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Professors of Equity

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Sureshi Jayawardene, Ph.D.

Professor of Equity in Education

Department of Africana Studies

Sureshi Jayawardene, Ph.D. is a scholar of the African diaspora in the Indian Ocean world. Her research and teaching interests examine epistemologies, memory, diasporic consciousness, family and kinship formations, spirituality, and expressive cultures among the Siddis, Sheedis, and Ceylon Africans in South Asian Black geographies. For over 2 decades, Dr. Jayawardene has engaged in equity issues within higher education, in the areas of student advocacy and activism, social justice organizing, antiracism work, addressing implicit bias and microaggressions, and establishing equitable faculty hiring practices. 

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Leticia Gonzalez Pileski, Psy.D., LMFT

Professor of Equity in Education

SDSU's Center for Community Counseling and Engagement

Dr. Letty Gonzalez Pileski identifies as a Latinx American female, clinician, professor and an international educator. She is the Executive Director for San Diego State University’s Center for Community Counseling and Engagement, Adjunct Faculty in the College of Education, is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and an AAMFT Approved Clinical Supervisor/Mentor.

Dr. Pileski has been actively involved in both domestic and international educational efforts since 2005 in the United States and abroad (Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico). She co-founded and developed International continuing education programs, providing global workshops and sensitivity training to both graduate students and practicing professionals.

She joined the Professors of Equity summer 2020 in effort to collaborate with San Diego State University’s dedication to social justice and inclusive pedagogy.

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Daniel L. Reinholz, Ph.D.

Professor of Equity in Education

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Daniel L. Reinholz, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at San Diego State University. Broadly speaking, Dr. Reinholz’s research focuses on creating tools for educational transformation, to improve equity and mitigate systemic oppression. Their research is primarily situated within three interrelated areas.

Disability Justice. Dr. Reinholz’s work is grounded in a disability justice perspective that attends to the intersections of ableism, racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression. As a disabled educator, Dr. Reinholz aims to open opportunities for disabled students, especially those who are multiply marginalized. Disability justice provides a lens and a vision for what a truly transformative and liberatory education system could look like.

Equity Analytics. Dr. Reinholz is a co-developer of the EQUIP tool, which is a free web-based classroom observational tool for tracking patterns of implicit bias in teaching. EQUIP is designed to empower teachers, professional developers, and researchers to understand and improve equity in classroom teaching. EQUIP provides data to help illuminate the subtle and sometimes invisible racialized and gendered patterns that play out in classroom participation, which can serve to privilege some students over others.

Institutional Transformation. Ultimately, the goal of Dr. Reinholz’s work is to change the education system so that it can be more just and better serve the needs of all students. For this reason, they study education from a systems perspective, and develop new models that can be used for change. They are a working group leader in the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN), which aims to support researchers to better use change theory in their projects.

Together, these three areas of research work in conjunction, beginning with a vision for what the education system could look like, using analytics to help draw attention to that vision.

If you have questions please email us at [email protected].

Events

This is a communal space led by women of color faculty and dedicated to participants who identify as women of color faculty interested in coming together to cultivate fellowship and deepen their engagement regarding the lived experiences of BIPOC women in higher education. Following up on the momentum of the inaugural reading circle with women faculty of color in spring 2020, this circle aims to expand communal relations and intellectual exchange. Weekly readings will be assigned and discussion prompts offered to guide engagement at each session. The selected text for the group will be provided in paperback free of charge as long as participants commit to at least 4 out of the 5 sessions.
This three-part series focuses on how insights from the disability justice movement can be applied to our classroom teaching and learning environments to advance the goal of collective liberation. Disability justice focuses on collective liberation, with particular attention to how ableism intersects with other systems of oppression such as racism, cisheterosexism, imperialism, and capitalism. Disability justice is a movement that was founded by Black, Brown, working class and queer, disabled activists, who aimed to achieve a level of intersectionality that was not present in either disability rights or racial justice movements.
This program builds a cohort of faculty members with a strong commitment to equitable teaching in their classrooms who would like to become members of a community of practice focused on the thoughtful use of data to inform improvement to their instruction. Our goal is to create a cohort of equitable teacher-leaders on our campus in alignment with SDSU’s strategic priorities. The learning community meets approximately every other week during the course of a semester. Between meetings, each participant will record a Zoom lecture to be coded with the EQUIP observation tool, which focuses on equity in classroom participation. EQUIP will generate actionable analytics that can be used as a source of reflection and ongoing improvement. During the community meetings, we will work together as a group that is collectively focused on improving equity in instruction at SDSU. This is an opportunity for faculty members to receive intensive support and meaningful data about their own practice and build a community of similarly committed individuals. At the end of the program, participants will be asked to complete a reflective evaluation and to share what they have learned with their departmental colleagues.
This is a six-part co-learning seminar for faculty who would like to unpack the stress responses (e.g., frustration, anger, exhaustion, withdrawal, escapism, acceptance of racist attributions, etc.) associated with the systemic racial oppression and white supremacy in academia. Guided by a critical race approach, participants in this co-learning seminar will process together, listen to each other, discuss the racialized positioning of faculty experiences in white academia (i.e., BIPOC). Together participants in this seminar will strategize actionable ideas on how to work with the realities that faculty and people of color are socialized and expected to survive racial battle fatigue and whiteness in order to “make it” in academia. Past participants are welcome to re-engage with this group.