Keynote | Five Considerations in Equitable Design


This presentation discusses five considerations in altering institutional and instructional structures and practices by taking an equity-minded approach to design avoiding exacerbated and take-for-granted practices. Let’s discuss what research is telling us that can inform our practices to ensure equity, and what problems of practice are we experiencing that should spur new research to guide equitable and inclusive practices. The succession of killings of Ahmaud Arbery (February 23, 2020), Breonna Taylor (March 13, 2020), and George Floyd, Jr. (May 25, 2020) led to new waves of protests against violence against Blacks and racism around the world. With calls to end institutional racism, including in higher education systems, efforts need to be undertaken to transform education systems to provide equity and inclusion. Efforts to address access and equity in higher education are not new. Since the Civil Rights Act long before my time and through decades of social movements and activism, judicial rulings, and legislative acts over the last several decades, America has worked to address the inequalities in education, yet they still exist today. Unacceptably, there is a long history of blame being placed on shoulders of the student for lower comparative levels of achievement or ""achievement gaps."" Bensimon, Dowd, and Witham (2016) recommend enacting equity by design through equitable practices and equity-mindedness. Rather than place the burden on students, institutions need to identify and scale actions that are influencing the success of students in order to change the systems and recreate equitable structures leaving behind those that exacerbate inequity."

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