CSU School of Education hosting sessions dedicated to inclusive pedagogical practices in the 2021 Diversity Symposium

Collage of portraits of Wendy Fothergill, Juliana Searle, and Kalpana Gupta
After participating as Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence fellows - Wendy Fothergill, Juliana Searle, and Kalpana Gupta (left to right) - came together to create the Education Strand.

The Colorado State University Diversity Symposium, taking place Oct. 25 – 29, is a five-day-long conference featuring keynote speakers, live Zoom meetings, and webinars to come together as a community to explore and learn around topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Over the entire fourth day of the conference, the School of Education is conducting its 6th annual “Education Strand” for educators. Mark your calendars for Thursday, Oct. 28, to attend the virtual keynote speaker and sessions.

Education Strand origins

Angela Lewis outdoor portrait
Angela Lewis, assistant professor in the School of Education.

The origins of the Education Strand can be traced to CSU’s Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence, a year-long program for professional development, focused on creating and promoting inclusive pedagogies. After participating as Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence fellows, three members – Wendy Fothergill, Kalpana Gupta, and Juliana Searle – came together to create the Education Strand. Fothergill, Gupta, and Searle wanted to create an SOE-sponsored forum surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, or DEISJ, in education. They realized the importance and appeal of this subject across CSU and went on to work with Ria Vigil, assistant vice president for inclusive excellence in the Office of Inclusive Excellence, to incorporate the forum into the CSU Diversity Symposium, thereby establishing the Education Strand.

Professors Angela Lewis and Louise Jennings are two of several faculty and staff members of the School of Education working to put on the Education Strand. Ann Sebald and Ben Bongers from the School of Education’s Center for Educator Preparation as well as Tobin Lopes from the School’s Adult Education and Training Program have also been integral to organizing the Education Strand over the past several years. The School’s RISE Center (Center for Race and Intersectional Studies in Education Equity) has served as a co-sponsor during the past two years.

Professional development opportunity

Outdoor portrait of Professor Louise Jennings
Louise Jennings, Professor in the School of Education.

“There has been steady, increasing interest in the Education Strand sessions from across the university and the community,” said Jennings. “From the beginning, it was important to encourage School of Education students, faculty, and staff to participate and to integrate the Education Strand as a resource for course work. Within the first few years, certificates of participation in the Education Strand were offered to attendees who wished to take advantage of the Diversity Symposium as a professional development opportunity, and to receive professional credits. This is valuable for full-time educators to learn with and from CSU faculty, staff, and students about justice-centered educational practices.”

The Strand focuses on DEISJ in education across all stages of life and intends to draw facilitators, presenters, and participants who serve education in any capacity. Educators in local school districts and graduate students in the School have been encouraged to submit conference proposals in the past.

Often, the Education Strand includes a keynote speaker-someone who has been nationally recognized for their work in DEISJ in education. This year, the keynote speaker is Mahzarin Banaji, author and psychology professor at Harvard University, whose work on implicit bias has had a widespread impact on university students. She and her colleagues have pioneered the implicit bias tests that many students have undoubtedly taken as part of their university courses. She also wrote the book, Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, examining how the implicit bias everyone carries with them impacts their experiences and interactions in the classroom.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Diversity Symposium will be completely virtual this year.

2021 Education Strand Itinerary

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Sessions

Diversity in Literacy Instruction: Leah Day (Graduate student in English Education program at CSU)

Inclusive Pedagogy: A Proactive Approach: Jennifer Todd, Tonya Buchan, Katy Little (CSU’s Institute for Learning and Teaching)

11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Session

Keynote with Dr. Mahzarin Banaji

Banaji is the Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, known for her work popularizing the concept of implicit bias and author of the book, Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People.

1:15 – 2:45 p.m. Sessions

Moving Towards Anti-Racism and Social Justice in the Master of Public Health Program: Leveraging a Moment in Time: Prof. Chrissy Chard, Raeven Clockston, and Megan Hervey (CSU School of Public Health)

Refusing to “Return to Normal”: Lessons from the COVID/Racism/Environmental/Disinformation Pandemics: Ross Atkinson, Nicole Lamb, Aleandra Pinder, Corinne Singleton, and Lauren Vilen (Graduate students in CSU School of Education)

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Sessions

Creating an Inclusive Classroom: How Universal Design for Learning Benefits all Students: Allison Swanson, Anna Walker, Barb Maynard, and Andy Swanson (CSU Assistive Technology Resource Center and TiLT)

Youth and Veteran Populations: What does Critical Empowerment Look Like: Ross Atkinson and Professor Louise Jennings (CSU School of Education)

Visit the Office of Inclusive Excellence website to find more information on presenters and session topics, and to register for the Diversity Symposium, including the Education Strand. Education sessions are sprinkled throughout the week, including additional presenters from the School of Education. All CSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and affiliates, as well as local businesses and community members, are invited to attend.

The School of Education is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.