University

Dr. Erin Doran is Associate Professor of Education at Iowa State University. Learn more about Dr. Doran’s research on Hispanic Serving Institutions and community colleges as sites for promoting equity as well as her scholarship on the experiences of Latinx Students in higher education.

Interview with Sydney Freeman Jr., Ph.D. – University of Idaho

Dr. Sydney Freeman Jr. is Full Professor in the Department of Leadership and Counseling at the University of Idaho. Discover Dr. Freeman’s work to advance educational equity, including their research on HBCUs and minority-serving institutions, Black leaders at predominately white institutions, and the barriers faced by younger faculty of color.

Interview with Pat Garriott, Ph.D. – University of Denver

Dr. Pat Garriott is Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver. Discover Dr. Garriott’s influential work on the impacts of race and class on student mental health and vocational outcomes including his efforts as Director of the Education and Career Equity Lab.

Interview with Kimberly A. Griffin, Ph.D. – University of Maryland

Dr. Kimberly A. Griffin is Dean of the College of Education and Professor at the University of Maryland. Explore Dr. Griffin’s scholarship on educational equity among university faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates, her focus on equity in STEM, and her current work as Dean.

Interview with Susana Muñoz, Ph.D. – Colorado State University

Dr. Susana Muñoz is Associate Professor of Education at Colorado State University. In this interview, explore Dr. Muñoz’s work on racist rhetoric in higher education, Latinx critical race theory, the activism of undocumented college students, and more.

Interview with Gudrun Nyunt, Ph.D. – Northern Illinois University

Dr. Gudrun Nyunt is Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Explore Dr. Nyunt’s work on the internationalization of education, study abroad, and the disparities in D.E.I. labor performed by faculty and student affairs practitioners.

Interview with Lindsay Pérez Huber, Ph.D. – California State University, Long Beach

Dr. Lindsay Pérez Huber is Professor in the Equity, Education and Social Justice (EESJ) Master's program in the College of Education at California State University, Long Beach. Explore Dr. Pérez Huber’s scholarship, which builds on critical race and feminist frameworks to explore the harms of racial microaggressions, the potential of racial microaffirmations, the experiences of undocumented Latinx students, and more.

Interview with Victor Sáenz, Ph.D. – The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Victor Sáenz is Chair and Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn about Dr. Sáenz’s work promoting Latino success in higher education, his research on community colleges, equity initiatives like Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success), and his work as Acting Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

Interview with Pat Tetreault, Ph.D. – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Pat Tetreault, Ph.D., is Founding Director of the LGBTQA+ Center and Director of the Women’s Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In this Equity in Education interview, Dr. Tetreault discusses her work with these centers, the struggle for LGBTQ+ equity, resisting interpersonal and sexual violence on college campuses, and more.

Interview with Michael Steven Williams, Ph.D.- University of Missouri

Michael Steven Williams, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri. In this Equity in Education interview, discover Dr. Williams’ work on socialization and belonging in higher education, the importance of mentorship, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and more.