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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism at AU SOE

The faculty, staff, and students of the School of Education (SOE) at American University are committed to cultivating a vibrant and richly diverse, inclusive, equitable, and antiracist learning community. In declaring our vision of becoming an antiracist learning community, we define antiracism as follows: 

Antiracism is an active process that requires an everyday commitment to analyzing self, systems, mindsets, ideologies, practices, and policies to dismantle White supremacy and anti-Blackness. Antiracist beliefs and practices fundamentally point us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. It is an everyday commitment to:

  • disrupt ideas/policies/practices/institutions/structures/relationships that (re)produce inequities in access, opportunity, perceived deservedness, legitimacy, safety, and life-expectancy based on race and;
  • actively transform institutions and ways of being/doing/thinking/celebrating/loving that honor the full flourishing and non-negotiable humanity of all people.
  • engage faculty, staff, and students around history, critical self-awareness, and community involvement.
Dr. Annice Fisher

Meet SOE’s Antiracist Pedagogy Scholar

As the Antiracist Pedagogy Scholar, Dr. Fisher facilitates faculty learning opportunities and activities pertaining to the development of SOE’s Faculty Antiracist Faculty Learning Community (FLC). Dr. Fisher is the CEO & Founder of The BEE FREE Woman and Developing Capacity Coaching, LLC, she coaches individuals and teams to use conscious leadership as a tool for inner healing and advancing equity. As an Antiracist Pedagogy Scholar at American University, she also coordinates the executive coaching program for the Education Policy and Leadership doctoral program and teaches Exercising Conscious Leadership.

Creating an Antiracist Teacher Workforce Report

Read the final report of the AU project entitled "Creating an Antiracist Teacher Workforce: Policy and Practice Implications." 

The information and data gathered as part of the Antiracist Teacher Preparation Initiative (ATPI) reveal distinct policy and practice recommendations for enhancing the recruitment, preparation, and retention of culturally responsive and antiracist teachers. Policy changes such as requiring antiracist teacher professional development as part of state certification and incentivizing antiracist accreditation standards are just a few of the recommendations offered by experts and teachers who participated in this Initiative. This report also described an antiracist teacher professional development curriculum.

The SOE Ad-Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) aim to strengthen the mission and vision of the School of Education by focusing attention on issues of access, inclusive practices, equity, and diversity. The committee will work in concert with AU’s Inclusive Excellence Plan. Special attention is given to integrating culturally responsive and anti-racist pedagogies across programs, particularly teacher and leader preparation. The committee consults with program faculty to design, implement, and evaluate formalized activities that explicitly address equity issues across all parts of the School, including admissions, clinical practice, teaching, research, and service. An overall goal of the committee is to enhance the School’s ability to be a welcoming and supportive environment in which all students, staff, and faculty members thrive.

Committee Members

The following individuals serve on the SOE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • Dr. Traci Dennis, Chair
  • Mr. Jim Albright
  • Mr. Anselm Beach
  • Dr. Corbin Campbell
  • Dr. Samantha Cohen
  • Dr. Toks Fashola
  • Dr. Reuben Jacobson
  • Dr. Emily Morris
  • Dr. Joshua Schuschke
  • Dr. Robert Simmons
  • Ms. Danielle Sodani
  • Dr. Tracy Spesia

The Importance of African American Studies

An opinion piece by Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education published an opinion piece authored by Dr. Johnnetta Cole and Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy as a call to action on the importance of teaching African American studies in K-12 classrooms.

Read The Article

SOE’s Antiracism Work

Meet the first Doctoral cohort of antiracist changemakers who graduated in 2022. Believed to be one of the first of its kind to focus on antiracism, SOE's “practice-oriented” doctoral program in education policy and leadership launched in August of 2019.

Summer Institute on Education Equity and Justice

The annual American University School of Education Summer Institute on Education Equity and Justice (SIEEJ) was developed to provide professional development opportunities for community members, particularly educators, who want to learn promising practices that lead to equitable educational outcomes for underserved students, families, and communities. 

Learn more about SIEEJ