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AACTE’s ‘Combating Racism in Educator Prep’ Series Will Explore Justice and Joy

Justice and Joy

AACTE’s “Combating Racism is Educator Preparation Series” began in 2021 with three specific objectives for our membership, audience, and the field at large:

  1. Contextualize the role of racism in structural oppression and how the education system at large maintains and promulgates these oppressive systems.
  2. Engage with you, the audience, to understand you and your organization’s understanding and capacity to address racism using antiracist, abolitionist, inclusive, and intersectional policies.
  3. Normalize and humanize critical conversations around racism within the field that will lead to collaborative action around structural oppression in education.

In response to the incredibly high attendance and engagement to these webinars so far, AACTE wants to take what we have learned and to make this series more accessible and actionable. To that end, AACTE has worked with some of our most experienced members to help drive the remainder of the series and future professional development for the field on this topic that comes from it. The Four Themes you can expect to see webinars on throughout 2021 are

  1. Identity and Mental Health
  2. Legislating Oppression
  3. Leadership 
  4. Intersectionality

In order to meet you all where you are, AACTE will begin instituting informal affinity groups for webinars where appropriate. Affinity groups are not meant to be exclusionary, but instead, can be thought of as breakout groups educators use to efficiently teach before coming back together to share and collaborate on all they learned. The objectives for every webinar will be the same, however, the conversation and background information will be curated for informal affinity groups when deemed best for collective goals to address racism in education preparation.  

The next webinar for a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) Affinity Group will be under the theme Identity and Mental Health, entitled “Justice and Joy” on June 23 at 2:00 p.m. EST.  Register Today

Many of us entered the field of education to play a part in the promise of meritocracy our education system is supposed to support. In order to get closer to that promise being a reality as opposed to a narrative used to sustain institutional oppression, we as individuals need to sustain ourselves in the larger fight for social justice within our schools. Therefore, AACTE thought it appropriate to begin its informal affinity group webinars with spaces to discuss how members can support themselves and each other. In this webinar, the esteemed panel will provide and discuss best practices and resources BIPOC educators and candidates can use to sustain themselves so that you leave this webinar not just having learned, but also feeling energized, recommitted, and hopefully, a bit lighter.  Register Today


Dr. Latunde

Yvette Latunde is a professor of organizational leadership and co-director of the LaFetra College of Education Center for Educational Equity and Intercultural Research (CEEIR) at the University of La Verne. In her role with CEEIR, she assists the community in identifying, studying, and recognizing P-20 schools that engage in highly effective practices that result in equitable outcomes for all students (no achievement gaps). The center also provides professional development for the college, university, and community on best practices for diverse P-20 learners. 

Latunde supports students in the Doctor of Organizational Leadership programs by engaging with dissertation teams, and teaching conflict management, decision-making, teams, team leadership, and qualitative methods.

Some of her recent work uses critical race theory to center the voices of African American/Black families as they expand the often-limited opportunities to engage with schools. Latunde’s research interests include family engagement, Parent Councils, and Strategic partnerships.  

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz

Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is an award-winning associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on racial literacy in teacher education, Black girl literacies, and Black and Latinx male high school students. A sought-after speaker on issues of race, culturally responsive pedagogy, and diversity, Sealey-Ruiz works with K-12 and higher education school communities to increase their racial literacy knowledge and move toward more equitable school experiences for their Black and Latinx students. Sealey-Ruiz appeared in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up: We Gon’ Be Alright”, a documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement and the campus protests at Mizzou. Her co-authored book [with Detra Price-Dennis] Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education: Toward Activism for Equity in Digital Spaces will be published in April 2021, and her first full-length collection of poetry Love from the Vortex & Other Poems (Kalediscope Vibrations LLC) was published in March 2020. Her sophomore book of poetry, The Peace Chronicles will be published in summer 2021.


Dr. Amber Lynwood

Amber Lynwood is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Azusa Pacific University. She earned her Ed. D. in Leadership from the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Lynwood nurtures leadership qualities in preservice teachers by focusing on themes of personal responsibility, accountability, and initiative in credential coursework. Her publications and interests center around capacity building, with specific attention to the development of knowledge and skill in literacy instruction and relationship building, both as a means of increasing student achievement. Lynwood’s current work emphasizes the need for historical education and is addressing this need through the development of a supplemental curriculum for school-aged children. The curriculum is 

designed to broaden the historical narrative of Black Americans so to include both their numerous and significant contributions to American history, and complex personal characteristics that enabled them to persevere and overcome despite difficulty. 

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