About Wei LAB


WeiLAB logoThe mission of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) is to design, conduct, and disseminate research that informs policymakers, practitioners, and concerned citizens on how to best promote equitable and inclusive learning and work environments in education in general, and higher education in particular. The Lab’s research agenda and priorities seek to engage the most difficult and important equity and inclusion topics confronting the educational system. In turn, the goal of the Wei LAB is to emerge as a national leader and champion for equitable and inclusive educational organizations.


During the Fall of 2009, Professor Jerlando F. L. Jackson and Vice Provost Damon A. Williams had a series of conversations focused on the need for a research unit on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to assist in the mission of the Office of Diversity and Climate.

Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) was established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May of 2010. The Wei LAB is headed by Professor Jerlando F. L. Jackson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) and Wisconsin’s Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE).

In June 2010, the Wei LAB welcomed its inaugural staff: Dr. LaVar J. Charleston (Senior Research Associate); Elizabeth M. O’Callaghan (Research Associate); Ryan Adserias (Research Assistant); Michelle Boone (Office Manager); Zina Knox (Data Manager); and Jasmine Bounds (Social Media/Marketing Specialist).

In Summer 2012, the University of Wisconsin-Madison provided institutional resources to build the infrastructure of the Wei LAB, through the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement.

In September 2012, the Wei LAB expanded its staff to include: Dr. LaVar J. Charleston (Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate); Ryan Adserias (Research Associate); Jonathan Berhanu (Research Associate); Barbara Escobar (Research Associate); Jihye Kam (Survey Research Associate); Sean Frazier (NSIA Coordinator); Benjamin Toff (Editorial Associate); Leora Goldblatt (Communications Coordinator); Leah Foecke (Office Manager); and Jeremie Merriweather (Special Projects Manager).