Past News & Events
Jackson along with other scholars file brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Affirmative Action
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory’s (Wei LAB) Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson is a nationally recognized scholar and researcher who submitted to the Brief of 823 Social Scientists as Amici Curiae presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in November. This brief provides collaborative, empirical evidence, and key findings that support “colleges’ rights to consider race as one of the many factors in selecting students.” This brief also represents a surge in support of diversity efforts as signers represent 237 universities and research enterprises across the United States, an increase from the 444 signers of the 2012 brief.
The Supreme Court, for the second time, is hearing the lawsuit Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. This “rare” second consideration will review the court’s decision on the import of the educational value of student body diversity and the “non – racial ways to attain it.” After being denied admissions to the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, Abigail Fisher, a white student “who would not have been admitted even if there was no consideration of race,” blamed UT’s affirmative action program and sued the University. After being unable to prove discrimination in court, the federal district court rejected her lawsuit.
Fisher appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the prior ruling. In a last attempt, Fisher’s lawyers brought the case to the Supreme Court, which saw a 7-1 decision, which sent the case back to the 5th Circuit for another hearing. This time Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that the university had not proved “its admissions program [was] narrowly tailored to obtain the education benefits of diversity.”
The 5th Circuit returned to the case in 2013. “It is equally settled that universities may use race as part of a holistic admissions program where it cannot otherwise achieve diversity,” wrote the 2-1 majority. Fisher proceeded to appeal to the Supreme Court again. Ms. Fisher has since graduated from another university.
“As social science researchers, we are increasingly called upon to lend our research and voices to important discourse that will shape the future direction of decision-making in the nation,” Jackson said.
The Wei LAB is committed to equity and inclusion in education and is interested in your thoughts on Affirmative Action in higher education. Please join the discussion on social media on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter using #AffirmativeAction.
Wei LAB Visiting Scholar Research Presentation: Can Free Tuition to Community Colleges Put Historically Black Colleges and Universities Out of Business?
During the 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama announced his vision to provide American citizens free access to higher education through community colleges. While President Obama failed to outline the details of his plan, there is no doubt that his plan could drastically increase the number of Americans with a college degree; however, one very important detail that President Obama omitted from his statement was the cost of this initiative and the impact that funding it would have on other institutions of higher education – especially Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This study uses current IPEDS data to analyze the tuition cost of the 1890 land-grant institutions while also exploring the average tuition cost of the community colleges in the respective states so see if there is a substantial difference in tuition cost.
T. Ramon Stuart, Ph.D. serves as the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at West Virginia State University (WVSU). In this role, he has responsibility for several major administrative units while also leading initiatives designed to increase retention and student success which helped WVSU witness a nearly 10-percent increase in retention over a two year period. His research interest include the organization and governance of higher education, shared governance, and the budgeting and financing of higher education.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating in an invitation - only strategy luncheon for graduate and professional scholars with Dr. Stuart immediately following the research presentation.
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson was mentioned in a recent article published by the Des Moines Register headlined, “New Iowa State VP for diversity says he is up for challenge.”
Reginald Stewart, current chief diversity officer at the University of Nevada, Reno was selected to be Iowa State University’s (ISU) first vice president of diversity and inclusion. His appointment is scheduled to begin Dec. 1.
The position was created in direct response to the eight key recommendations and several “current practices of excellence” grounded in a comprehensive institutional study on ISU’s campus diversity programs conducted by Dr. Jackson as well as a report on the status of women at ISU.
“Iowa State really caught my attention because they had Dr. (Jerlando) Jackson do this comprehensive asset inventory in which they took the time to say, ‘These are our strengths, and these are our weaknesses,'" Stewart said. “It gave me a very clear understanding of where I could fit in.”
Stewart has over 15 years of experience in student services and affairs and remains a strong advocate for students. He says he’ll start his new position by having sincere and honest conversations with staff, faculty, students and community members.
"It's not immediately transactional. You don't come in here and do x, y, z. What you do is you come in and establish the framework from which you can work,” he said. “That means engaging with people who are invested in long-term success.”
Jackson, an alum of ISU, is Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and a faculty member within the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Currently, Dr. Jackson is on sabbatical leave this academic year.
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) has joined 17 other leading research centers to issue a call for more research to be generated on campus violence and safety in a response to the increased shootings across college campuses.
These 18 leading research centers are calling on more government and private support to expand the knowledge on important topics such as: mental health, overrepresentation of college men among campus shooters, influence of television and films, gun ownership policies, and impact of gun violence on students’ academic performance.
So far in 2015 alone, there has been 23 shootings on college campuses. Just last month, an armed assailant entered a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon killing nine students, injuring nine others, and ultimately killing himself.
"The work of campus safety is very important in postsecondary education. Parents entrust their most precious life contributions, their children, to us and we cannot do enough to create the type of campus environment that promotes community, learning, and understanding,” says Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director and chief research scientist of the Wei LAB. Dr. Jackson is editor of Creating and Maintaining Safe Campuses: A Sourcebook for Evaluating and Enhancing Safety Programs with Melvin C. Terrell (2007: Stylus Publishing).
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson spoke at the UW Multicultural Homecoming Reception on Friday, Oct. 16 at the Pres House, UW-Madison.
Tracy Williams–Maclin, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is responsible for building relationships with diverse alumni and driving the annual Multicultural Homecoming as an opportunity to advance the diverse landscape of UW alumni and celebrate those efforts across campus and beyond. As an example, this year’s iconic Badger tradition The Red Shirt™ incorporated a new limited edition designed by Virgil Abloh ‘03. This new collaborative effort is a demonstration of the power of engaging a diverse alumnus who is making a global impact to make an impact here on campus.
The intention of UW Multicultural Homecoming is to ensure all alumni feel connected to UW and are able to participate in various platforms that enable diverse Badgers to network, attend panel discussions, watch the Homecoming game, and participate in special tours of campus. The weekend launched with the UW Multicultural Homecoming Reception which hosted 150 participants representing a broad base of alumni, faculty, staff, students and shareholders. The event specifically highlighted the accomplishments of former student-athletes Japheth Cato ‘14, currently training for the Olympics.
Dr. Jackson provided remarks that encouraged alumni engagement and mentoring through the alumni network particularly in support of student athletes. Dr. Jackson noted the multifaceted complexities placed upon student athletes based on empirical evidenced generated by Beyond the Game (BTG Solutions), a translational project that seeks to maximize post-graduation outcomes for student athletes.
“Student-athletes have many competing demands for their time that goes beyond the normal expectations of college students,” Jackson said. “Therefore, intentional efforts are required on behalf of Athletic Departments and Universities to create opportunities for them to focus on their post-graduate opportunities.”
Jackson has worked closely with student-athletes during his eight terms on the Athletic Board at the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding their academic identity, development, career aspirations, and post-graduate outcomes. In 2010, the Wei LAB received funding to develop and implement BTG Solutions, designed to support student-athletes in their academic achievement and assist them in identifying viable career options outside of athletics. The program was implemented in the Athletic Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 and is currently being expanded to other institutions.
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) and the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male (BNRC) at the Ohio State University sponsored the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education (ICBME) in Kingston, Jamaica, October 6–9, 2015. ICBME had record attendance as scholars, students, practitioners, policymakers and global citizens gathered to disseminate timely research findings and share empirical strategies that directly respond to the most critical and pressing issues surrounding the educational achievement of Black males on a global scale.
The theme, “Creating Opportunity Through Education: Re-Engineering the Social Ecosystem for Black Males,” was activated through a pipeline approach beginning with the Pre-Colloquium, comprised of the College Academy at the Haile Selassie High School in Trench Town, and the Graduate School Academy at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Over the three days following the Pre-Colloquium, the Colloquium convened at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and the Jamaica Conference Center. Topical keynote addresses related to policy, education, and health were delivered by the Honorable Floyd Emerson Morris, President of the Senate, House of Parliament, Jamaica; Mr. Ronald Walker, Executive Director educator and Founding member of the Coalition of Schools Evaluating Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC); Dr. Wizdom A. Powell, Associate Professor of Health Behavior, at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill; Dr. Bridget R. McCurtis, Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity at New York University; and Dr. Carl A. Grant, Hoefs–Bascom Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Dr. Richard Majors, Director and Senior Fellow at the Applied Centre of Emotional Literacy Leadership & Research (ACELLR).
Across four days, participants engaged in workshops, cultural tours, research poster sessions for scholars and students, networking opportunities, and discussions. The Awards Banquet and Induction Ceremony, a Colloquium tradition, presented Warrior Awards which is an international distinction given to individuals who have provided longstanding service, commitment, and leadership to the “most difficult” challenges impacting Black males in education globally. Seven outstanding professionals were inducted into the 2015 Warrior Awards Class: Dr. Phillip J. Bowman, Dr. Carl A. Grant, Dr. Richard Majors, Mr. Ronald Walker, Mr. Russell Bell, Dr. Peter Weller, and Dr. Alston Barrington “Barry” Chevannes, posthumously. Additional information regarding the lives and careers of Warriors Awardees can be obtained on the Colloquium website.
Dr. Jerlando F .L. Jackson, Colloquium Chair and Wei LAB Director & Chief Research Scientist, noted the 2015 Colloquium was managed through nearly a year’s worth of planning, with the help of critical partners, co-sponsors, and assistance from the local planning committee at the The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Dr. Jackson noted the global impact of the Colloquium, particularly the Pre-Colloquium:
"The value and impact of the Colloquium convening in Kingston was evident on the first day,” Jackson said. “A touching example is that Colloquium outreach efforts in a high school inspired young Black males to see going to college as an option for the first time. It is important that we endeavor to improve the communities of the host city of the Colloquium."
James L. Moore III, Colloquium Co – Chair and EHE Distinguished Professor of Urban Education, Executive Director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at The Ohio State University expressed the impact ICBME had in terms it being a dynamic platform that fosters innovations and strategic partnerships:
“The Colloquium attracts some of the best minds across the globe,” Moore said. “It offers an intimate space for individuals to share and learn from each other about Black males and also provides a stimulating environment for them to discuss, critique, and compare educational and social trends while assessing the broader societal implications.This year, several striking trends and patterns were noticed among Black males in the United States and Jamaica, which Dr. Jackson and I strongly believe will foster future collaborations among Colloquium attendees,” Moore said.
In the coming weeks, the Wei LAB will share 2015 Colloquium keynotes, ceremonies, webinars, interviews, photographs and special features, which include updates on the 2016 Colloquium. Our first multimedia release includes also includes a Storify piece which documents engagement with presenters and attendees. Please visit the Wei LAB on the web, Facebook, Twitter, as well as by using #ICBME15 to learn more about the Colloquium and to obtain information on equity and inclusion issues confronting the educational system.
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate Dr. LaVar J. Charleston traveled to Eastern Michigan University (EMU) on September 2 to provide workshops to students in the BrotherHOOD Scholars program. The BrotherHOOD (Helping Others Obtain Degrees) Scholars program, a living and learning community for men of color, is the first program of its kind at EMU and one of the few in the U.S.
BrotherHOOD Scholars seeks to create a strong community of support for men of color at EMU. With the goal of completing their degrees in a timely manner, scholars receive academic support, information pertinent to their studies and lives, personal and professional development opportunities and mentorship.
As part of the program, Charleston delivered two presentations to incoming freshmen: “Understanding Cultural Intelligence for Leadership and Navigating Higher Education” and “Personal Branding for Effective Communication and Building Success.”
“Working with the BrotherHOOD initiative at EMU is an awesome and inspiring opportunity. There is a large population of scholars from Detroit, and being from Detroit myself, it is like going home to help my community,” Charleston said.
“They are working on a game-changing model for Black male achievement with this living/learning community, particularly at predominantly white institutions of higher learning. The groundwork for success is truly being laid with the resources and opportunities being provided to these young men who are building community to learn, grow and share with one another and others the keys to successful college matriculation.”
Charleston and Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson work closely with Dr. Raul Leon, a professor at EMU and a University of Wisconsin-Madison Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis department alumni. Together, the team has made efforts to build up the EMU Men of Color Retention Plan, in which the BrotherHOOD program is a key component.
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate Dr. LaVar J. Charleston and Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson presented their research at the Sixth International Conference on Sport & Society on July 30-31. Held at the University of Toronto, Canada, the theme of this year’s conference was, “Sport in the Americas.”
The conference examines sport within the contexts of history, sociology, psychology, medicine, health, education, administration and management and convenes global scholars and researchers to discuss key issues and build relationships with experts in fields related to these topics. Charleston and Jackson presented the study, “Media Images and Their Impact on the Academic Identity Development of Black Male Student Athletes.” The study explores the relationship between media representations of Black male student-athletes and the student-athletes’ own understanding of their academic identity.
“Black male athletes are keenly aware of the stigma that surrounds them through media sources as a result of being Black, a Black male, and a Black male athlete,” Charleston said. “Many of these student athletes feel as though they are the target of unjust scrutiny, and they actively attempt to combat these negative stereotypes. This conference enabled us to present a new lens, one of the athletes themselves that demonstrated the contribution of the media on student and academic developmental processes undergone by black male student athletes.”
Charleston and Jackson work closely with athletes, in particular Black male student-athletes, and their academic identity and development. In 2010, the Wei LAB created the Beyond the Game (BTG) initiative, designed to support student-athletes in their academic achievement and assist them in identifying viable career options outside of athletics; Charleston currently serves as a BTG instructor. The program was implemented at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 and is currently being expanded to other institutions through BTG Solutions.
“Beyond the Game combines the best literature on student development with the realities of college athletics. Through its various components, BTG serves to emphasize the strengths and leadership characteristics that are gain through sport, to readily transfer these skills toward educational and occupational considerations outside of athletics,” Charleston said. “At the end of the day, all athletes will retire—BTG helps to prepare them for life ‘Beyond the Game.’”
Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson gave the keynote address “State of Affairs for Black Males in Education: How Data Shapes the Narrative,” to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) Summer Leadership Institute in Green Lake, Wisconsin on July 18, 2015. The talk presented information to school board members and administrators from across the state of Wisconsin seeking information and best practices to this challenging issue that persists in education today.
Dr. Jackson returned from the event hopeful and energized about how his research can continue to make a significant difference in educational policy around the state.
"It was clear from the engagement of the audience and questions posed that these school board members were planning to take back data points from my talk to think seriously about the experiences of African American males and other men of color in their school district,” Jackson said. “It is in spaces like these that open critical dialogue, grounded in evidence-based research, that can make a difference."
As the Wei LAB seeks thoughtful engagement from fellow practitioners, policymakers and concerned citizens, please visit our Facebook page to join the conversation and share your experiences, expertise and your take on the state of affairs for Black males in education as we continue to work towards fostering equitable and inclusive working and learning environments.
On Wednesday, August 12, Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Director and Chief Research Scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), served as expert panelist at the 82nd Grand Chapter Meeting of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., National Guide Right Town Hall. The Kappa Town Hall took place in New Orleans, Louisiana and consisted of two expert panels on Black Male Achievement and Black Lives Matter.
The Kappa Town Hall was intended to provide attendees with information as to how to improve life and educational outcomes for young men of color in America. Participants were encouraged to use hashtag #KappaTownHall. Jackson’s panel informed participants on how to make Black male achievement systemic in the educational system. Solutions offered included My Brother’s Keeper, (MBK), an effort activated in more than 200 cities nationally, including five within Wisconsin. Jackson advises the White House on MBK through his role as Chair of the Grand Commission on Young African American Males and his leadership in the Wei LAB with the local partnership: MBK Madison.
”I appreciated the invitation to be a part of the Fraternity’s bold step to become a national leader in education. The Fraternity has prioritized working with youth since 1922 with the establishment of the Guide Right Program, which is arguably one of the first mentoring programs focused on Black boys in the country. The Fraternity is going beyond the original commitment by pooling resources to evolve the Kappa League program into the nation’s premiere mentoring program for Black boys. Concurrently, the Fraternity is assembling all of its members in education to focus on the potential of our collective impact on the field. These efforts align not only with my personal objectives, but neatly fit with the mission of the Wei LAB.”
Jackson is an active and Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. For more than 20 years, Jackson has served in numerous posts of the fraternity, including a five-year term as the Polemarch (President) of the Madison, Wisconsin Alumni Chapter, chair of the education committee for the Achievement Academy, and chair of the Membership Intake and Orientation Process Instruction for the North Central Province. He has also 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, Incorporated.
Jackson’s research, in part, focuses on Black male achievement. In March 2015 he presented at the symposium for Northeastern Province Meeting of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated entitled, “Promise Symposium: A Conversation on Our Boys of Color, Our Community and Our Commitment.” As an extension of his research, Jackson is co-founder and chair of the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education currently in its fourth year. This year’s meeting will focus on “Creating Opportunity Through Education: Re-Engineering the Social Ecosystem for Black Males.” The Colloquium will convene at the University of the West Indies – Mona on October 6 – 9, 2015.
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson visited the White House on June 17 to discuss My Brother’s Keeper initiatives being implemented in Michigan.
Jackson, the Chair of the Grand Commission on Young African American Males for Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Boulé, joined fellow members of the fraternity and representatives from Eastern Michigan University and the Saginaw (MI) Public School District to present two successful examples of programs they are implementing in Michigan as a result of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) pledge.
Jackson and the other attendees informed White House representatives about the Men of Color Degree Completion and Retention Plan at Eastern Michigan University, which seeks to help men of color transition smoothly, persist in their studies and graduate ready for success. The evidence-based, comprehensive approach seeks to address the negative impacts men of color face on campus, and to assure their success after they graduate.
The mission of the second initiative, Saginaw Public School District’s Centric Program, has been designed to enhance male students’ awareness of career options; to improve their ability to pursue a college degree; and to elevate student’s self-esteem and self-worth. With a focus on improving reading, math and science skills in addition to addressing character and behavioral issues, the school district seeks to improve students’ academic standing.
Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is actively involved in several MBK initiatives, especially that of Madison, Wisconsin. On June 4, Jackson stood alongside Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and others to introduce the city’s own initiatives aimed at combatting the racial inequalities in Madison.
Wisconsin's Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), along with The Ohio State University's Todd Anthony Bell Resource Center on the African American Male is proud to announce the 4th Annual International Colloquium on Black Males in Education. The 2015 Colloquium will take place October 6-9, 2015 at the University of the West Indies-Mona in Kingston, Jamaica.
The theme of this year's Colloquium is "Creating Opportunity Through Education: Re-Engineering the Social Ecosystem for Black Males." Bringing together scholars, practitioners, policy makers, funders, students and concerned citizens, the Colloquium provides attendees with a valuable arena for discussion, community-building, learning and thought. The Colloquium will examine global dynamics of Black males in education over the course of three days' worth of program, as well as through Pre-Colloquium Academies offering workshop settings for students to network and learn.
Registration is now open for individuals interested in attending the Colloquium. A tentative schedule, as well as information on registration and travel, can be found on the Colloquium website. RSVP to the Facebook event to stay updated on Colloquium announcements here. We hope to see you in Jamaica!
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson participated in an interactive panel on My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiatives on June 20 at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The event, “Baton Rouge Answers the Call to Service: My Brother’s Keeper” was sponsored by Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Grand Social Action Committee in conjunction with the Alpha Xi Boulé 50th Anniversary.
Jackson, the Chair of the Grand Commission on Young African American Males for Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Boulé, acted as a panel member discussing MBK Community Challenge initiatives, research and policy and higher education for boys and men of color. Other topics of discussion for the panel included programs and initiatives to support boys and men of color; college enrollment and degree completion; increasing employment rates; and issues of violent crime and racial profiling.
“It was inspiring to participate in this community-based event, which was used to advance the dialog in Baton Rouge regarding their commitment to My Brother’s Keeper and males of color,” Jackson said.
The Wei LAB and Jackson have played a key role in MBK initiatives in Madison, Wisconsin where Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At a press conference on June 4, Jackson stood alongside Mayor Paul Soglin to present local MBK initiatives aimed at addressing racial disparities in Madison. More recently, Jackson along with other national advisors visited the White House to present programs activated by the MBK challenge to demonstrate the success of such programs in elevating boys and men of color.
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Wei LAB director and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is quoted in the Diverse Education article, “Faculty Outraged Over Wisconsin’s Proposed Tenure Changes,” published June 1. The article discusses a bill introduced by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker that includes a $250 million cut from the University of Wisconsin system, removes state-supported tenure protection and limits faculty involvement in the shared governance system.
Jackson expressed concern over the proposed changes, explaining that tenure protection and shared governance give Wisconsin an edge over other institutions.
“There are a number of scholars that elect to take a lot less [money] . . . because they value those opportunities and protections provided to us here,” Jackson told Diverse Education. “And, whether those individuals will continue to see Wisconsin as the safe haven it has been for professors, I imagine that it’s going to be . . . increasingly leaning toward possibly seeing other places as equally or more desirable.”
Jackson also discussed how conversation, even without action, about the changes in the UW system could be enough to push administrators and faculty away from Wisconsin and toward other institutions.
“If now they feel that confidence has been eroded at the institution, then you might be able to get them out of [the UW system], when you might not have been able to get them out of there before,” Jackson said.
The Senate recently passed the bill, and the Assembly is expected to vote on the proposal in the coming weeks.
A collaboration between the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) and Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), which is part of UW-Madison’s School of Education, will study intercollegiate athletics departments with the goal of offering suggestions for improving hiring practices and workplace environments.
The National Study of Intercollegiate Athletics, which officially launches in June, will assist colleges and universities analyze their athletics departments in terms of diversity and inclusion by providing a comprehensive overview of their hiring practices and existing perceptions of the work environment in their departments, according to Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson.
“This study will help to fill a knowledge gap that results in too many assumptions being made as to the intents of individuals or the fairness of processes,” Jackson said. “The information we’re gathering has the potential to help every institution that elects to participate.”
Key to the relationship is privacy, as the report the Wei LAB will produce for participating athletic departments will not be made public. The privacy is intended to allow participating departments to have a more open dialogue with the LAB and MOAA about the study’s findings, Jackson said.
“We want to make this information available to each athletic department to help them do a much better job in understanding how their hiring practices are similar or different than their peers. We don’t want shame to affect participation – it’s important for departments to understand that the study is intended to be an educational experience, for them and for us,” he said.
Vital to the study’s launch and continued success is Jackson’s relationship with former University of Wisconsin–Madison Deputy Athletic Director T. Frazier, who now serves as the athletic director at Northern Illinois University. Frazier is a past president of MOAA, an organization that promotes equitable employment opportunities for minorities in the athletics industry.
"This study parallels our mission and we look forward to help contribute and promote best practices for diversity and inclusion,” Frazier said.
Jackson said the initiative to launch the NSIA emerged out of frustration from athletic directors in the challenges they faced in their attempts to change the culture of their departments.
“Many of them knew that their institutions weren’t doing well in their efforts to diversify their departments, but they didn’t know why,” Jackson said. “There was no data and without data, everything was left to speculation.”
The system designed by the Wei LAB centers its investigation of each athletic department into four categories: athletic administrator career trajectories and career ambitions, senior-level administrator searches, athletic administrator hiring practices and workplace climate.
That individual-level data can help athletic directors understand how their departments are perceived by their own current and potential future employees, and give them answers as to why they might have difficulty recruiting or advancing minority employees, Jackson said.
“There’s no way to know exactly what your employees think unless you ask them, and this process is designed to get those honest answers. A senior administrator job may be perceived as more secure than the athletic director role, or there may be the perception that the university wouldn’t be receptive to a minority candidate. Or it could just be that the person who would be a great athletic director just likes the job he or she already has,” Jackson said.
After a school’s assessment is complete, representatives from the Wei LAB and MOAA meet with those who commissioned the study to help interpret the findings and offer suggestions for next steps.
“The Wei LAB’s role is limited to helping you understand the data, while MOAA will be more active in working with athletic directors to help them think differently about how they may want to structure their hiring processes and engage groups that work at their institutions to be more inclusive,” Jackson said.
The NSIA is available to colleges and universities with NCAA Division I, II and III programs as well as minority-serving institutions and two-year colleges. As more data is collected, the Wei LAB will be able to sort by various categories within and between divisions and conferences, allowing athletic directors to compare their own departments to others across the country. The new data will also allow the Wei LAB and MOAA to improve their understanding of how equitable work environments are created and maintained, and allow MOAA to provide better advice and suggestions for improvement of workplace climates.
The end goal, according to Jackson and Frazier, is to reduce and eventually eliminate glass ceilings in athletic departments at postsecondary institutions.
“We are trying to provide a real metric around hiring and workplace environment satisfaction in university athletic departments around the country, which hasn’t been done before at the level we are planning to accomplish,” Jackson said. “It’s a goal which I think can be accomplished because a majority of these institutions want to change, they just don’t know how. We want the NSIA to be their first step toward better decision-making and system creation on the national level, hopefully resulting in more equity in representation of people from underrepresented backgrounds in the leadership of intercollegiate athletics.”
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson has recently been featured prominently in media outlets with national reach.
Jackson’s work and life were the subject of a feature article in the May 22, 2015 edition of the Madison Times. The article, “Developments in Diversity: How UW’s Wei LAB is Leading the Way,” covers Jackson’s interest in administrative diversity and the reasons for his founding of the Wei LAB, which under his direction, has taken on several ground-breaking and major research projects.
Jackson is also Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education. According to the article, “The main principle of university’s Wisconsin Idea – ‘To improve people’s lives beyond the classroom’– is exemplified in the work of Dr. Jackson and the Wei LAB. The core of what they do – all of their research, projects, presentations, and books – are created with the intention of improving the educational atmosphere and lives of people within those organizations both locally and beyond.”
Previously, an article in Diverse Issues in Higher Education explored the impact of a cadre of prominent academics, including Jackson, who have worked both individually and collectively to study the status of African-Americans throughout the educational pipeline. Jackson was also featured in a profile on the home page of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The article follows Jackson’s path from being the first member of his family to attend college, through his following the footsteps of George Washington Carver to attend graduate school at Iowa State University, to eventually becoming the first African American in UW–Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis to earn tenure and as the first to gain a named professorship.
The article lauds Jackson’s involvement in a half-dozen major projects, including an exploration of glass-ceiling effects in academia, an initiative to encourage more African American students to pursue computer science, and a survey of hiring practices in Division I, II, and III athletic departments.
According to the article, "Jackson is known for barraging unwitting collaborators with phone calls, text messages, or emails at all hours of the day or night, sharing his excitement about a new idea or impatiently seeking an answer to a suddenly pressing question. He refuses to settle for a good discussion, demanding from himself and his colleagues ‘actionable solutions to change the world."
Following a pledge made last year in response to President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) challenge, Madison, Wis. Mayor Paul Soglin announced the city’s own initiatives to tackle racial disparities at a news conference on June 5.
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson stood with Soglin and other civic and community leaders to introduce the Madison-specific measures that seek to bolster young men of color, ensuring they reach their full potential (A full video of the event is available here).
"I was delighted to see Madison among the communities to accept the challenge by President Obama. I was also pleased to lend the expertise of the Wei LAB to support the City of Madison and Dane County as they prioritize the advancement of males of color in the community,” Jackson said.
In 2014, Obama introduced the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to combat the persistent and pervasive opportunity gaps facing people of color across the U.S., and encouraging communities across the country to take on the responsibility of minimizing these gaps. MBK is focused on achieving six important milestones: getting a healthy start and entering school ready to learn; reading at grade level by third grade; graduating from high school ready for college and career; completing postsecondary education or training; successfully entering the workforce; and keeping kids on track and giving them second chances.
Madison was among 100 early acceptors of the MBK challenge and has proceeded by following the MBK handbook guidelines, which lists four critical steps for participating communities to pursue: 1) accept the President’s challenge; 2) convene a ‘Local Action Summit’ to build an MBK Community; 3) conduct a policy review and form recommendations for action; and 4) launch a plan of action, next steps and a timetable for review. At present, the City is preparing to launch a plan of action.
Based on answers provided by surveyed youth, the City of Madison selected two goals: ensuring youth graduate from high school and keeping youth safe from violent crime. Madison’s initiative will pursue full-service schooling for all children, emphasizing family, health and community support in addition to academics, and a renewed focus by local law enforcement on restorative justice. The two programs are being presented to the national leadership of MBK as examples of how a community can proceed after it has accepted the MBK challenge.
At the news conference, Mayor Soglin highlighted Jackson, Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a key information resource for the city’s initiatives. Soglin identified Jackson as an expert in the systems the city is trying to improve, while also referring to the Wei LAB as “one of the great secrets of our community.”
The Wei LAB is working with the presidential leadership of MBK on multiple programs throughout the nation. Jackson said he is eager to put the expertise of the Wei LAB to use to improve Madison. In mid-June, Jackson visited the White House to present two other initiatives the Wei LAB recommends for inclusion in the MBK challenge.
“Hopefully in the very near future the work that we are doing here will be presented in the Oval Office as a stellar example of what changes can occur when a community comes together with the right kind of commitment,” Jackson said.
The City of Madison has a longstanding tradition of engagement with issues dedicated to eradicating obstacles of opportunity, particularly for young boys and men of color. This fall, the Wei LAB will officially launch the PROMISE Project; a cross sector problem-solving platform that aligns and advances community efforts focused on eliminating educational and workforce disparities across Wisconsin. The LAB has partnered with a host of community agents who have been at the table, and played a significant role in Madison’s MBK, such as the United Way of Dane County, the Urban League of Greater Madison, Dane County Sherriff’s Office, Madison Area Technical College, the Justified Anger Coalition, XL Academics, and the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at the Ohio State University. Dr. Lesley-Anne Pittard, the Wei LAB’s Chief Liaison for cultivating and managing external partnerships, is responsible for coordination of the Wei LAB’s outreach and collaborative efforts for this initiative.
Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson is quoted in a Houston Chronicle article covering the University of Houston’s efforts to gain membership into the Association of American Universities (AAU).
The article, “UH Wants Invitation to Elite Club,” was published on April 30, 2015. The piece reported on the university’s attempt to join the prestigious AAU. Membership is by invitation only, but according to the article, UH officials and experts believe joining the AAU would help to raise the profile of higher education institutions in Texas.
The AAU maintains a relatively small, exclusive membership of universities that exhibit excellence in research programs and graduate education. Member universities are expected to maintain high-quality research and education, with membership discontinuation a possibility if the institution’s profile falls below AAU standards.
“It’s going to be a long road, that’s for sure, but is it impossible? No,” Jackson said in the article. “Can the state of Texas decide they want to increase the number of AAU institutions and invest in higher education at that level? Absolutely. Is the city of Houston equally attractive as Chicago or L.A. or some places that have drawn on their location to raise their profile? Sure. But it would need to be a very serious commitment to want to be an AAU institution.”
In addition to his role with the Wei LAB, Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
Jihye Kam, a survey research associate for Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), presented her research on Korean male students’ experiences on a college campus following compulsory military service at the 59th Annual Conference of Comparative and International Education Society paper session in Washington D.C. on March 9.
As law, Korean males over the age of 18 must serve in the military for about two years before they turn 38 years old, except in cases of disabilities or special circumstances. Kam’s study, “Korean Male College Student Campus Integration in Post Compulsory Military Service: Motivations and Challenges” sought to understand to what extent military service affects the students’ engagement and assimilation into college upon their enrollment or return to school.
Kam’s study suggests that Korean male student veterans are more engaged in academic and social contexts on campus immediately after returning from service. However, the findings also revealed that this engagement diminishes over time as students encounter organizational barriers that prohibit them from reaching top levels within institutions, thus resulting in their decreased engagement on campus.
In its conclusion, Kam’s study recommends more long-term support programs for student veterans, as the transition process from active duty to student life continues not just upon the students’ arrival on campus, but throughout subsequent years as well.
Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) commemorated its fifth year of operations in diversity and equity research with a celebration held on May 8 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education Building. The event was attended by noted public and university figures, community partners, Wei LAB staff and friends and featured a program of speakers, as well as a commemorative cake and ice cream social following the event.
Among the speakers at the event were: Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Director and Chief Research Scientist of the Wei LAB and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis; Dr. Ruben Anthony, CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison, who offered his commemorative remarks on the LAB’s work; Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, Assistant Director of the LAB, who unveiled the Wei LAB’s 5th Year Commemorative Logo; and Robert Mathieu, Director of Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), who highlighted the Wei LAB’s achievements within WCER and the field of education research.
Additional speakers included Dr. Lesley-Anne Pittard, Chief Liaison for External and Strategic Partnerships of the Wei LAB, who served as the mistress of ceremonies; Darrell Bazzell, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at UW-Madison, who discussed the Wei LAB’s relevance in the changing economy of UW-Madison ; Patrick J. Sims, Vice Provost for Diversity at UW-Madison, who commemorated the value of partnership with the Wei LAB; Dr. Rev. Alex Gee, President and Founder of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, who expressed the importance of a problem-solving mindset for a better Wisconsin; John Odom, President of Odom & Associates, who spoke of the value of research units in serving communities; and Dawn Crim, Associate Dean for External Relations at the UW-Madison School of Education, who discussed the Wei LAB’s educational impacts.
“It was exciting to arrive to the event to see the group of speakers that agreed to be on the program along with a room full of attendees to celebrate the work of the Wei LAB, ,” Jackson said. “Hearing the speakers talk about the impact of the Wei LAB on campus, in the community, in education research, and globally was a humbling experience. It certainly motivated me to do more over the next five years.”
Since founding the LAB in May 2010, Dr. Jackson and his team of researchers have been at the forefront of empirically-based, data-driven solutions related to equity and diversity in education by conducting and disseminating research that informs the faculty and staff, policymakers, practitioners and other concerned citizens about the best practices for creating equitable and inclusive working and learning environments. With five successful years of significant contributions to the field of education, the Wei LAB is looking forward to future endeavors with the operational slogan, “Adopt a Problem-Solving Mindset” for 2015.
African American women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields face challenges unique to their race and gender, according to a recent article co-authored by Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Assistant Director LaVar J. Charleston, Assistant Professor Phillis L. George from the department of Leadership and Counselor Education at the University of Mississippi, Wei LAB Director Jerlando F. L. Jackson, and Wei LAB research associates Jonathan Berhanu and Mauriell H. Amechi.
The research article, “Navigating Underrepresented STEM Spaces: Experiences of Black Women in U.S. Computing Science Higher Education Programs Who Actualize Success,” was published in the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Volume 7, Number 3. The paper seeks to understand the living, learning and working realities of Black women in STEM fields, and their strategies for successfully navigating a field traditionally dominated by White males.
Speaking on the significance of the study, Charleston said, “Women and minorities often experience social isolation in highly technological educational and occupational spaces. In a field like computing that can be socially isolating in and of itself, it is imperative that we understand and recognize the barriers to broadening participation so that we can make the necessary policy adjustments to truly ensure equal opportunity of success in all STEM fields, including computing sciences.”
George articulates the importance of bringing the voices of this demographic forward, saying, "The power of voice is truly extraordinary, and this study speaks truth to transcendent power by amplifying the voices of African American women in the computing sciences. This demographic has been traditionally silenced in STEM education. Their journeys, struggles, and triumphs are often overlooked."
In the article, Charleston and colleagues bring to light the absence of Black women’s experiences and voices in STEM fields like computing sciences. They argue that Black women face unwelcoming environments in STEM doctoral programs as a result of isolation due to both race and gender. The National Science Board reports that while more than 70 percent of the nation’s scientists and engineers are White, only four percent of doctoral degrees in science and engineering are held by African Americans, and even fewer by Black women.
"In this study we appreciate the opportunity to give voice to Black women in the sciences, especially when research is often silent about them in these male-dominated spaces," Jackson said.
The researchers relied on critical race feminism and Black feminist thought as frameworks for the participants’ self-identity and social interactions, and used qualitative data and analysis to gain a better understanding of each woman’s personal experiences. Throughout focus group sessions, the women in the study described feelings of isolation and subordination, and detailed the sacrifices Black women have to make in the process of obtaining a degree.
The findings indicate that for Black women pursuing STEM fields, the intersection of race and gender present significant barriers to degree attainment. Participants indicated they experienced an unwelcoming atmosphere in their department due to what they perceived as biases against women, and to a greater extent, being African American.
"This study affirms that African American women in computing science and other STEM disciplines face distinctive challenges which are compounded by critical issues of race and gender. Candidly speaking, their academic and personal journeys are not for the faint of heart. Findings from this study are unique because they highlight varying degrees of personal and professional sacrifice as well as coping mechanisms and tools that these talented and arguably courageous women use to navigate isolated STEM spaces," George said.
The article offers three main contributions to the study of this unique demographic. First, the research illuminates the inseparable relationship that race and gender play in the lives of Black women in STEM fields. Second, the inquiry attests to a racist and sexist environment that exists in STEM educational spaces. Finally, this study reiterates the significant role institutional culture plays when considering participation of minority groups in underrepresented areas and fields.
The researchers offer several suggestions for improving educational spaces for Black women in STEM fields in general, and computing in particular. Most importantly, they recommend faculty in the field to re-examine the biases and prejudices they have toward minority groups. The study also calls for student support networks, which would give women of color a secure place to discuss their experiences and collaborate on methods to successfully navigate difficult situations. The authors also echo national appeals for increased representation of students and faculty of color in computing fields and industries. The researchers conclude that these methods of improvement in STEM fields may help mitigate the isolation and insensitivity many Black women experience in predominantly White institutions and fields, thus leading to greater participation in STEM fields from underrepresented populations.
The Wei LAB’s Nicole Lang has been selected as a 2015 American Education Research Association (AERA) Undergraduate Research fellow and will participate in the prestigious 2015 AERA Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop, part of the 2015 AERA Annual Meeting in Chicago April 16 to18.
Fellows, all undergraduate students who intend to go on to study education-related topics in graduate school, are chosen for the workshop through a highly competitive applications process. Fellows in the program are assigned mentors to guide them through lessons on research design, methods and application in educational practice and policy.
Lang, a research assistant for the Wei LAB, is a junior at the University of Wisconsin–Madison studying psychology and political science. Her work in the Wei LAB concentrates on academic outcomes of students in STEM fields and student athletes. She hopes to go on to study student athletes of color and their academic developments.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to learn more about educational research at the AERA workshop, and am excited to gain new skills that will bolster not only my work at the Wei LAB but also my future endeavors,” Lang said.
Walter Parrish, research associate for Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusions Laboratory (Wei LAB), has been appointed to the search and screen committee that will select the next vice provost for diversity/chief diversity officer of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Parrish has been serving on the committee as a graduate student representative. Currently, the committee is holding preliminary interviews with candidates; the vice provost finalist interviews are anticipated to take place in mid-April.
Parrish is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, specializing in higher, postsecondary and continuing education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in addition to his research at the Wei LAB. His research interests focus on how organizational culture and workplace diversity affects the experiences of marginalized faculty and administrators in higher education.
Before coming to UW–Madison, Parrish was the assistant director for diversity, inclusion and multicultural education at George Mason University. Parrish, a native of Philadelphia, has also traveled abroad to study the higher education systems in Hong Kong and Macau.
Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, assistant director and senior research associate for Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), was appointed to serve on the search committee for the new dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Charleston will work with other search and screen committee members to recommend a candidate as the new dean to head the top-ranked public school of education in the country. Each member of the committee was selected to represent the university as a whole with the goal of finding the most qualified candidate for the position.
As assistant director and senior research associate, Charleston is coordinator of the Wei LAB’s research and evaluation division and directs the lab’s junior research associates. His research focuses on graduate school preparation and success, with particular expertise in underrepresented student groups and students interested in STEM fields. Charleston also teaches in the School of Education’s Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis department.
Charleston is currently an editorial board member for the Journal of African American Males in Education where he was previously a review board member, a reviewer for the American Educational Research Journal (Social and Institutional Analysis), a guest reviewer for a special edition of Teachers College Record, and he was previously a reviewer for the Journal of Science Education and Technology. Charleston’s prior appointments include assistant director for development and marketing at the Center for African American Research and Policy, as well as associate editor of the Annuals of the Next Generation journal.
Members of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity convened Thursday, October 2 at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education in Atlanta, Georgia to respond to contemporary challenges for Black males in society.
A panel of members including Gregory J. Vincent, Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Leonard L. Moore, Marcel Henry, and Samuel Bacote III discussed Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, also known the Boulé, and the actions the organization takes to augment the lives and educational trajectories of Black males, and well as other underrepresented groups.
The Boulé, founded in 1904 in Philadelphia, consists of nearly 4,000 active members with 131 local organizations spanning from the Bahamas to the United States and London. Sigma Pi Phi is the nation’s oldest African American professional fraternity.
Samuel Bacote III, Grand Grammateus-Executive Secretary, began the discussion by positioning the ways the organization steps up to improve the current status of Black Males in Education.
Amidst the responses included Gregory J. Vincent’s remarks, stating the Boulé serves as an umbrella organization, bringing community groups together to engage in social action. Because of the Boulé’s access to important decision-makers in the United States, the organization can financially support community efforts to improve the lives of Black males.
Furthermore, the panel agreed, many members of the invitation-only fraternity contribute insightful perspectives due to their leadership in other service-based groups.
“The advantage I see is Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity’s membership cuts across multiple social groups and policy spaces, along with leadership opportunities and decision making spaces as well,” Jerlando F. L. Jackson said. When the nation’s leadership voices are among your membership, it provides the Boulé a unique ability to strategically orchestrating community efforts.”
Leonard L. Moore stated nearly 80 to 90 percent of the fraternity’s members are involved in a mentoring program with young African American males.
Soon the conversation shifted from the Boulé’s efforts in supporting Black males on the educational pathway, to supporting Black males post-graduation outcomes.
“Our job is not done just when a brother gets a degree,” Moore said. The panel agreed the fraternity must support Black males entering the job market by surrounding him with men who experienced the same challenges.
This support, Marcel Henry asserted, is the true meaning of the Boulé. “Our mission is to have an impact in changing the lives of men we interact with on a daily basis,” he said.
In the future, the panel wants members of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity to share their stories, encouraging young African American males to draw inspiration from Black men with successful careers who made education and citizenship a priority.
Following the panel discussion, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity’s Grand Commission on Young African American Males and Grand Social Action Committee co-sponsored the opening reception at the Atlanta University’s Center Library Exhibit Hall for the third annual International Colloquium on Black Males in Education. The reception featured an exhibit of the paper collection of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is a VIP Sponsor of the 2014 International Colloquium on Black Males in Education. Dr. Damon Williams is the Senior Vice President of Program, Training & Youth Development with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Q: Why did the Boys and Girls Clubs of America step forward to participate in this year's Colloquium?
DW: The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is one of the oldest and largest youth development organizations in the world, and I believe we play an incredibly important role in helping millions of young people to become successful. We have about two million boys in our membership at around 4,000 clubs. Of that total, about 30 percent of our membership is African American, while another 27 percent of our membership is Hispanic. That allows us to be a really important place for translation of research, because our professional staff is on the front lines of working with youth, many of them in underserved communities, around the country.
It’s our organization’s belief that research should help to drive practice. Ultimately, we want connections with thinkers. Our support of the colloquium and the top researchers in attendance who are from top-tier research universities will ultimately benefit us, because it will strengthen the translation of the theoretical into the implementable. Connecting our organization to this platform for some of the most prominent voices in the field who are guiding and shaping the study of black males in education will hopefully allow us to overcome the opportunity game, which shows up as an achievement gap for Black boys in school.
Q: In your opinion, what are the most pressing education-related issues facing young black males today?
DW: One of them is definitely summer learning loss. Many African American males or males of color growing up in undeserved and under-sourced communities don’t get involved in educationally enriching activities over the summer. They’re hanging out in the pool or their neighborhoods, having a really informal summer, rather than having an engaged summer out-of-school time learning experience. Research says that they’re losing as much as one month of learning each and every month of the summer, and then coming into the academic year in a deficit. Over time, that deficit becomes a real part of the cracks and fissures we see in the academic pipeline.
Q: What do you personally hope to get out of the event?
DW: I would love to develop a better understanding of evidence-based youth development intervention across the board. Things like mentoring, supplemental education experience at the pre-college level – I’d like to see studies on those things that were substantiated with some form of quasi- or fully-experimental design.
Overall, I want an exchange of epic proportion between those doing scholarship and those in practice with our youth. Unfortunately, there are just too few evidenced-based programs that are out there. If we can find some in the course of this colloquium, that would be amazing.
And lastly, a big reason for my involvement is because I really believe deeply in the mission of Wei LAB, especially the equity and educational issues it pursues. I think the colloquium occupies a very unique place in the landscape on research meetings on the educational challenge facing African American males. And the fact that many of the people at the colloquium grew up as boys and girls club members themselves, including Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Juan E. Guilbert, and Ivory A. Toldson, makes the BGCA participation really personally meaningful. If we can connect this amazing group of scholars who’ve had experiences at the club that have probably touched them, to the BGCA’s national platform and resources, that could potentially create something incredibly valuable – the ability to drive successful ideas into practice to a huge scale. That’s something the BGCA can do in a way that only a couple of organizations in the nation have the ability to do.
The 2014 International Colloquium on Black Males in Education is taking place Oct. 1-4 at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit GlobalColloquium.org.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has signed on as a VIP sponsor of the 2014 International Colloquium on Black Males in Education, a research gathering set to explore the global dynamics of Black males in the educational pipeline.
This year’s colloquium will take place Oct. 1-4, 2014 at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga (USA). The event’s lead organizer is Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), an education research laboratory based out of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is one of the oldest and largest youth development organizations in the world, and I believe we play an incredibly important role in helping millions of young people to become successful,” said Dr. Damon Williams, BGCA Senior Vice President of Program, Training and Youth Development. “This colloquium occupies a very unique place in the landscape of research meetings on the educational challenge facing African American males. Our support of the colloquium and the researchers in attendance who are from top-tier research universities will ultimately benefit us. If we can connect this amazing group of scholars … to BGCA’s national platform and resources, we could potentially create something incredibly valuable – the ability to drive successful ideas into practice to a huge scale,” Williams said.
The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Doing Something Different in the 21st Century: Informed by What Works with Black Males in the New Global Economy.” The colloquium will bring together leading scholars and thinkers, high-impact practitioners, and students from around the globe. It will offer a diverse array of programs that serve to elicit intellectual thought, discussion, and ideas that can be implemented to serve and improve the experiences of Black males throughout the world.
“This year’s colloquium will draw an impressive cadre of scholars from communities across the world to examine Black male experiences in education from a variety of lenses. Our hope is that every colloquium attendee and participant leaves inspired, equipped, and motivated to improve the educational dilemma for Black males through research, practice, and policy,” said Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Director and Chief Research Scientist for Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The cost of general registration for the conference is $400. Online registration closes on Oct. 1, though limited on-site registration will be available. Registration costs include the pre-colloquium, breakfast and lunch each day, awards banquet, receptions, cultural tours, and transportation to and from Morehouse College.
For more information about the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education or the Wei LAB, visit (www.globalcolloquium.org/) or contact: Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Colloquium Chair, Director of the Wei LAB, and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison, at (email@example.com).
Mauriell Amechi, a research associate at Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), was recently named to the committee that will search and screen for the next dean of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Graduate School.
Amechi was appointed to represent the graduate student body on the committee by the university’s Shared Governance Leadership Team following a competitive application process. In March, Amechi was appointed to serve in a similar role as he joined the search and screen committee for the open position of Provost for Diversity and Climate at UW–Madison.
Amechi, a second-year Ph.D. candidate in UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, studies the experiences and educational pathways of first-generation, low-income, and racial minority students, with a special emphasis on foster care youth and their college transitions. In addition to his graduate-level studies, Amechi has served as a research associate for the Wei LAB for more than a year.
A native of Chicago, IL, Mauriell earned a master's degree from The Ohio State University in higher education and student affairs, as well as a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served in a variety of leadership, service, and professional capacities within student life.
A new profile of UW–Madison Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education Jerlando F. L. Jackson has been posted on the Iowa State University School of Education’s website.
Jackson received his Ph.D. in education focused on higher education in the department of educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University in 2000. He has remained active in assisting Iowa State University in his area of expertise, diversity in higher education. Jackson has assisted President Steven Leath in conducting “the most comprehensive diversity study ever” undertaken at Iowa State University, according to the article (access the study here).
The article also mentions the work of the Wei LAB, which Jackson founded and where he currently serves as director and chief research scientist.
"My current professional goal is to continue to build and provide leadership to Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) so that it emerges as a global leader and champion for equitable and inclusive educational organizations,” Jackson says in the article.
A report issued on Sept. 2 by the Wei LAB and six other university-based research centers focusing on boys and men of color in education has been featured in a number of news reports issued by national and regional publications.
In an article published on Sept. 2 on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website, titled, “U.S. Is Urged to Curtail Alarming Dropout Rates Among Minority Men,” reporter Katherine Mangan focuses on the policy recommendations mentioned in the report pertaining to K-12 and higher education.
Also on Sept. 2, reporter Jamal Eric Watson covered the release of the report for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. His article, “Report Recommends Educational Policy Adjustments to Aid Minority Males,” included a quote from Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson.
“I appreciate this effort of male scholars of color inserting our voices, based on our empirical research, to help shape the national discourse surrounding very important challenges for males of color in education,” Jackson said in the article. “As a group of researchers who have had a long commitment to addressing the experiences of males of color in education, we feel it very important to find ways to assist the current efforts of policy makers focused on making a difference.”
On Sept. 4, Pat Schneider, a reporter for The Capital Times in Madison, WI, authored the article, “UW–Madison Education Research Lab Calls for Changes to Boost Outcomes for Black Boys and Men.” Jackson is also quoted in Schneider’s article.
“We want the discussion to move from one focused on problems and deficit challenges to one that is solution-oriented,” Jackson told Schneider. “We are very aware of the challenges in federal initiatives drilling all the way down to the classroom.”
The complete report, Advancing the success of boys and men of color in education: Recommendations for federal policymakers, is available at the Wei LAB’s website.
MADISON, WI — (Tuesday, September 2, 2014) The implementation of a national clearinghouse on exemplary educational studies, practices, and policies on males of color is one of the many federal policy recommendations offered in a new report, Advancing the success of boys and men of color in education: Recommendations for federal policymakers (pdf). Drawing from President Barack H. Obama’s initiative (i.e., My Brother’s Keeper) that seeks to improve educational outcomes for boys and men of color, the report outlines numerous policies that federal policymakers should undertake to address systemic barriers endured at every juncture of their education.
The report represents a joint policy statement from seven university-based research centers that have an explicit research focus on boys and men of color in education, including Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB).
“Input from a group of esteemed education researchers from seven separate centers is a major strength of the report,” said J. Luke Wood, a report co-author and Co-Director of the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) at San Diego State University. “Through this collaboration, we wanted to provide federal policymakers and other thought leaders with important information to improve education outcomes for males of color.”
Across the nation, there is a growing awareness that greater efforts are needed to ensure the educational success of boys and young men of color. “Throughout the educational pipeline, too many males of color are not performing optimally. The United States just cannot continue to ignore the consistent challenges and pitfalls that males of color experience throughout their schooling,” said James L. Moore III, a report co-author, Distinguished Professor of Urban Education and Director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at The Ohio State University. “My colleagues and I are very committed to the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. We also stand ready to serve as a resource for the Obama administration and public and private foundations," said Moore.
Leading education researcher centers partnering on the joint policy brief included: the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education (University of Pennsylvania), Minority Male Community College Collaborative (San Diego State University), Morehouse Research Institute (Morehouse College), Project MALES and the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color (University of Texas at Austin), Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male (The Ohio State University), UCLA Black Male Institute (University of California, Los Angeles), and Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
“This alliance of research centers and committed scholars who lead them is a powerful example of the collaboration and coordination required to advance the success of young men of color in schools and society” said Shaun R. Harper, a report co-author, and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
The joint report provides 15 federal policy recommendations focused on increasing the utilization of data, partnerships, training, and evaluation. The recommendations offered are based on extensive research conducted by the centers’ researchers on the experiences of boys and men of color in education. According to Tyrone Howard, a report co-author and Director of the UCLA Black Male Institute, "the importance of this collaboration cannot be overstated. At a time when the value of the lives of young boys of color continues to come into question, our report provides research-based interventions, responses, and solutions to vexing problems that policymakers, philanthropic organizations, and community-based institutions sorely need to take to heart." Some of the key policy recommendations in the report include, but are not limited to:
- Mandate that PreK-12 schools and postsecondary institutions create equity plans to improve outcome disparities for boys and men of color.
- Adopt data tracking systems and scorecards to identify preK-12 schools with disproportionately high suspension and special education placement rates and low participation in gifted education and other accelerated education programs.
- Implement sustained professional development structures to better train educators (e.g., teachers, school counselors, and administrators) to effectively work with boys of color.)
- Require all postsecondary institutions to implement an institutional-level, early alert system to identify students in need of support interventions.
According to Frank Harris, a report co-author and Co-Director of the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) at San Diego State University, “As education researchers, my colleagues and I believe that the policy recommendations, if properly implemented, will not only improve education outcomes for males of color, but will also improve education success for other student populations as well.”
Advancing the Success of Boys and Men of Color in Education: Recommendations for Federal Policymakers is the second collaboration of the centers. In June 2014, they released a joint statement on the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. It was in response to a White House earlier report on boys and men of color.
For more information on this rreport, or on Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei Lab), contact Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education & Director of Wei LAB, University of Wisconsin-Madison: 608-890-3790 (LAB); 608-262-8866 (SOE); firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women and people of color working in higher education continue to bump up against glass ceilings despite years of effort to eradicate discriminatory employment practices, according to a new book edited by Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) director and chief research scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson.
The book, Measuring Glass Ceiling Effects in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges, reveals the glass ceiling phenomenon to be more complex and harder to solve than previously thought. The book seeks to provide institutional decision-makers and researchers with evidence about the pervasiveness of glass ceilings in higher education workplaces, and strongly encourage them to commit more time and resources towards their elimination.
“This issue demands an intensive time commitment and often the cooperation and involvement of institutional researchers at colleges and universities who are in a position to help people understand how the glass ceiling impacts workforce dynamics in our society,” Jackson said. “Those in positions of power in higher education must do more to confront the challenge of glass ceiling effects across different institutional environments.”
Jackson and co-editor Elizabeth O’Callaghan, a lecturer in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, dedicated a chapter of the book to reviewing methodological issues surrounding the measurement of glass ceiling effects and summarizing findings from a cross-sectional analysis study. Along with Wei LAB research associate Ryan P. Adserias, who also contributed to the chapter, they found that longitudinal data when possible to collect may help to clarify and explain the specific patterns of discrimination detected at any given cross-section in time.
Another chapter of the book, authored by Wei LAB assistant director and senior research associate LaVar J. Charleston, provides a possible route forward for higher education leaders aiming to mitigate glass ceiling effects. Newly developed software technology designed specifically to assist institutions in exploring glass ceiling effects is now being used as an effective method of managing diversity in higher education, Charleston writes.
Eastern Michigan University Assistant Professor of Higher Education— and former doctoral advisee of Jackson—Raul A. Leon, the book’s third co-editor, also contributed a chapter to the book. In it, he identifies select programs and initiatives in higher education that demonstrate great promise in addressing glass ceiling effects in the workplace.
Another prominent researcher to contribute to the book is James T. Minor, the deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in higher education. His chapter explores eliminating faculty-related glass ceiling effects through academic governance.
Other chapters in the book examine glass ceiling effect in higher education through the metric of salary equity; looks at the glass ceiling phenomenon in the context of historically Black colleges and universities; and investigates the importance of qualitative approaches to studying the glass ceiling and its effects, in contrast to exclusively quantitative measures.
The book's penultimate chapter, which could be the most useful to higher education leaders seeking to eliminate their own organization’s glass ceiling, is written by Damon A. Williams, former vice provost and chief diversity officer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and now senior vice president and chief educational and youth development officer at Boys and Girls Clubs of America. His writing centers on solving the challenges of translating glass ceiling research findings into meaningful organizational change initiatives, moving from theory or scholarship to practice.
According to Jackson, Measuring Glass Ceiling Effects in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges is designed not only to deepen the understanding of how the glass ceiling impacts women and people of color in higher education, but as a sourcebook for aiding in the discovery and elimination of glass ceilings in institutions of higher education across the nation and globe.
“While the book offers a systematic overview of glass ceiling effects in higher education, readers will find this book particularly useful thanks to its discussion of the implications of moving from theory into practice,” Jackson said. “Institutional researchers will find step-by-step protocols to collect and analyze glass ceiling data as well as a variety of rich examples, and departmental leaders can use it as a sourcebook for institutional planning purposes.”
Jackson called for increased cooperation and involvement from institutional researchers at colleges and universities who are in a position to help people understand how the glass ceiling impacts workforce dynamics in modern society.
“This book fills a gap in the literature that will illustrate why the glass ceiling is not a simple form of discrimination, and why it is such a pervasive and concealed phenomenon with weighty implications for women and people of color and their future career aspirations,” Jackson said. “We must do more to confront glass ceilings in society and especially in higher education, which is often looked at as a model in the creation of equitable workplaces.”
Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director and chief research scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will serve on a panel of experts discussing “Jobs and Businesses: Trends in the Political Economy of Black Men in Milwaukee,” on Sept. 13, 2014, at the Milwaukee County Innovation Center in Wauwatosa, WI.
Jackson’s panel will be preceded by a presentation by Keenan D. Grenall, the chief executive officer of Global Capital Group, a Wauwatosa-based financial consulting firm. The event will take place from 7:45 to 10:45 a.m., and begin with the presentation. For more information, email email@example.com.
The many unique obstacles Black male student-athletes face in their development as scholars is the subject of a new paper, “From the Gridiron to the Ivory Tower: A Case for Cultivating a Student Identity Development Curriculum for African American Male Student-Athletes,” written by Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate LaVar J. Charleston.
The article, which was published in the most recent issue of the Black History Bulletin (Volume 77, Issue 1), argues that Black male student-athletes are often unfairly perceived as benefiting from numerous institutional advantages compared to other college students. In fact, Charleston contends, student-athletes must navigate a complex set of pressures as they seek to balance the competing demands of academic and athletic imperatives.
These pressures originate in popular culture, Charleston argues, building on previous studies over the last 15 years. Pervasive images of successful Black athletes in the media contribute to an unrealistic over-identification among student-athletes with sports—and an inter-related under-identification with academic performance, identity, and development. The antagonistic relationship between these two self-concepts presents the single largest barrier to success that Black male student-athletes must overcome in their pursuit of postsecondary education, according to Charleston.
Following graduation, Charleston notes, the majority of Black male collegiate student-athletes are woefully underprepared to enter the workforce outside of the world of athletics. Meanwhile, the select few who have the fortune of “making it” as professional athletes may continue to encounter hostile stereotypes in the mass media as well as other challenges. Many remain unprepared for employment after their professional sports careers come to a close.
Charleston says his experiences as an African American former Division 1 athlete inspired him to write the article. Now a social science researcher, with the benefit of hindsight, Charleston has been able to reflect on his own academic progression, identifying numerous points in his personal narrative that substantiate the scholarly literature on student identity development. Charleston states that his extracurricular experiences outside of sports promoted his self-identification as a student. These activities provided invaluable opportunities to engage with non-athlete peers and faculty, and those successes, in turn, allowed him to combat negative stereotypes about black male athletes he had internalized from various media.
In light of the myriad challenges and obligations Black male student-athletes face, Charleston calls on colleges and universities to do more to assist Black male student-athletes in their undergraduate development as scholars. He recommends that college and universities offer specialized curriculum for their black male student-athletes so that they may better navigate the non-athletic components of the higher education system. This training will help supplement and augment existing efforts to better engage student-athletes academically.
As an example, Charleston details his experiences teaching a course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison entitled “Undergraduate Student Identity Development,” intended for first-year Black male student-athletes enrolled at the university. The course uses participants’ personal educational journeys to illuminate student development theories and practices. Course evaluation data indicate that student-athletes benefit from the course, as demonstrated by their interests in and inquiries into career opportunities outside of athletics, as well as their satisfaction with course components.
Charleston’s account of his own path from student-athlete to academic researcher offers one possible model for improving the educational outcomes of black male student-athletes. More research is needed, however, to evaluate the long-term impact of curricular efforts like the one Charleston proposes and other solutions offered to counter the negative effects of media imagery on the identity development of Black male student athletes.
Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson was the recipient of the first Dr. Anthony Brown Award for Excellence in Higher Education and Community Service from the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at the organization’s annual awards luncheon fundraiser on Aug. 5, 2014, in Madison, WI.
Jackson, the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at University of Wisconsin-Madison, was honored for his “exemplification of the Wisconsin Idea both at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Madison community by contributing to the advancement of educational excellence and to the causes of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” according to the Madison-based institute, which was founded in 2001 to serve the local Black community and strengthen the entire community through social, educational and economic outreach programs.
The man whom the award is named after Dr. Anthony L. Brown, was a friend of Jackson and was among the first group of African American Ph.D. graduates in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Members of the Brown family approached Jackson at the conclusion of the awards luncheon and asked him if he would speak at their family reunion in Madison on Aug. 8, an offer he graciously accepted.
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) is serving as one of the sponsors for the biennial International Conference on Urban Education (ICUE), taking place Nov. 6-8 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
ICUE seeks global improvement in urban education, and has been “strategically developed to bring various stakeholders (educators, community members, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government officials, business leaders, faith-based officials, healthcare providers, etc.) together who have a vested interest in improving educational opportunities for students in urban settings around the globe,” according to the conference’s website.
The conference will be hosted by the Urban Education Collaborative, housed in the College of Education at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte. Two members of the Urban Education Collaborative have worked with the Wei LAB on previous occasions. Chance W. Lewis, director of the Urban Education Collaborative, was a Wei LAB Visiting Scholar in 2013 and served on a panel at the Wei LAB's 2013 International Colloquium on Black Males in Education, and Ruth L. Greene, an adjunct professor in the Urban Education Collaborative, was a Wei LAB Visiting Scholar in 2013.
Wei LAB Director Jerlando F. L. Jackson and Wei LAB Assistant Director LaVar J. Charleston will both attend the conference and serve on a research presentation panel titled, “The Effects of Media on Scholar Identity Development.” Moderated by Chance W. Lewis of the University of North Carolina, the panel will also include James L. Moore III of The Ohio State University, Lamont A. Flowers of Clemson University, and Marlon James of Loyola University Chicago.
Jackson will additionally serve on a panel titled, “Strengthening the Educational Pipeline to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for School-Age Black Males.” Moderated by Ivory A. Toldson of the White House Initiative on HBCUs/Howard University, the panel will also include James L. Moore III of The Ohio State University, Lamont A. Flowers of Clemson University, and Chance W. Lewis of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Enlarging the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pipeline in Wisconsin is vital to increasing and maintaining its economic stature, according to a new article co-authored by Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Wei LAB Assistant Director LaVar J. Charleston, and University of Florida Professor of Computer Science Juan E. Gilbert.
The article, “The Use of Regional Data Collection to Inform University Led Initiatives: The Case of a STEM Education SWOT Analysis,” was published in the Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, Volume 15, Issue 1. The article is based on information retrieved from 192 email interviews with STEM professionals in the M7 region, administered via a web-based data collection site. In it, the authors point out that although science and engineering jobs constitute a growing sector of the United States economy, the number of science and engineering degrees has lagged behind this occupational growth.
In their article, Jackson, Charleston, and Gilbert identify that Wisconsin is nationally ranked 23rd in the number of Ph.D. scientists produced and 26th with regard to the number of Ph.D. engineers produced. Increasing rankings in these areas is perhaps most important in the seven-county region of southeastern Wisconsin (M7), as it accounts for 34% of the state’s workforce and, according to the 2000 Census, is the most racially diverse area of the state. The counties that comprise the M7 region are Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.
Jackson, Charleston, and Gilbert conducted a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis to understand how to: (a) boost student participation in STEM at all educational levels in the M7 region, (b) increase STEM participation in order to bolster industry hiring in the region, (c) convince more STEM graduates to remain in the M7 region and attract STEM professionals on the whole, and (d) gain a greater understanding of the activities or initiatives that cement cooperative relationships among STEM organizations.
As a result of the study, the findings identify that a key component in addressing the state of STEM economic development within the M7 region is directly related to education or the lack thereof. This concern echoes other economic studies that necessitate interventions starting with K-12 education systems, particularly grades 8-10, as they relate to increased exposure and development in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The researchers’ efforts also produced a fully searchable database of STEM programs as a result of the case study’s data collection process. To their knowledge, it is the only STEM program database of its kind within the country, and the functionality of it enables users to quickly and efficiently assess and reassess the state of STEM affairs within the M7 region.
The article not only discusses opportunities for improvement and threats that impede the STEM workforce, but consequently offers seven recommendations for the improvement thereof in the M7 region, organized into foundational efforts and unique opportunities. Foundational efforts are recommendations that are critical but not new, and unique opportunities are recommendations that could position the region as a national center for STEM education and workforce development. The foundational efforts they recommend include increasing the number of underrepresented groups, recruiting from outside the M7 region, and starting as early as possible. The unique opportunities they recommend include strengthening inter-STEM organizational relationships, marketing STEM programs, prioritizing STEM education, and creating a research institute.
Wei LAB, Other Top U.S. Educational Research Centers Respond to White House Report on Young Men of Color
In response to a recent task force report to President Barack Obama on My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative that unites the private sector and philanthropic organizations to improve the lives and outcomes of boys and young men of color in the United States, seven university-based research centers including Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), have collaborated to issue a statement.
The seven centers, which also include the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education (University of Pennsylvania), the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (San Diego State University), the Morehouse Research Institute (Morehouse College), the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color (University of Texas at Austin), the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male (The Ohio State University), and the UCLA Black Male Institute (University of California, Los Angeles), are all research enterprises that rigorously and routinely study factors that enable and limit educational, social, and occupational opportunities for boys and young men of color.
The seven centers praise the importance of effective research-based interventions and are jointly issuing the following statement in response to the task force report:
"As Black and Latino male professors and research center directors, we salute President Obama as well as the philanthropic and private sector funders for their commitment to improving the condition of our nation’s boys and young men of color.
The task force report offers a commendable articulation of challenges and opportunities for young men of color and various agents who play some role in their life outcomes. Recommendations offered therein are appropriately informed by research from multiple academic disciplines.
As the nation prepares to enact recommendations from the task force, we call for programs and services that are guided by research and documented effectiveness. We caution, for example, against the widespread replication of mentoring programs that haphazardly match young men with adults, as evidence concerning the outcomes of such programs is mixed. More significant investment in the dissemination of existing research on what works, as well as funding new studies on promising policies and practices, would help ensure the success of My Brother’s Keeper and the young men it aims to effectively serve.
We urge private foundations and other entities that invest in projects associated with My Brother’s Keeper to take seriously the evidence base of projects that are proposed, as well as rigorous evaluations of newly funded projects that aim to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. The success of the initiative depends heavily on the quality of research produced about its effectiveness.
My Brother’s Keeper affords our country an important opportunity to reframe hopeless, deficit-oriented narratives about young men of color, schools that educate them, and communities in which they live. We are hopeful that the initiative will produce replicable models of success. Doing so requires more investment in research on what works."
For more information on the Wei LAB, contact Cliff White, (608) 263-4272, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Sharon L. Holmes, an associate professor at Binghamton University in New York, spoke at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on April 17 as part of her visit to campus as a Wei LAB Visiting Scholar.
Holmes, the founding chair of the Department of Student Affairs Administration in Binghamton’s College of Community and Public Administration, is a nationally recognized scholar whose research focuses on issues related to equity and access of African American women and students in higher education.
Holmes’ lecture at UW–Madison was titled “The Developmental Process of Identity in African American Females: When Race, Class, Gender, and the Environmental Context are Mitigating Influences.” Her visit was sponsored by the Wei LAB.
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson was acknowledged as a 2014 Outstanding Educator by the 100 Black Men of Madison at the organization’s annual awards breakfast on May 10. Jackson, the director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), was nominated in the university category of the organization’s annual awards.
100 Black Men of Madison was founded in 1994 to “improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans,” according to the organization’s website. It has awarded honors in education since 2011 to educators in the Madison metropolitan area who have made positive differences in the lives of the city’s children.
Jackson was honored for his contributions to the improvement of African American student learning and for his leadership in education development of African American youth.
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director Jerlando F. L. Jackson participated in a panel on Thursday, April 3 that investigated the role Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs) can play in expanding college access to black men.
The panel, co-hosted by the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Journal of Negro Education, and the Wei LAB, took place in Philadelphia in advance of the 2014 AERA Annual Meeting.
Panelists included Jackson, Ohio State Professor of Urban Education James L. Moore III, University of North Carolina–Charlotte Professor of Urban Education Chance W. Lewis, Clemson University Professor of Educational Leadership Lamont A. Flowers, and Howard Univesrity Associate Professor of Counseling Pscyhology Ivory A. Toldson, who also serves as deputy director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
The event’s participants discussed the latest research on the subject of black males in higher education and examined how education researchers can use federal resources to help young males of color.
Twice in the past two months, the work and life of Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, have been featured prominently in media outlets with national reach.
On Feb. 18, an article in Diverse Issues in Higher Education explored the impact of a cadre of prominent academics, including Jackson, who have worked both individually and collectively to study the status of African-Americans throughout the educational pipeline. The article was the most popular story on Diverse Issues’ website and social media in February, despite being published late in the month.
In the article, Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, lauds the work of Jackson and Dr. Lamont A. Flowers, Dr. Juan E. Gilbert, Dr. Chance W. Lewis and Dr. James L. Moore III.
“Collectively [they] have changed the paradigm of success in the academy,” Toldson said. “Not only are they prolific scholars, but they are also dedicated social advocates who are assertive and unapologetic about creating opportunities for the Black community. They exude the intelligence, confidence and charisma to influence systems, and the patience and genuineness to effectively mentor a cross section of students.”
On March 6, a profile on Jackson appeared on the home page of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education. The article follows Jackson’s path from being the first member of his family to attend college, through his following the footsteps of George Washington Carver to attend graduate school at Iowa State University, to eventually becoming the first African American in UW–Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis to earn tenure and as the first to gain a named professorship.
The article lauds Jackson’s involvement in a half-dozen major projects, including an exploration of glass-ceiling effects in academia, an initiative to encourage more African American students to pursue computer science, and a survey of hiring practices in Division I, II, and III athletic departments.
According to the article, "Jackson is known for barraging unwitting collaborators with phone calls, text messages, or emails at all hours of the day or night, sharing his excitement about a new idea or impatiently seeking an answer to a suddenly pressing question. He refuses to settle for a good discussion, demanding from himself and his colleagues ‘actionable solutions to change the world."
Mauriell Amechi, a research associate at Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, was recently named to the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Search and Screen Committee for Diversity and Climate.
Amechi was appointed by the university’s Shared Governance Leadership Team following a competitive application process. He will represent the graduate student body on the committee, which has the immediate duty of identifying, researching, and interviewing candidates for the open position of Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer in the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement at UW–Madison.
Amechi, a Ph.D. student in UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, studies the experiences and educational pathways of first-generation, low-income, and racial minority students, with a special emphasis on foster care youth and their college.
Jackson Named Inaugural Speaker for Distinguished Scholar Series at University of Miami’s Graduate School
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson has been named the inaugural speaker for the Distinguished Scholar/Mentor Lecture Series at the University of Miami’s Graduate School.
Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at UW-Madison, coordinator of the Higher, Postsecondary, and Continuing Education Program, a WISCAPE Faculty Affiliate, and director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB).
Jackson’s planned lecture for his University of Miami visit is entitled “Ethnic and Racial Administrative Diversity: Understanding Work Life Realities and Experience in Higher Education.” It will explore how policymakers, administrators, faculty, researchers, and governing boards can better understand the work life realities and experiences of administrators of color in higher and postsecondary education. The talk will also discuss the enhancement of leadership possibilities for people of color in higher education.
Jackson’s lecture is free and open to the public, and will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, March 7, in the Alumni Center of the Bruce and Robbi Toll Alumni Library at 6200 San Amaro Drive in Coral Gables, FL.
In addition to his presentation, Jackson will meet with graduate students and faculty during the visit. According to Dr. Brian Blake, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Miami, Jackson was selected both for his research on higher education and for his reputation for mentoring graduate students and faculty as they matriculate administrative roles in academia.
Jerlando F. L. Jackson has been selected to serve on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Advisory Council, a new initiative intended to guide the clubs’ STEAM programming and collaborations.
Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at UW-Madison and director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB). He will serve on the council along with a roster of expert advisors from public and privation higher education institutions.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America will consult with its STEAM Advisory Council in the creation of a strategic plan for its STEAM programming. Specific goals the organization has outlined for the council include best practices within STEAM programming with K-12 youth; best practices within youth development and out-of-school time; models for partnerships, particularly between clubs and industry; and implementation of the new STEAM initiative both within the clubs’ structure and at local clubs, including training staff, measuring outcomes and ensuring program sustainability.
Jackson and other advisory council members will attend an annual meeting and participate in quarterly conference calls, and are invited to attend a STEAM Great Think event in Silicon Valley, CA. The first meeting of the council is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta, GA.
According to its invitational letter, “The work of the National STEAM Advisory Council will have a far-reaching impact on providing STEAM experiences to young people across the country.”
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, was featured on In Black America, a weekly radio show on KUT in Austin, Texas.
In Black America began broadcasting interviews with national and international leaders in 1970, with a focus on issues affecting Black Americans. Since 1980, it has been hosted by John L. Hanson Jr., and the show has featured interviews with luminaries including Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, and Arthur Ashe.
Jackson was featured on the Dec. 22, 2013, episode of the program, in which he discussed his research on diversity in higher education administration, and the recruitment and retention of minority students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. Jackson also previewed his upcoming National Study of Intercollegiate Athletics, which will investigate hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics.
The show can be heard in its entirety here: http://kut.org/post/workforce-diversity-and-discrimination-higher-education
Wei LAB Director Dr. Jerlando F.L. Jackson is speaking at the University of Texas-Austin on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, as part of the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) Fall Lecture Series.
Jackson, the Vilas Distinguished Professor in Higher Education at UW-Madison, also serves as the coordinator for the Higher, Postsecondary, and Continuing Education Program and as a faculty affiliate for Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education. His talk at UT-Austin is entitled “Ethnic and Racial Administrative Diversity: Understanding Work Life Realities and Experiences in Higher Education.”
Jackson specializes in issues of workforce diversity and workplace discrimination in higher education. His research also explores interventions intended to increase participation of underrepresented groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
For more information on his lecture at UT-Austin, visit http://ddce.utexas.edu/news/2013/10/18/nov-1-ddce-fall-lecture/
Wei LAB, through the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is partnering with Clemson University, and other higher education institutions to launch the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS). The institute, funded by a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to broaden participation of African Americans in computing sciences.
The institute will emphasize mentoring as the primary strategy and will serve as a national resource, focusing on increasing the number of African American doctoral graduates entering the workforce with a research focus, retaining African American students, faculty, and researchers in computing, and developing future leaders with computing expertise. The institute will be under the direction of Juan Gilbert, Presidential Endowed Professor and chairman of the Human-Centered Computing Division at Clemson, and Shaundra Daily, assistant professor in the School of Computing.
"Computing enables almost every sector of our economy and is among the fastest-growing areas of projected job growth," Daily said. "The institute will not only mentor future leaders with established computing expertise, but also encourage underrepresented groups to explore the field of computing."
According to Gilbert, African Americans make up only about one precent of computer science faculty and researchers in the United States.
The 26th Annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) was held May 28 - June 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Wei LAB Director Dr. Jerlando Jackson and Assistant Director Dr. LaVar Charleston were both in attendance. NCORE is a national community of campus leaders and activists working to build inclusive campuses. Dr. Jackson presented the morning of May 29th at a workshop titled, “ Building a Dynamic Diversity Division & Campus-Wide Infrastructure: Featuring the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer (VPCDO) and the Division of Diversity, Equity, & Educational Achievement (DDEEA)”. The session highlighted UW-Madison and its diversity programs, while providing an overview of the best practices and challenges and encouraging participants to examine their own developmental journey with higher education and diversity.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Damon A. Williams, Ph.D. received this year’s Inclusive Excellence Award for Leadership by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).
The award, known as one of the most prestigious national diversity leadership awards, recognizes leaders who work to promote and advance the understanding of diversity and inclusion in higher education and who have greatly contributed to research, administration, practice, advocacy, and policy.
Vice Provost Williams was awarded the honor at the NADOHE National Convention on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 in Washington, D.C. due to his leadership and advancement of diversity on the institutional, state, national, and global levels. Most notable are his efforts to advance STEM initiatives through strategic partnership building, his promotion of influential research on chief diversity officers, and his initiative to strengthen the relation between diversity and academic achievement.
"It's an honor to be recognized by my peers and is truly a reflection of the diligence and institutional commitment of my colleagues at UW-Madison, and elsewhere, who remain focused on creating campus communities that are inclusive and excellent for all,” Dr. Williams said. “I am humbled to have this recognition and motivated to do even more, particularly as we move forward with our newest campus-wide diversity strategic plan at UW-Madison."
Vice Provost Williams is a continuing catalyst in the development of the Wei LAB and is a significant partner in the implementation of the Wei LAB’s Beyond the Game Initiative, a program that confronts the challenge of student-athletes who face the end of their eligibility to play without identifying viable careers beside professional sports.
His new book, "Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education", provides a comprehensive treatment of the diversity change journey in the academy. With a foreword by USC Professor and current American Educational Research Association (AERA) President William Tierney, and endorsements from the CEO's of the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), and others, it covers topics like diversity planning and implementation, building dynamic diversity scorecards, financing diversity efforts in the new economy, and building impacting diversity infrastructures, affirming William's role as one of the nation's leading scholar/administrators. The publication of his book also contributed to NADOHE's decision to acknowledge his work as a 2013 leadership award recipient.
Wei LAB has been preparing a national longitudinal study of hiring practices and work environments for administrators in college athletic departments. The National Study of Intercollegiate Athletics (NSIA) will focus on athletic departments’ job-search and hiring processes for senior-level administrators and general employees, workplace climate, and career ambitions and trajectories of employees. Participating institutions include members of NCAA Division I conferences, as well as Division II and III universities, minority-serving institutions, and two-year colleges.
The NSIA is designed as an in-depth examination of hiring practices, rather than a snapshot of current situations. Participating institutions will have access to the results, allowing them to compare their own departments to others across the country. The NSIA will also assist with long-term diversity planning for athletic departments, by providing them a comprehensive overview of existing hiring practices and perceptions of workplace climate.
To give the project a deeper perspective of current hiring challenges, the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) has partnered with Wei LAB on the NSIA to provide data that would allow better long-term comparisons and planning and for participating institutions. The MOAA advocates for increased employment opportunities for minorities and promotes practices that support diversity and inclusion in athletics administration.
UW-Madison School of Education: "Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Lab confronts challenges in college sports"
National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) website: "MOAA Contributing to the National Study of Intercollegiate Athletics".
Wei LAB Director and Chief Research Scientist Jerlando F. L. Jackson will speak at a national summit taking place at the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity on Jan. 29 and 30, 2015.
The summit is designed to examine existing and future efforts to ensure the postsecondary success of young men of color in the United States. Over two days, participants seek solutions to better align research, policies, and practices to further the impact of initiatives aimed at ensuring the postsecondary success of young men of color in the United States.
According to National Center for Institutional Diversity, the meeting “will engage scholars, institutional leaders, foundation representatives, community leaders, and students with the ultimate intent of identifying shared sources of influence and determining how it might best be leveraged for genuine, lasting change.”
Jackson was chosen by the center to attend due to his long-standing success and commitment to advancing the success of young men of color, according to the center. Additionally, he served as the NCID’s first Visiting Scholar in 2008-09, while on sabbatical from UW-Madison.
Wei LAB’s Director Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson and Assistant Director Dr. LaVar J. Charleston traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica Nov. 5-8, 2014, to participate in the International Conference on Urban Education. The event, hosted by the Urban Education Collaborative, housed in the College of Education at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte, gathered stakeholders, government officials, business leaders, faith-based officials, healthcare providers, and non-governmental organizations dedicated to improving urban education globally. The Wei LAB and the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education were co-sponsors of the event.
On Nov. 6, a panel of scholars, including Charleston and chaired by Jackson, discussed the role of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in shaping the lives of school-aged Black males. The panel discussed ways in which HBCUs have the potential to play a major role in expanding college access, particularly for black males. Additionally, panelists provided examples of policy solutions for HBCUs to resolve inequities in U.S. public schools that impede academic progress, as well as how HBCUs can use civic engagement to provide schools, parents, policymakers, and community leaders with strategies to support Black males in schools.
On Nov. 7, the UW-Madison School of Education’s Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings delivered the luncheon keynote address, “Hip Hop/Hip Hope: The (R)Evolution of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.”
On Nov. 8, Jackson chaired another panel, featuring Charleston and others, discussing the effects of media on the scholar identity development of Black males. The aimed to uncover solutions to new challenges, driven by media perceptions, in preparing Black male students to develop, embrace, and sustain an identity focused on scholarly aspirations.
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.
The talk, organized by the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) was part of the CIRTLCast Series, which explores topics in science, technology, engineering, and math education. The title of his talk was, “Cultivating African American Undergraduate and Graduate Student STEM Career Choice and Aspirations.”
Charleston’s talk explored the issues that play into an African American students’ decision to pursue a degree in computing science, with a particular focus on the factors that are salient to degree attainment. Charleston also discussed pipeline programs for creating and supporting African Americans in STEM fields through graduate degree completion. The webinar concluded with a question and answer session.
Wei LAB Director Jerlando F. L. Jackson will serve as a faculty member for the annual Leadership and Mentoring Institute (LMI) taking place July 6-13, at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama.
The LMI is run by the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE). The purpose of the LMI is to “support African-Americans who want to acquire information and skills to prepare them for senior administrative and faculty ranks,” according to its website.
Jackson’s session, titled “Planning for Success: Being Strategic about the Promotion and Tenure Process,” aims to teach participants how to develop a strategic plan for the promotion and tenure process and discuss strategies for making linkages between teaching, research, and service and what is valued at institutions. His session will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on July 8.
Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, spoke at Cardinal Stritch University’s Summer Institute on June 19 at the Kliebhan Conference Center in Milwaukee.
Attendees included Cardinal Stritch University doctoral students with backgrounds in a variety of fields, such as education, business, health care, and nonprofit management. The title of Jackson’s lecture was "Data Sources and their Links to Knowledge Claims."
Students attending the two-week Summer Institute are seeking a Doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education. The program is “designed for current and aspiring leaders working in two- and four-year colleges and universities and community and technical colleges who seek to be a catalyst for meaningful change within their organization,” according to Cardinal Stritch University’s website.
Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), will speak at the Athletes Development Institute Community Reception as a guest panelist on June 18, 2014, at the Fluno Center in Madison, WI.
The panel, concurrent with its theme “Athletes’ Transitions: Achieving Success on Every Level,” aims to “provide a holistic discussion of the transitions to, through, and beyond college and professional sport,” according to its website. Moderated by University of Wisconsin Law School graduate Valyncia Raphael, the panel will take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This year’s guest panelists include Dr. Jackson, who in addition to his work with Wei LAB is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as Ashton Henderson, co-author of Beyond the Gridiron: How to Successfully Transition into Collegiate Football, and Dr. George Koonce Jr., former Green Bay Packers linebacker and Vice President of the Office of Advancement at Marian University.
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), spoke to a group of high school students from the Robert M. La Follette High School in Madison, WI, at a special event on May 9.
Jackson addressed 23 students participating in Madison’s AVID/TOPS program, a college preparatory program run jointly by the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. He discussed his life experiences, personal motivations, his involvement in issues of diversity and inclusion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and offered advice on the importance of a college education.
A recent assessment of Madison’s AVID/TOPS program found participating students generally had higher grade-point averages, earned more advanced placement credits, and increased high school graduation rates. AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, aims to improve the readiness of students in the academic middle, many of whom come from low-income households and racial or ethnic groups historically underrepresented in postsecondary education. TOPS, or Teens of Promise, provides summer career opportunities, mentors, and college field trips and tutorials.
The University of Wisconsin–Whitewater’s inaugural Student Success Symposium featured Wei LAB Director Jerlando F. L. Jackson and DeVon Levell Wilson, the assistant dean of the College of Letters and Science and director for the Center for Academic Excellence at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
The event, which took place Monday, April 21, and Tuesday, April 22, included meetings with faculty, staff, and students, discussions on academic and administrative affairs, and athletics.
Other speakers included William Keyes, the director of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, and Henry T. Frierson, associate vice president and dean of the University of Florida Graduate School.
Jerlando F. L. Jackson, director of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, will present a lecture on the state of black males in education at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte on March 24.
Jackson will speak as part of the Urban Education Distinguished Lecture Series, organized by UNC–Charlotte’s Urban Education Collaborative. The goal of the Collaborative is “to serve as a central 'hub and repository' of empirically-based research and other valuable resources to improve urban schools in the state of North Carolina and the nation,” according to its website.
Jackson lecture is titled, “The State of Black Males in Education: Lessons from Research and
Implications for Schools and Society.” It will take place at 5 p.m. at the UNC–Charlotte Center City Campus at 320 E. 9th St., Charlotte, N.C. in Room 1105.
In addition to his lecture, during his two-day visit, Jackson will meet with university officials in administrative roles in the College of Education, Student Affairs, and Multicultural Services. He will also host a fireside chat with graduate students at the university, focusing on “Making the Most of your Graduate School Experience in Preparation for a Career in the Professoriate.”
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) Director Jerlando F. L. Jackson will speak at the Bell National Resource Center’s Black Male Retreat, taking place Feb. 28 through March 2 in Mt. Sterling, Ohio.
The Bell National Resource Center is part of The Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Founded in 2004, the center seeks to examine and address critical issues in society affecting African American males. It has hosted its Black Male Retreat annually since 2009.
This year’s speakers include Dr. Jackson, who in addition to his work with Wei LAB is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as Dr. Hasan K. Jeffries, an associate professor of history at Ohio State, and Dr. Bryant T. Marks, an associate professor of psychology at Morehouse College.
More information on the retreat can be found at go.OSU.edu/retreat.
Photo: Greene and Wei LAB Director Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson
Wei LAB Visiting Scholar Dr. Ruth L. Greene called for a more equal partnership between school staff and parents in the education of African American students, and urged U.S. schools to work harder to engage African American families in a lecture on Friday, Dec. 13, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education.
Greene, the O’Herron Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., and an Adjunct Professor in the Urban Education Collaborative at UNC-Charlotte, spoke on the topic of “African American Parental Engagement in Low-Income Schools" as part of her visit to UW-Madison in her role as a Wei LAB Visiting Scholar.
Photo: Wei LAB Visiting Scholar Dr. Ruth L. Greene, O’Herron Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Johnson C. Smith University , urged U.S. schools to work harder to engage African American families in a lecture on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education.
Greene called for U.S. schools with high populations of African American families to reassess their efforts at familial interaction, citing what she called "unacceptable" high school and college graduation rates for African American students and billions of dollars of damage done to the U.S. economy as a result.
"What these schools are doing now is not good enough, and we have to do something," she said.
Greene mentioned numerous research studies that have shown that parental engagement in schools is strongly linked to improvements in the academic achievement of their children. She said over recent decades, the communications gap between schools and Black parents has widened.
"Schools need to start to believe that all families have the capacity to support their children’s learning," Greene said. "Educators must believe that all parents are concerned about their children’s education and want their children to have a better life."
The responsibility for building partnerships between U.S. schools and African American children and their families rests with school leaders and staff, Greene said.
"There are many reasons for this," she said. "A big one is, a lot of (Black) parents did not have good experiences when they were in school, and when the school calls them, they ask, 'Why is the enemy calling?"
Photo: Greene and her husband and fellow Wei LAB Visiting Scholar Dr. William H. Greene made a joint presentation, “Dual vs. Dueling Careers: Lessons Learned from Two Distinguished Careers,” also on Friday, Dec. 13. The luncheon presentation was moderated by Wei LAB Assistant Director Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, and his wife Dr. Sherri Ann Charleston, J.D., Ph.D., of the Wisconsin State Government Accountability Board.
Working with the Johnson C. Smith University Smith Institute for Applied Research and UNC-Charlotte's Urban Education Collaborative, Greene said she has helped create a program that may represent a model for change. The goal is to work with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District to create specific plans of intervention for the district focusing on improving relationships with parents and the community. Green said the district has thrived by embracing greater acceptance of the community's culture and climate, and by confronting potentially thorny issues of communication head-on – a strategy she recommended more school districts implement.
"A lot of times people don’t want to talk about race, culture, discrimination, or stereotypes, but we need to be concerned about the climate in our schools, and if we don't talk about it, nothing will change," she said.
In addition to her talk on parental engagement, Greene and her husband and fellow Wei LAB Visiting Scholar Dr. William H. Greene made a joint presentation, “Dual vs. Dueling Careers: Lessons Learned from Two Distinguished Careers,” to a group of emerging scholar and practitioner couples from UW-Madison and the surrounding Madison community. William H. Greene was a founding Director of the Navy Race Relations School, and served as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Gaston College, President of Livingstone College, and most recently, Director of Development and Assistant to the Vice Provost for Minority Affairs at The Ohio State University.
The Greenes have been married 42 years. They raised two children even as they often lived apart while pursuing degrees and working in academic positions across the country.
“It’s about making constant adjustments, doing what it takes to make it work. I can’t say we’ve always agreed, but we decided we were going to stay together, and that involves change, growth, and commitment,” William H. Greene said of the couple’s relationship.
Universities are becoming more attuned to two-career faculty couples and are making more accommodations for academic families, but the path remains difficult, William H. Greene said. To combat the difficulties, he endorsed a well-tested method for maintaining a successful relationship while both parties pursue careers.
“Life is a lot easier when you marry a smart woman,” he said.
The luncheon presentation was moderated by Wei LAB Assistant Director Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, and his wife Dr. Sherri Ann Charleston, J.D., Ph.D., of the Wisconsin State Government Accountability Board. LaVar J. Charleston said he gleaned several tips from the Greenes to assist him along the difficult path of simultaneously maintaining an academic career and a strong relationship with his partner.
“Their presentation shed light on many issues that we as young professionals tend to wrestle with regularly. Hearing about how they’ve relocated because of career opportunities and successfully navigated dual careers while having young children was very helpful,” he said. “Their insight was invaluable.”
William H. Greene, who recently retired as the Director of Development and Assistant to the Vice Provost for Minority Affairs at The Ohio State University, also presented on “Fundraising to Support University-Based Diversity Issues,” on the evening of Dec. 13, at the conclusion of the Greenes’ visit to Madison.
Photo: Mauriell Amechi was congratulated for his presentation at UW-Madison's Educational Graduate Research Scholars (Ed-GRS) Fall Research Showcase by Ruttanatip (Dang) Chonwerawong, assistant dean of UW-Madison's School of Education and Ed-GRS coordinator.
Mauriell Amechi, a research associate at Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory and Ph.D. student in UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, recently presented at two separate symposia in Madison, WI, and St. Louis, MO.
Amechi’s work centers on the experiences and educational pathways of first-generation, low-income, and racial minority students, with a special emphasis on foster care youth and their college transitions.
On Nov. 13, Amechi presented at the Educational Graduate Research Scholars (Ed-GRS) Fall Research Showcase at UW-Madison. His presentation was entitled, “Forgotten About and Left Behind: A Qualitative Examination of Single-Parent College Students.”
Two days later, on Nov. 15, Amechi attended the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s (ASHE) annual conference in St. Louis, making the same presentation. At the ASHE conference, Amechi served as chair of a roundtable entitled “Facilitating Success at the Community College Level,” featuring scholars from Columbia University, the University of Texas at Austin, the State University System of Florida, the University of Southern California, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
A native of Chicago, Amechi earned a master's degree from The Ohio State University in higher education and student affairs, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) will co-host the second annual International Colloquium on Black Males in Education, a research gathering set to explore the global dynamics of Black males in the educational pipeline.
This year’s colloquium will be co-hosted by the University of the Virgin Islands and will take place on the island of St. Thomas from Oct. 23-26, 2013. The colloquium’s theme will be “The Status of Black Males in Education and Society: Beyond the Continental Divide.”
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Wei LAB’s director, said the colloquium will bring together leading scholars and thinkers, high-impact practitioners, and students from around the globe.
“It will offer a diverse array of programs that serve to elicit intellectual thought, discussion, and ideas that can be implemented to serve and improve the experiences of Black males throughout the world,” Jackson said.
Attendees of this year’s colloquium will be invited to participate in several cultural immersion activities designed to shed light on the Black male experience in the Virgin Islands. Participants will have the opportunity to tour historical and cultural artifacts that inform and expose the rich traditions of Blacks – and Black males in particular – on St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John islands.
The inaugural International Colloquium on Black Males in Education took place from Nov. 8-10, 2012 at the University of Leeds in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. That colloquium focused on “Global Research on the Black Male Educational Pipeline: International Perspectives to Inform Local Solutions.”
For more information about the colloquium, visit http://weilab.wceruw.org/colloquium/
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson has been named a keynote speaker at the Building the Anti-Racist University conference, taking place from Friday, Oct. 18 to Sunday, Oct. 20 at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.
Organized by the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, an interdisciplinary research organization based inside the University of Leeds, the conference seeks to encourage and contribute toward efforts to eliminate racial discrimination and promote racial equality in British universities.
Professor Jackson is a faculty member with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and is the director and founder of the Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), which is housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). He studies equity and higher education, and will be speaking on that topic on opening day of the conference.
The event will bring together leading scholars from four continents to develop a transformative approach to ending racism at institutions of higher education. Key investigations set to take place at the conference include: the Black and minority ethnic presence and experience in higher education institutions; the development of curriculum interventions; the widening of participation in initiatives geared towards organizational change; and future directions for racial equality and diversity in a post-race era.
The conference’s other keynote speakers are Professor Velile Notshulwana, from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, and Professor Heidi Safia Mirza, from the Institute of Education in the United Kingdom. The conference’s organizers are planning to seek publication for a selection of papers delivered at the event, either as a special issue in a refereed journal or an edited collection.
For more information on the conference, visit the University of Leeds’ Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies website.
The 43rd Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation included a panel featuring Wisconsin Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) director and founder Dr. Jerlando F.L. Jackson.
The four-day conference ran from Sept. 18-21, 2013, in Washington D.C. On Sept. 19, Jackson participated on a panel looking at "Breaking Barriers: Legislative Actions, White House Initiatives and School District Imperatives for Educating Black Males."
In addition to his role with the Wei LAB, Jackson is with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jackson is also a faculty affiliate with the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institute that aims to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities, according to its website. Founded in 1976 and based in Washington, D.C., CBCF envisions a world in which the black community is free of all disparities and able to contribute fully to advancing the common good. Its mission is to advance the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public.
Each September, thousands of elected officials and industry leaders, media, emerging leaders, and everyday Americans attend the organization's Annual Legislative Conference. The conference features participation by the Congressional Black Caucus and includes dozens of policy forums, general sessions, exhibits, a job fair, book signings and networking opportunities.
Wei LAB co-sponsored a reception for the Research Focus on Black Education, a special interest group (RFBE-SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), on April 29th at Yoshi's San Francisco Restaurant and Jazz Lounge. The reception was part of the larger AERA annual conference. Wei LAB was one of the sponsors, among other AERA special interest groups and other universities.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) held its 2013 annual meeting April 27 - May 1 in San Francisco, California. Three Wei LAB staff members: Wei LAB Director Dr. Jerlando Jackson, Assistant Director Dr. LaVar Charleston, and Research Associate Barbara Escobar, attended the conference. The theme of this year's meeting was, "Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy, and Praxis". Dr. Jackson and Dr. Charleston both presented papers and participated in discussions at the annual meeting. Dr. Jackson participated in "Academic and Professional Expectations for Graduate Students and Current and Prospective Postdoctoral Fellows: Establishing Foundations for Productive Careers—The Edgar G. Epps Table," as part of the round-table discussion, "The 17th Annual Continuation of Conversations with Senior Scholars on Advancing Research and Professional Development Related to Black Education.” Dr. Charleston presented the symposium, “Adding Value to Higher Education: Galvanizing Experiences of Junior Faculty of Color,” which discussed how diverse junior faculty of color adds value to the institution of higher education. This was in collaboration with Dr. Raul Leon, Dr. Julie Park, Dr. Michelle Espino and Ms. Tiffany Brown. Dr. Charleston also presented “The Path to the Professoriate for African American Computing Scientists: Benefits of a Mentoring Program”. Barbara Escobar also participated in the Carlos J. Vallejo Fellowship for Latino/as in Education, an all-day program held April 27th designed for graduate students and newly minted doctoral degree holders who are pursuing a career in the professoriate. The participants had the opportunity to engage in a day-long seminar with leading Latino/a scholars in the field of education. Escobar was one of 30 participants, chosen out of 137 applicants. The program was sponsored by the Multicultural/Multiethnic Education (MME) special interest group of AERA.
Wei LAB and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research hosted Dr. Chance W. Lewis February 21-23, 2013 as a visiting scholar. Dr. Lewis is the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is also the Executive Director of the UNC-Charlotte’s Urban Education Collaborative, which is publishing a new generation of research on improving urban schools. Dr. Lewis gave multiple presentations on his own research and approach to education and challenges faced by individuals in the educational pipeline. These events were co-sponsored by other groups, such as ELPA, Ed-GRS, Chavez Elementary School, and 100 Black Men of Madison.
This fall, Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson recieved Iowa State University's 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni Award. The award recognizes ISU alumni under 40 who have excelled in their professional areas and have provided service to their communities. The Iowa State University College of Human Sciences also honored Dr. Jackson, along with 7 other alumni, for their professional excellence. Three of the honorees were men of color, and were honored by an institution whose most famous alum is George Washington Carver. Dr. Jackson recieved his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University before beginning his career at the University of Wisconsin and starting Wei LAB.
UW-Madison’s Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Office Dr. Damon Williams on the cover of this month’s issue of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Read about his expertise in issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in higher education and how he is helping UW-Madison increase diversity and inclusion in pursuit of educational excellence.
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson was named the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education effective July 1, 2012. The newly-created Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships recognize professors whose distinguished scholarship has advanced the confines of knowledge, and whose excellence has also included teaching or service. Dr. Jackson will hold this distinction for the remainder of his career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Recently, Dr. Jackson was also selected as the 2012 recipient of the Dr. Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Exemplary Scholarship. This award is given annually, on behalf of the Multicultural/Multiethnic Education (MME) Special Interest Group (SIG) of AERA, to one exemplary scholar/practitioner based upon the following criteria: (a) illustrating effort in producing scholarship which advances multicultural and multiethnic education (broadly defined), within all educational, cultural, societal and social settings, contexts, levels and locations; and (b) a demonstrated commitment to underserved communities beyond scholarship with evidence of improving the practical conditions experienced by multicultural/multiethnic communities.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed an initiative to strengthen the post-graduation trajectories for student-athletes. The University's “Beyond the Game Initiative" confronts the challenge of student-athletes who face the end of their eligibility to play without identifying viable careers beside professional sports. The program is open to all student-athletes. Black Male student-athletes are strongly encouraged to participate as research has shown that they are less likely to graduate than their peers. The initiative results from collaboration between WCER's Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. The "Beyond the Game Initiative" is funded by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Lumina Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement.
The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) held its 37th annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada November 14-17, 2012. ASHE convenes annually as a community of scholars dedicated to the study of higher education. Drs. Charleston and Jackson presented, “Arizona’s Rising STEM Occupational Demands and Declining Participation in the Scientific Workforce: An Examination of Attitudes among African Americans toward STEM College Majors and Careers”. Dr. Charleston and Barabara Escobar also presented, “Navigating Underrepresented STEM Spaces: Experiences of Black Women in U.S. Computing Science Programs who Actualize Success”.
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) co-sponsored the “Global Research on the Black Male Educational Pipeline Colloquium: International Perspectives to Inform Local Solutions” held November 8-10, 2012 at the University of Leeds in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The colloquium served as a space for researchers to exchange ideas and examine the global dynamics of Black males in the educational pipeline. The colloquium also aimed to catalyze discussion and ideas that can be implemented to aid and improve the experiences of Black males.
The colloquium gathered researchers from numerous universities and institutions within and outside of the United Kingdom to discuss and highlight international perspectives on realities for Black males in Education.
As part of the event, senior researchers presented research that will appear in a special theme issue with Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education: An International Journal. Undergraduate and graduate student participants also took part in workshops designed to enhance their academic and professional profile.
The colloquium was also sponsored by Worldwide Universities Network, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of International Studies Graduate School, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, University of Leeds, and The Ohio State University.
Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Director of the Wei LAB and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, chaired the event along with co-chair Dr. James L. Moore III, Professor of Counseling Education and Director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at The Ohio State University.
The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) held its 36th annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina November 16-19, 2011. ASHE convenes annually as a community of scholars dedicated to the study of higher education. Drs. Charleston and Jackson presented, "A Qualitative Investigation of African Americans' Decision to Pursue Computing Science Degrees: Implications for Cultivating Career Choice and Aspiration."
Jackson and Charleston Invited to the "Creating Climate for Interdisciplinary Computing" Meeting by the National Science Foundation
The “Creating Climate for Interdisciplinary Computing” meeting, hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF), took place November 3-5, 2011 at the headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C. Drs. Jerlando F. L. Jackson and LaVar J. Charleston of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB)—as well as other academic researchers, educators, administrators, industrial representatives, and NSF program directors—identified and addressed the most critical issues and needs with regard to supporting interdisciplinary computing. Presenters focused on the most effective methods for achieving proactive success in the field as it relates to academic contexts, industrial settings, and a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary computing institutions.
Wei LAB Research Associates Present at Boston College's Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture 11th Annual Diversity Challenge
Wei LAB research associates Ryan P. Adserias and Sheltreese D. McCoy presented their research entitled "Campus Climate for Queer Students of Color" at the 11th Annual Diversity challenge at Boston College's Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture. This event took place October 28-29, 2011.
The 2011 ASQ STEM conference was held July 19 -20 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. The conference objective was to network and advance ideas in support of STEM initiatives in schools, colleges and universities, and the workplace. Dr.’s Jackson and Charleston, along with Wei LAB staff members Jasmine S. Bounds, Tyler Mueller, and Jo’niece Monk attended to present a research study entitled, “Using Regional Data Collection to Inform University Led Initiatives: The Case of a STEM Education SWOT Analysis.”. This important research provided a critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of STEM programs, as well as an evaluation of potential threats to and opportunities for improvement concerning the recruitment and retention of STEM graduates and professionals in a diverse, seven-county region of a Midwestern State
Jackson and Charleston Present "Changing Attitudes about Computing Science at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Benefits of an intervention Program Designed for Undergraduates"
Drs. Jerlando F.L. Jackson, LaVar J. Charleston, and Juan Gilbert presented "Changing Attitudes about Computing Science at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Benefits of an intervention Program Designed for Undergraduates" at the Understanding Interventions Conference that Broaden Participation in Research Careers. This event took place May 27, 2011 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Charleston and Jackson Present Research at the American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) held its annual meeting April 8-12, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Drs. Charleston and Jackson attended to present two research studies: “Uniquely Situated in Computing Sciences Programs in Higher Education: Experiences of African American Women Who Still Find Success” and “Differential Gender Outcomes of Career Exploration Sessions for African American Undergraduates: An Examination of Computing Science Outreach Efforts at Predominantly White Institutions.”
Upper Iowa University celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2011 on its Fayette campus. The program was held on Monday, Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. in the East Café. Guest speaker for the event was Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Director of Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory. All students, faculty, staff and general public were encouraged to attend.
Charleston and Jackson Present Research at the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Annual Conference
The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) held its 35th annual conference November 18-20, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. ASHE convenes annually as a community of scholars dedicated to the study of higher education. Drs. Charleston and Jackson presented, "Preparing the Next Generation of African American Computing Science University Faculty: Examining the Benefits of the Future Faculty/ Research Scientist Mentoring Program."
The research conference hosted by Washington University in St. Louis was dedicated to better understanding Black Americans and the SMET pipeline to the professoriate. The convening entity for this conference, the Center for Regional Competitiveness in Science and Technology, obtained funding from the National Science Foundation, Arts and Science School, as well as a Diversity and Inclusion Grant from the Chancellor’s Office at Washington University in St. Louis. Drs. Jackson and Charleston presented, "A Journey Less Traveled: Exploring the Coping Strategies of African Americans in Computing Science Doctorate Programs." The conference was held November 4-5, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Jackson was slated as a plenary speaker at the symposium, Keeping Our Faculties V—Faculty Diversity in Higher Education: An Agenda for Research and Change, held November 1-2, 2010 at the Radisson University Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His presentation, Leading Change: Administrative Responsibilities and Opportunities for Promoting Diversity, was given Tuesday, November 2, 2010 from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
The Colloquy was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Research on Gender in Science and Engineering program, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program, and the Social Psychology program) and was hosted by the CASEE Center of the National Academies. The Colloquy was an invitation only event for 40 selected researchers whom were drawn from the education, social, behavioral, and STEM disciplinary education research communities. More broadly, the colloquy sought to frame approaches to investigating gender-based factors that impact learning and choice in STEM education and the workforce; or study societal, formal and informal educational systems' interaction with individuals that encourage or discourage interest and persistence in study or careers in certain STEM fields by underrepresented minority males. The Colloquy was held August 8-12, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.