Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the School of Education


Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of the School of Education’s mission, which is to confront and eliminate inequities among people and communities through the generation of impactful knowledge and the promise of education. Our mission attracts diverse faculty, students and postdoctoral scholars who are interested in many forms of educational equity.

  • The Transformative Justice in Education Center (TJE) is a visionary space in the School of Education that supports a vibrant community of researchers, designers, and futurists engaged in equity-oriented, justice-seeking education projects. TJE’s mission is to collaborate with researchers and practitioners who are committed to imagining just futures for children and their families by addressing harm caused by racial inequities and creating restorative, transformative, and humanizing learning communities. 
  • The School of Education is one of the few teaching credential programs that offers preparation for the bilingual authorization in both Spanish and Mandarin at the elementary and secondary levels, helping to meet a critical shortage of teachers qualified to teach in bilingual classrooms.
  • The School of Education administers Educational Talent Search, GEAR UP and Upward Bound, three federally funded programs that serve nearly 5,000 disadvantaged middle and high school students in eight Northern California counties, at 44 school sites as far away as Redding in Shasta County and Etna in Siskiyou County. Nearly all students served meet one or more of these criteria: demonstrated financial need; potential first-generation college student; attending a high-poverty middle or high school (school in which at least 50% of students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches); and/or living in regions struggling with poverty, unemployment, and low rates of high school completion and postsecondary education.
  • The School of Education provided financial support to the Abolition, Decolonization, and Liberation Collective, an initiative launched in 2023 by first-year PhD students in the School of Education and Graduate Group in Education. The goal of this action research group is to enhance community, collaboration, dialogue and student-led action research with a diverse collective of undergraduate, graduate and community members with a commitment towards anti-racism, decolonization and justice. The ADL collective hosts a speaker series and a book club, as well as conducting community action and collective research projects.
  • As the California Department of Education says, “In a pluralistic and increasingly global society, a diverse educator workforce benefits all students and advances educational equity.” The School of Education contributes to the development of a diverse teacher workforce through scholarships that support students from underrepresented groups to complete their teacher education program, including scholarships for former foster youth, students preparing for their bilingual certification, and first-generation students.
  • School of Education professors Margarita Jiménez-Silva, Maisha Winn and Lawrence (Torry) Winn led two of the inaugural Quarter at Aggie Square Experiences in 2020–2021. “Transformative Justice Studies in Sacramento,” an Experience co-led by Winn, Winn, Dr. Vajra Watson and Prof. Orly Clerge, built on long-standing relationships with community educational organizations in Sacramento to address issues of social justice. “Multilingual Education for California”—an Experience co-led by Jiménez-Silva and Prof. Agustina Carando—addressed the urgent need for bilingual educators by training a cohort of Spanish–English bilingual teachers through courses in education and Latinx language and culture, and internship hours at the Language Academy of Sacramento, which is adjacent to Aggie Square.
  • The Young Scholars Program (YSP) introduces high-achieving students from all backgrounds to university-level research and a mentored experience in university life. The School of Education provides financial support, including philanthropic support, that allows students from low-income families or Title I schools to receive fee waivers and/or reduced program fees to attend this nationally recognized program.
  • Seminars, webinars and speaker series:
    • The School of Education partnered with Microsoft and PowerSchool to produce “Designing for Equity in Digital Learning Spaces,” a webinar featuring four School of Education faculty members who presented on their research on equity and digital learning. Nearly 600 people attended on the day of the event.
    • The School of Education, Graduate Group in Education and the Yolo County Office of Education partnered in August 2020 to present an online forum titled “Ensuring Support for Racial Equity in School.” The presentation included information about the latest research into educational disparities for Black and Latinx students, systemic challenges to creating change, and ways that schools and community members can support each other to improve all student outcomes.
    • Graduate Group in Education Speaker Series: This long-standing program provides a platform for doctoral students, faculty and guest speakers to address crucial DEI-related aspects of education, such as Latinx student success, social justice issues in different educational settings, racialized methodological norms, inclusive engineering educational settings and research, and teacher practices with students with autism.
    • Equity-focused speaker series: Since 2016, the School of Education has hosted education researchers from across the United States to present in our three equity-focused speaker series: the Expanding Equity in Educational Research Series, the Emerging Scholars Panel, and the Humanizing Pedagogies Speaker Series.
  • The School of Education brings acclaimed authors and illustrators of diverse children’s literature to campus for two long-standing programs:
    • The Author/Illustrator In Residence Program invites a children’s author and/or illustrator to work with preservice teachers during their credential year, to share how the ideas for their stories and/or illustrations are shaped, give insights into the writing process, and discuss opportunities for integrating children’s literature into a thematic unit as a component in whole-language instruction.
    • Since 2005, more than 19,000 Sacramento-area school children have benefited from Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature. This annual celebration, held each February, gives students the opportunity to hear about the personal journeys and creative processes of acclaimed authors and illustrators of diverse children’s literature whose stories about Native American heritage, Asian culture, African American culture, and Latino identity, among many others, allow them to explore a wide range of perspectives and world views.

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