Students of color represent roughly 40 percent of the public school population in the state of Rhode Island. In the urban core, students of color represent 80 percent of the public school population. However, less than 5 percent of all public school teachers in the state of Rhode Island are teachers of color. If Rhode Island aspires to have a system of public education that promotes equitable opportunities and outcomes for all students, it must address the shortage of teachers of color in the state, since studies point to the positive effects of teachers of color on students, their schools, and their communities. Please join the Equity Institute, in partnership with the Latino Policy Institute, Parents Leading for Educational Equity (PLEE), and the Annenberg Institute for a policy forum on "Educational Equity & Teacher Diversity" on Thursday, May 23 at 6:00pm at Brown University.
The forum will bring together community stakeholders, policymakers, equity advocates, educators and leaders to examine why Rhode Island ranks among the bottom in teacher diversity and discuss policies to address the shortage of teacher of colors in the state.
Our panelists include:
Janie Seguí Rodríguez
Janie Lee Seguí is a parent advocate, a community organizer, disruptor, lifelong learner, and passionate advocate for strong educational policies and programs that promote equity and access! She is the proud mother of two daughters, Destiny who is 10 years old, and Kailani who is 3. She has tirelessly advocated for the appropriate services to support her daughter's academic progress over the years, and at times it has been defeating as the system is designed to push back on parents.
After years of tireless efforts her path crossed with Ramona Santos and Stephanie Gonzalez, and they embarked on a journey to build a grassroots, parent lead organization, Parents Leading for Educational Equity (PLEE), with a mission to fight for parent voice in educational decision-making, and for access to high-quality public school options for all children of color. When our schools strive to be anti-racist through equitable policies, curriculums, and training, only then can we build schools that will set our children free!
Carlon is the Co-Director of Breakthrough Providence where he oversees program strategy and implementation. He is a social entrepreneur dedicated to exploring innovative ways to solve some of our country’s most pressing problems. He most recently helped found the Equity Institute – a nonprofit organization that cultivates culturally responsive schools and communities for all learners through organizational and individual capacity building, policy development, and direct advocacy – and EduLeaders of Color R.I. which hosts monthly meetups designed to support education leaders from underrepresented backgrounds.
Before entering his current role with Breakthrough Providence, Carlon served as a City Year AmeriCorps member and Impact Manager, was a classroom teacher, and was a policy fellow for Colorado State Senator Mike Johnston. He graduated from the University of Georgia with undergraduate degrees in criminal justice and political science and completed his graduate degree in education from Rhode Island College. Carlon is an avid reader and lifelong learner who spends much of his time exploring topics related to world history, financial literacy, and personal leadership.
Camika Royal, Ph.D.
Dr. Royal is an urban education expert with 20 years of experience. Her work focuses on the intersections of race, politics, history, and urban school reform. She has been a teacher, a teacher coach, an urban school leader coach, and an instructor to teacher educators. Currently, she is the Assistant Professor of Urban Education at Loyola University Maryland. Her work is aimed toward anti-oppressive education, challenging the colorblind racist ideology that permeates traditional pre-service preparation and in-service educator development.
Dr. Royal is currently writing a book on Black educators and 50 years of racism and school reform in Philadelphia. She is a highly requested speaker, consultant, and professional developer on issues of school context-based racism and cultural oppression through ideologies, policies, and practices. In 2017, she won the Exceptional Woman in Education Award from the YWCA of Tri-County Pennsylvania.
Dr. Royal earned her B.A. in English Literature at North Carolina Central University, her M.A.T. at Johns Hopkins University, and her Ph.D. in urban education at Temple University.
O’Sha L. Williams is an English educator of high school multilingual learners at Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School in the Providence, Rhode Island community. In her academic and professional endeavors, O’Sha has centered multilingual learners in classroom instruction, research, advocacy, and policy development. Identity-informed policy and elevated student and educator expertise are policy passions she prioritizes in the pursuit of radical change in education. O’Sha is originally from South Jamaica Queens in New York City and has lived in the Providence community for the last seven years. She holds a Bachelors in English and Education Policy and a Masters in Urban Education Policy from Brown University as well as a Masters in Education from Rhode Island College.
Queer. Latina. Jewish. Wife. Dorchester Community Member. Educator. Advocate. Dog-Mom. Born in Brazil to a Mexican mother and American father, Sandra grew up across the three countries. During her day job, she works at the Massachusetts Department of Ed and serves kids by ensuring new teachers receive the training and experiences they need to be ready to be effective educators for all students on day one, and she leads efforts to promote a more racially diverse and culturally responsive educator workforce.
Sandra entered the education field as a Kindergarten teacher through Teach For America where she also worked on staff in Miami and led initiatives to increase the focus on issues of diversity, inclusiveness, and values-based leadership. Outside of work, Sandra is proud to serve on the board of New Leaders Council where she is co-chair of the flagship six-month institute where progressives develop their leadership. She also spends time volunteering at a Dorchester homeless shelter and engaging with formerly incarcerated young men who are working towards becoming Personal Trainers.
Lauren K. B. Matlach is the Director of the Office for Educator Excellence and Certification Services at the Rhode Island Department of Education, where she leads a dedicated team focused on improving talent management policies and practices. New to her current role, Lauren previously co-led educator preparation and educator evaluation work as an Education Specialist. Prior to working at RIDE, she worked as a researcher at American Institutes for Research and taught in Baltimore. She lives in Providence with her husband and daughter.
Dr. Nuria Alonso Garcia
Nuria Alonso García is a Professor in Global Studies at Providence College and directs the Master of Education in Urban Teaching. Her scholarly activities revolve around the areas of language curricula and pedagogy, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and intercultural competency. Through her engaged scholarship, she aims to gain a more profound understanding and praxis of how language, identity and cultural constructs intersect, how culturally responsive practices promote inclusivity in learning, and how community engagement and experiential learning support an ecology of education across borders and fosters reciprocal partnerships. She has led community engagement projects in Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico and Nicaragua and engaged with learners and scholars from Russia during her Fulbright appointment at the Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University Institute of Humanities, where she remains a visiting professor.
Moderated by Domingo Morel
Domingo Morel is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark. In 2018-2019, he will be a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. He is the author of Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy. He is also co-editor of Latino Mayors: Power and Political Change in the Postindustrial City. In addition to his scholarship, Dr. Morel has years of applied experience in education, political affairs, and public policy. He is a co-founder of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University and past president of the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Brown University in 2014.
A light dinner, wine, and beer will be provided during the evening.