Equity and Social Justice Webinar Series
The BU Wheelock Equity and Social Justice webinar series features academic and community experts in dialogue about a wide variety of topics related to equity and social justice. The series provides a context to current and future social justice and equity issues in education and human development and offers attendees tools to take action.
All are welcome! Primarily designed for practitioners in education and human development, our webinars may also hold interest for parents, alumni, BU colleagues, and partners from the greater Boston community, as well as anyone else interested in equity and social justice issues.
BU Wheelock Equity and Social Justice webinars are free and open to all. If you wish to request accommodations for a webinar (typically visual, ASL, closed captioning, etc.), please contact email@example.com 3 weeks before the webinar to discuss your needs.
Recordings of our webinars are available on our YouTube channel,
10/28/22: Elevating the Voices of Transgender and Nonbinary Adolescents: Promoting Strengths and Resilience
In this webinar, presenters will share findings from a longitudinal study of transgender and nonbinary adolescents with attention to participants’ strengths and factors that promote resilience. Time at the end will be allocated to conversation between the presenters and attendees.
Melissa K. Holt, PhD, BU Wheelock
Jennifer Greif Green, PhD, BU Wheelock
Aidan Kraus, EdM, BU Wheelock
Watch the Recording Here!
11/3/22: Building Equity into the Talent Pipeline: Innovative Strategies to Support Career and Workforce Readiness for Individuals with DisabilitiesBuilding Equity into the Talent Pipeline: Innovative Strategies to Support Career and Workforce Readiness for Individuals with Disabilities
Policy Forum Join us for a special discussion with the Honorable Taryn Mackenzie Williams, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. Assistant Secretary Williams will share federal efforts to support workforce transitions among individuals with disabilities.
Dr. Laura Owens, president of TransCen and Lori Cooney, Program Director for Inclusive Education and Curriculum Design at UMass Boston will describe interventions for individuals with disabilities from two ends of the talent pipeline – design strategies for integrated employment for young adults and a technology platform to support career awareness among elementary grade students.
Amanda Winters from the National Governors Association will comment on state interest for adopting innovative employment strategies.
An optional additional 30 minutes from 3:00-3:30 is allocated for follow up discussion.
This Policy Forum is part of a series conducted by the Coalition for Career Development Center in collaboration with Wheelock College of Education and Human Development’s Center for Future Readiness
Click here for an archive of our 2020 webinars!
1/28/2021: Using a Partnership Model to Support College Access and Student Success
January 28, 2021, 3 PM EST
Wheelock’s College Access and Student Success programs and the Boston University Office of Undergraduate Admissions, working closely with community partners, utilize a partnership model to support college access for precollege students and student success for undergraduates who matriculate at Boston University. The model initiates when BU Admissions engages potential partners by describing BU’s commitment to access and success and builds a pipeline with the organization’s students through targeted information sessions, student interviews, and in some cases sponsored visits to campus. Once students matriculate at the University, Admissions connects admitted students to Wheelock College’s Access and Student Success (CASS) office. CASS recruits and trains BU faculty and staff to serve as volunteer student mentors and actively supports them in this role. The scope of mentorship includes individual meetings and group activities designed to encourage students’ participation in NSSE’s High Impact Practices.
This workshop will provide the rationale, context, and preliminary outcomes of this low-cost model, which is both scalable and replicable
2/4/2021: How to Use the Books You Choose: Elevating the Status of Marginalized Identities in Children’s Literature through Classroom Teaching
How to Use the Books You Choose: Elevating the Status of Marginalized Identities in Children’s Literature through Classroom Teaching
February 4, 2021, 3 PM EST
Teachers and researchers are contributing to a growing body of work focused on discerning authentic from inauthentic representations of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and intersectional marginalized characters and stories in children’s literature as well as empowering from disempowering narratives. Importantly, the current visibility of our nation’s racial unrest serves as the backdrop for this work. Ongoing acts of violence against Black and Brown bodies have been laid bare as the United States’ legacy of white supremacy is on full display.
How does this connect with children’s literature? When we fill our classrooms with books we are presented with opportunities to choose well and choose wisely in order to, literally, change prevailing narratives about intersecting identities. These choices are consequential. They can also be relatively simple—small, simple changes to the texts we use and the ways we use them can have a big impact on children’s identity development and their relationships with complex social issues.
Language & literacy experts Dr. Laura Jiménez and Dr. Andrea Bien invite you to the 2nd webinar in our series, as we move from analysis to pedagogy focusing on examples of integrating rich children’s literature into elementary classroom teaching.
3/11/2021: Reimagining Civic Education For Equity
March 11, 2021, 3 PM EST
The moment in which we are all living has exposed us to just how fragile our civic institutions are, and to the deep-rooted inequities that run through them. Now is a vital time to reflect on how to build high-quality civic education for all students, one that focuses on real-world issues and engagement and fosters in students the desire and skills to be change agents in their communities and our collective society.
In this lively panel conversation with civic education leaders from across the country, we will share recent findings from the Civics and Equity Initiative listening tours and the report the State of Civic Education in Massachusetts and discuss community-based and policy pathways for creating equitable, engaging civic learning opportunities.
Hardin Coleman, Professor and Dean Emeritus, Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development
Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, Lecturer and Program Director of Educational Policy Studies, Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE, Tufts University
Verneé Green, Executive Director, Mikva Challenge
Reuben Henriques, MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
3/18/2021: Supporting English Learner with Disabilities: A Collaborative Approach to Education and Advocacy
Supporting English Learner with Disabilities: A Collaborative Approach to Education and Advocacy
Date: March 18, 2021, 4 PM EST
In US Public Schools, nearly 5 million children are classified as English Learners and 14% of all English Learner students are also classified as having a disability. Students who are dually classified as ELs and also having a disability are entitled, by law, to receive both specific English language development instruction and also specific Special Education services in response to their disability.
Current research has suggested that issues of identification and assessment of ELs with learning disabilities has led to both over-and under-representation of ELs in Special Education due to misdiagnosis and even when ELs with learning disabilities are correctly identified many of these students are often deprived of the dual services to which they are legally entitled.
It is important to call to attention that these issues are largely due to a lack of meaningful collaboration between education stakeholders including, but not limited to, English Learner teachers, Special Education teachers, school psychologists, and parents.
In this session, we will bring together a group of education stakeholders who work collaboratively to support and advocate for the needs of students who are dually classified as English Learners and also having a disability.
Catalina Tang Yan 趙嘉蓮, Doctoral Candidate at Boston University School of Social Work
Nancy Harayama (she/hers), Lecturer and Special Education Program Director, BU Wheelock
Christine Montecillo Leider (she/hers), Clinical Assistant Professor and Bilingual Education Program Director, BU Wheelock
4/7/2021: Talking with Young Children and Families about Difference and Equity
Talking with Young Children and Families about Difference and Equity
Date: April 7, 2021, 3 PM EST
This session will feature a conversation about how to talk about differences such as race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and disability with young children (up to age 8) and their families. We will explore how young children view differences and how to have important conversations with young children about bias, stereotypes, and respect for differences.
Eleonora Villegas-Reimers, clinical professor, department chair for teaching & learning at BU Wheelock
Moderator: Christina Dobbs, assistant professor at BU Wheelock
4/15/2021: The Untapped Potential of Listening Over Speaking: A Funds of Knowledge Approach for Building Teacher-Student Relationships
The Untapped Potential of Listening Over Speaking: A Funds of Knowledge Approach for Building Teacher-Student Relationships
Date: April 15, 2021, 3 PM EST
How well do you know your students? How well do you listen to your students?
Funds of knowledge methodology is an approach to instruction that leverages students’ home- and community-derived skills to advance curricular topics and build upon what students already know. In classrooms where diverse students are supported, the prospect of gathering funds of knowledge may be complicated by the fact that many teachers do not share the racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds of their students. This webinar will introduce active listening as one aspect of intercultural communication that serves as a useful strategy for tapping into diverse student funds of knowledge.
Jennifer Lacroix, Instructor, researcher, and doctoral candidate at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
4/29/2021: Teaching History for Justice
Teaching History for Justice
Date: April 29, 2021, 5 PM EST
We live in a complex and rapidly changing world. It is history that helps us make sense of how our world came to exist and consider ways to create a better society in the future. Yet, there has been a dramatic decline in the number of students majoring in history and it has long been reported as one of students’ least favorite school subjects. While there are many factors influencing this, one of the main causes is that students do not see history as relevant to their lives or a subject with present-day applications. They may ask, how does learning history make the world better?
In their recent book, Teaching History for Justice: Centering Activism in Students’ Study of the Past, Martell and Stevens argue that we need a major transformation in history education toward justice. We do this by centering activism and movement building within the study of the past. We argue that the ultimate purpose of learning history should be to foster citizens who have a critical lens on the world around them, where they better understand who has and who has not had power over time and ways that we can build a fairer and more equitable society in the present.
Over the past two decades, there have been growing voices advocating that we teach students to “think like a historian” or “think like a democratic citizen.” We argue that a third type of thinking, “thinking like an activist,” must also be the focus of history classrooms. In the past, social change has only occurred when activists worked collectively to speak back to power and improve society. We must prepare all students to become that next generation of change agents.
6/3/2021: Choices & Challenges: Learning from Parents’ Experiences with School Choice for Students with Disabilities
Choices & Challenges: Learning from Parents’ Experiences with School Choice for Students with Disabilities
June 3, 2021, 3pm
Join local and national researchers and policy experts as we discuss choice, equity, and opportunity for students with disabilities.
Twenty-nine states nationwide offer school choice, which allows parents to choose alternative education placements for their children outside of their assigned public school. Florida is home to one of the largest school choice programs in the nation, and has two scholarship programs dedicated to students with disabilities. The FL legislature recently passed a bill to expand these programs. With the expansion comes the need to best understand how families utilize private school choice to support their children with disabilities to find the best educational fit.
Together with colleagues from the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, CERES Institute for Children & Youth released Choices & Challenges: Florida Parents’ Experiences with the State’s McKay and Gardner Scholarship Programs for Students with Disabilities, sharing findings from a mixed-methods study of Florida parents.
School choice can be thought of as a mechanism for promoting equity and opportunity for students with disabilities by enabling access to additional educational options to students. Choices and Challenges raises important questions and considerations about the process of accessing and utilizing the Gardiner and McKay scholarships and provides parent recommendations for helping more families get the most out of the scholarship program.
Dr. Shannon Varga, Research Assistant Professor, Boston University Wheelock College and Associate Director for Research & Evaluation, CERES Institute for Children & Youth
Dr. Albert Cheng, Assistant Professor, Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions
Doug Tuthill, President, Step Up for Students
Meghan Whittaker, Director for Policy and Advocacy, National Center for Learning Disabilities
6/18/2021: The Ryan Symposium: Reclaiming Civic Friendship
The Ryan Symposium: Reclaiming Civic Friendship
June 18, 2021, 1- 3 p.m.
One-hour Ryan Symposium keynote will be followed by your choice of breakout sessions.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER (1-2 p.m.)
Arthur C. Brooks, Author of Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt
America is afflicted with a “culture of contempt,” says Brooks. It is increasingly common for people to view those who disagree with them as worthless, instead of just misguided or incorrect. This is fomented by an “outrage industrial complex” in media and politics. Through ancient wisdom and cutting-edge behavioral science, Brooks provides a roadmap to the prosperity that comes when we choose to love one another—gaining strength from our differences.
Hardin Coleman and Karen E. Bohlin, BU Center for Character and Social Responsibility (CCSR)
OPTIONAL DISCUSSION BREAKOUTS (2:10-3 p.m.)
• The Power of Story to Inspire Civic Friendship, Deborah Farmer Kris, CCSR
• Civic Dialogue Practices That Promote Courage & Dignity in the Classroom & Beyond, Barbara Whitlock, Montrose School
• Educating for American Democracy, Natacha Scott, iCivics
This webinar was not recorded per request of the speaker.
10/21/2021: Directly Addressing Bias and Stereotypes with Young Children and Families
Directly Addressing Bias and Stereotypes with Young Children and Families
October 21, 2021, 3-4 p.m.
Following up on the popular webinar, Talking with Children and Families about Differences and Equity, this session will help adults name and address incidences of bias regarding race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and disability with young children (up to age 8). We will explore why it is important for adults to build their own awareness and skills for responding to bias and stereotypes as the first step in addressing these issues with children. We will address concerns that prevent us from explicitly addressing these topics with young children, and how to move past this hesitancy to directly talk with young children about stereotypes, bias, exclusion, and bullying based on differences.
Melody Brazo, education consultant
Ellie Friedland, clinical associate professor at BU Wheelock
Eleonora Villegas-Reimers, clinical professor, department chair for teaching & learning at BU Wheelock
Christina Dobbs, assistant professor at BU Wheelock
11/4/2021: Education Leadership in 2021: A Conversation with 3 Dynamic School Leaders at a Pivotal Time in Educational History
Education Leadership in 2021: A Conversation with 3 Dynamic School Leaders at a Pivotal Time in Educational History
November 4, 2021, 3-4 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the BU Wheelock Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
Learn how three renowned educators are leading their schools and a city through a pandemic, learning loss, and racial injustice. Tune in for a free-flowing dialogue where these secondary school leaders will share their thoughts and anecdotes on the challenges, opportunities, and trends in the field of education in 2021. Topics will include their personal and career journey, student support, higher education, partnerships, cultural competency/diversity, teacher recruitment, lessons learned from the pandemic, and more.
Current and future school leaders, educators, stakeholders, and college students will enjoy this rare opportunity to engage with three renowned Boston and national leaders in education.
Rachel Skerritt Head of School, Boston Latin School
William Thomas (SAR’97, Wheelock’04) Head of School, New Mission High School
Reggie Jean, (CAS’95, Wheelock‘05) Director, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science 2021, Lucy Wheelock Alumni Award Recipient
12/9/2021: How are the Teens & Tweens? Insights into Adolescent Mental Health & Connectedness During COVID-19
How are the Teens & Tweens? Insights into Adolescent Mental Health & Connectedness During COVID-19
December 9, 2021, 3-4 p.m.
Join CERES Institute for Children & Youth at Boston University Wheelock College for a discussion on adolescent mental health and the importance of connection during COVID-19. The event will feature a presentation of some of the latest research on adolescent mental health during the pandemic and offer first-hand perspectives from individuals supporting adolescents through their roles as practitioners, parents, and policy advisors.
Ellie Castine Richards (Wheelock’19), Child & Adolescent Psychologist, Cambridge Health Alliance
Jennifer Greif Green, Associate Professor, BU Wheelock
Stephanie Malia Krauss, Principal, First Quarter Strategies & Senior Fellow, CERES Institute for Children & Youth
Kesha Perkins (CAS’21), Clinical Research Assistant, Bradley Hospital
Jonathan Zaff, Research Professor and Executive Director, CERES Institute for Children & Youth, BU Wheelock
1/20/2022: Opportunities and Challenges in Developing STEM Aspirations: Youth Reflections and Recommendations
January 20, 2022, 3 -4p.m.
The tremendous underrepresentation of youth from Latinx backgrounds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations continues. This webinar will hear from youth and alums participating in Sociedad Latina after-school activities about their goals and what types of conversations with adults have been most meaningful in shaping their future aspirations.
We will then reflect on how their experiences can inform how to design engaging STEAM learning and career development activities, especially during the continued global disruptions caused by COVID-19. Sociedad Latina provides a range of education and leadership activities for Latinx youth and their families beginning in middle school and continuing into college.
In 2019, Sociedad Latina began a collaboration with Boston University to design, advance, and pilot Network Science learning activities with middle school age youth as well as to integrate exploration of how these skills expand their opportunities to consider a range of STEAM occupations as part of the State’s My Career and Academic Plan initiative.
Sociedad Latina’s principal investigator is Executive Director Alexandra Oliver-Davila and participating staff includes Angelica Rodriguez and Juan Maldanado.
The BU collaborators include principal investigators and co-investigators Drs. Kimberly Howard (Wheelock College), Paul Trunfio (Physics), and V. Scott Solberg (Wheelock College), as well as project coordinator Chong Park (Wheelock College) and students Luis Esquivel, Deyja Enriquez, and Mica Jadick.
4/12/2022: Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Everyday Practice
Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 3 PM EST
This presentation will highlight the efforts of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Services Department’s DEI Committee. These presenters will explore the importance of the role that allied health professionals have in supporting and serving a diverse range of children and families. They will also provide tangible strategies on how to promote a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable practice.
Emilia C. Crnjak, MS, CCLS (Wheelock’16,’17)
Lauren Dulude, MS, CCLS (Wheelock‘18,’19)
Dafne Saavedra-Preskins, MS, CCLS (Wheelock’95)
Eva Marija Vukich, MA, MT-BC
4/14/2022: The Ryan Symposium: Alicia Garza on Caring, Character, and Community
Thursday, April 14, 2022, 4:30 PM EST
Join Alicia Garza, author, political strategist, and founder of the Black Futures Lab, to explore building communities of care that engage diverse groups of people and ideas.
Part one: You will be invited to participate in a small group discussion about Ms. Garza’s work in which you will be encouraged to come up with a question for Ms. Garza. To prepare, we recommend reading her book, The Purpose of Power, or watching “Alicia Garza: How to Achieve Real Change.”
Part two: Ms. Garza will start with a brief introduction and then respond to the questions that you generated in the first part of the symposium. BU Associate Provost & Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore will moderate the event’s Q&A.
Part three: Work in small groups to come to a consensus on what problems you think are priorities to solve if we want to create communities in which we can all flourish.
Part four: Return to the larger group, where each group will share their consensus priority, so that we, as a community, can leave with a sense of how we can move forward to drive change in our world.
4/21/2022: The Newbury Center and BU Wheelock: Partnering for First-Gen Student Success
Thursday, April 21, 2022, 3 PM EST
Join the Newbury Center and BU Wheelock for a panel discussion with current students, faculty, and staff who will share their stories of how they have all been part of the mission of creating a more inclusive and equitable community at BU.
Brianna Bourne, sophomore majoring in Psychology, Upward Bound alum, and Newbury Center staff member
Clare Fitzgerald, MSc, Program Manager, College Access and Student Success at BU Wheelock, and BU First-Gen Forward team member
Selena Hernandez, Higher Education Administration (HEA) master’s student at BU Wheelock and Newbury Center graduate assistant
Rudy Joseph, junior majoring in Education and Human Development at BU Wheelock and Newbury Center staff member
Jerry Whitmore, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, HEA program at BU Wheelock and BU First-Gen Forward team member
4/25/2022: Unraveling Assumptions and Teaching Diversity Relationally: Content and Pedagogy of Teaching for Justice
Monday, April 25, 2022, 3:30 PM EST
Teaching courses related to diversity and social justice topics presents exciting opportunities and enormous challenges. Educators often grapple with questions about both the content (e.g., How do I effectively frame these issues and their complexities?) and pedagogy of teaching (e.g., How do I manage the emotions and relationships that emerge in my classroom?).
In this webinar, the co-authors of two forthcoming books, Unraveling Assumptions: A Primer for Understanding Oppression and Privilege and Teaching Diversity Relationally: Engaging and Embracing Possibilities, will discuss engaging both content and process when teaching about social justice. As three women faculty of color and psychologists, the presenters will focus on the significance of psychological process for both faculty and students in internal, interpersonal, and group levels when teaching and learning about diversity and social justice, with an emphasis on caring for students and faculty.
Grace Kim, PhD, BU Wheelock
Karen Suyemoto, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Roxanne Donovan, PhD, Kennesaw State University
Detris Adelabu, EdD, BU Wheelock
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