Wei LAB’s Charleston Presents Research to American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) Conference
Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, assistant director and senior research associate for Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) presented a study at the 2015 National Conference on Blacks in Higher Education on April 10 in Charleston, North Carolina. The study was entitled, “Toward a Career-Specific Developmental Model for African Americans in STEM.” This year’s conference theme was Pathways to Success in Higher Education: Moving from Enrollment to Employment.
This study presented a heuristic model that not only demonstrated the successful trajectory of African Americans into STEM fields like computing sciences, but also presented a blueprint for a career development model that serves to facilitate broader participation in STEM in general and the computing sciences in particular.
“We already know the attrition numbers of underrepresented participants in STEM fields, and it is not good. What we need to better understand is exactly how those who have been successful achieved that success,” Charleston said. “This study utilizes research findings, including qualitative inquiry and analyses from those who have been successful at the highest level of degree attainment in STEM (PhD), to implicate ways to recreate this same level of success, providing a heuristic on how to successfully broaden participation in STEM and computing.”
Video of Charleston’s Talk on African Americans in STEM and the Computing Sciences Now Available
Wei LAB assistant director and senior research associate Dr. LaVar J. Charleston’s Sept. 9 webinar on African Americans in STEM and the computing sciences is now available for download.
Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson participated in the “Keeping the Promise Symposium: A Conversation on Our Boys of Color,
Our Community and Our Commitment,” a key event at the 85th Northeastern Province Council Meeting hosted by the Boston Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated..
The council meeting took place March 19–22, 2015 and Jackson’s presentation focused on the theme of higher education access and readiness.
Jackson began his work with the fraternity in 1993, when he was initiated into the Kappa Iota Chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi. Since then, he has served in numerous positions, including a five-year term as the Polemarch (President) of the Madison (WI) Alumni Chapter, chair of the education committee for the Achievement Academy, and chair of the Membership Intake and Orientation Process (MIOP) Instruction for the North Central Province. Additionally, he served as a member of the Brain Trust for the Undergraduate Leadership Institute and Undergraduate Board Member of the Provincial Board of Directors for the Southwestern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Wei LAB Hosts Strategy Session in Advance of Madison Region’s Economic Development and Diversity Summit
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) and the Urban League of Greater Madison hosted a joint strategy session for Wednesday, May 13 at the Madison Club in Madison, WI. The organizations, led by Urban League CEO Dr. Ruben Anthony and Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, recently formed a partnership seeking to leverage their combined expertise to improve education, workforce opportunities and social engagement across Dane County for Madison’s underserved families and communities.
The invitation–only event was a precursor to Madison Region’s Economic Development and Diversity Summit, taking place Thursday, May 14 at Monona Terrace on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Featured speakers at the summit, also sponsored by the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP), include Steve Pemberton, Divisional Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Walgreen’s; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, a labor economist; and Chris Brassell, a national director in the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Office of Diversity.
Malveaux also took part in the strategy session on Wednesday. Dr. Lesley-Anne Pittard, Chief Liaison for External and Strategic Partnerships and Senior Research Associate with the Wei LAB, said Malveaux was sought out for her expertise on the impact of diversity, culture and gender in 21st century America.
“Dr. Malveaux’s insight can help advance problem-solving around workplace inclusivity and economic development amongst Madison Region business and community leaders,” Pittard said.
The Diversity Summit and Strategy Session comes within days of Dane County’s District Attorney announcing that no criminal charges will be brought against a Madison police officer who shot and killed Tony Robinson, a young African American. The case has drawn national attention to the rates of racial disparities in Dane County and across Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) will co-host a strategy session and dinner on March 17 for the Justified Anger Coalition, an anti-racism group based in Madison, WI.
The strategy session will be led by Reverend Alexander Gee, founder and president of Justified Anger, and will create a forum to discuss Justified Anger’s goals and agenda for action. The Wei LAB, part of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research within UW–Madison’s School of Education, seeks to help strengthen Justified Anger’s community relationships and networks, offer feedback for the organization and share resources.
“As a lifelong Madisonian, a UW-Madison class of ’85 alumnus, son of an alumnae, father of a Badger freshman daughter and former UW-Madison staff member, I am thrilled to be able to partner my community-based work with the University’s Wei LAB. This is a positive step in strengthening a town-gown partnership as well as reminding the campus of its relevance in our community. I anticipate great things.”
The event will function as groundwork for Justified Anger’s plan of action for its community. At the strategy session, community leaders will assess the needs of the communities and the capacities of organizations to meet those needs. These discussions are aimed at assisting Justified Anger and other organizations in achieving their goals for the community.
“Folks are just waiting for this event. This is prep for the big roll-out in which we plan to move the needle on these issues,” says Lesley-Anne Pittard, Chief Liaison for External and Strategic Partnerships of the Wei LAB. “The importance of collective action among leaders in the community cannot be overemphasized.”
This is the second event in a series hosted by the Wei LAB that seeks to bring together community organizations to consider local issues of equity and inclusion in Madison, Wisconsin.
"The Wei LAB is committed to finding ways to build on the Wisconsin Idea to be responsive to community challenges that impact the under-served and under-privileged,” said Wei LAB Director and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education Jerlando F. L. Jackson. “As education and social scientists, we have a responsibility to narrow the distance between the ivory tower and the communities that need us the most."
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), part of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research within UW–Madison’s School of Education, will co-host a public presentation for campus and community members on March 17 as part of the newly created UW Voices Campaign at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
The presentation, which will take place at 4:30 p.m. in UW–Madison’s Union South, aims to begin a process of organization between university and community diversity programs, research institutions and community members concerning equity and inclusion.
The presentation will inform the campus and community of the Wei LAB’s mission, research efforts and events and the work the lab has done since its inception. Additionally, the presentation will highlight the lab’s function as a research group with the university campus. It will also offer those in attendance an opportunity to provide feedback for the Wei LAB’s operations, and offer a forum for interested participants to organize with others over topics of inclusion.
On a larger scale, the Wei LAB seeks to connect researchers and organizations to establish a research network covering issues of inclusion and equity. Apart from introducing the Wei LAB to the broader campus community, the presentation session will allow different research groups and institutions to organize and discuss social problem solving on issues of equity and inclusion.
Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F.L. Jackson will speak at the 21st Annual National Conference on Diversity, Race & Learning, held at Ohio State University on May 4 and 5. Hosted by Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the theme for this year’s event is “When Academe Meets Corporate: STEMing the Global Landscape of Education, Diversity & Inclusion.”
This is Ohio State University’s largest event focusing on issues of diversity and inclusion, and is expected to attract several hundred participants. On May 4, Jackson will lead a pre-conference diversity training session entitled, “Recruiting and Supporting Faculty and Administrators of Color at Predominantly White Institutions.” Additionally, he will moderate the Grand Dialogue on Diversity, Race and Learning on May 5.
According to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio State University, the conference aims to “strengthen and make new strides toward the goal of meaningful change” related to issues of diversity, cultural inclusion and acceptance. Each year, nationally recognized individuals who are experts in their field are invited to participate and lead the conference, with the hope of facilitating progress on the topic and functions of diversity throughout society.
Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson and the lab’s assistant director, LaVar J. Charleston, attended and spoke at the 2015 Black Student-Athlete Conference at the University of Texas–Austin.
The Wei LAB was a co-sponsor of the event, which was hosted by the African American Male Research Initiative and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, and took place Jan. 7 to 9.
Jackson’s talk was titled, "Intercollegiate Athletics and Performance Analytics: Harnessing Data to Improve Performance in Off-the-Field Spaces.” Charleston, who is also the Wei LAB’s senior research associate, presented on "The Beyond the Game Program at the University of Wisconsin” along with Justin Weaver, the Beyond the Game program’s coordinator.