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


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