Facilitating Institutional Change for Racial Equity in the Educational Pipeline

by Anjalé Welton / Jun 20, 2018

The 2016-2017 academic year marked the inaugural year of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Education’s Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series, also sponsored by the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL). The lecture series features internationally renowned scholars who are experts on addressing important issues of equity and diversity, especially perceived inequities, biases, and microaggressions that impact our campus community. On its website OCCRL continues to support blog features about each lecture, as well as podcast interviews of the speakers as a part of Democracy’s College, a monthly podcast that focuses on P-20 education pathways with a focus on research and leadership that promotes educational equity, justice, and excellence.

The lecture series coordinators, Drs. Anjalé D. Welton and Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, continued the discussions that evolved from the first year of the lecture series in the Teachers College Record (TCR) Yearbook volume titled Facilitating Institutional Change for Racial Equity in the Educational Pipeline. That first year of the lecture series the invited speakers’ talks were specific to equity-focused institutional change in higher education, but as editors of the yearbook Drs. Welton and Zamani-Gallaher wanted to shift the general equity conversation to that of racial equity, as well as invite additional scholars in PK-12 to have representative research across the educational pipeline. The editors also co-authored the concluding chapter of the yearbook with OCCRL research assistant and doctoral student Devean R. Owens. Their chapter presents a conceptual framework that leaders in both PK-12 and higher education institutions can use to be accountable for facilitating broad-level systemic anti-racist change.

This TCR yearbook identifies institutional structures, processes, and practices that are critical in working towards racial equity across the educational pipeline, with each chapter offering foundational perspectives for doing so. While we need scholarship that identifies how and why racism in education is still a problem, as it is the first step toward developing solutions to address these inequities, even more research is needed that goes beyond just identifying the problem of racism and moves forward with systemic action toward rectifying it. As such, the chapters in this yearbook give clear, well-defined recommendations for what institutional change is necessary to make solutions for racial equity a reality. Racial equity is a systemic outlook that ensures racially diverse perspectives are equally embedded in the institutional culture, structures, and policies. Finally, the authors in each chapter emphasize how doing racial equity work is not a one-time initiative, but rather systemic, ongoing, and a goal that is non-negotiable.

College of Education Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series speakers featured in this yearbook:

Dian Squire (with Bianca C. Williams, and Frank Tuitt)
Chapter 6: Plantation Politics and Neoliberal Racism in Higher Education: A Framework for Reconstructing Anti-Racist Institutions

Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
Chapter 7: Minding the Gap Between Diversity and Institutional Transformation: Eight Proposals for Enacting Institutional Change

Lori D. Patton (with Chayla Haynes)
Chapter 8: Hidden in Plain Sight: The Black Women’s Blueprint for Institutional Transformation in Higher Education

Michelle M. Espino
Chapter 9: Positionality as Prologue: Encountering the Self on the Journey to Transforming Latina/o/x Educational Inequities

Pamela L. Eddy
Chapter 10: Expanding the Leadership Pipeline in Community Colleges: Fostering Racial Equity

Linda C. Tillman
Chapter 11: Achieving Racial Equity in Higher Education:  The Case for Mentoring Faculty of Color