Building Bridges: Promoting Equity and Justice through Empowering Minoritized Students in Education

Female student smiling and laughing


Our purpose it to strengthen education research and practice to be culturally responsive to a changing demographic of students in the U.S. by developing a sustainable, impactful, transdisciplinary continuum of wrap-around support services for minoritized graduate students (MGS).

We will:

  • Enrich MGS’ personal and professional development, equipping them to speak and intervene in systems of domination as they come to un-stifle voices that have been schooled into subservience.
  • Nourish the seed planted by a flourishing generation of scholar-activists, or scholactivists, who, with training at Pitt, can empower themselves and our regional, national, and global communities to work for increased equity in K-12 and post-secondary education.
  • Transform the culture, climate and community by implementing tailored innovations from an immersive, expansive, and holistic approach.
  • Provide program opportunities for those who demonstrate strong alignment with the mission, goals, and standards of the SOE and Pitt.

Our short-term goals are to institutionalize mechanisms that produce a cultural shift in the SOE for more equitable and just experiences of MGS, which will then make them more effective researchers and educators. Long-term desired outcomes are to double the MGS applicant pool by January 2020, increase MGS retention by 100%, and design and track sophisticated methods to accurately measure and document MGS impacts in education.

Principal Investigator

Leigh Patel
School of Education

Select Collaborators

Nicole Cristobal
Administrative and Policy Studies, Social and Comparative Analysis

Shelby Eden Dawkins
Law Administrative and Policy Studies, Social and Comparative Analysis

Kenneth Donaldson
Center for Urban Education

Paulette Vincent-Ruz
Policy Program, Learning Research and Development Center

Ashley Shafer
Psychology in Education

Goal Area