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Panel: COVID-19 and Racial Equity in Higher Education

Panel: COVID-19 and Racial Equity in Higher Education

Panel Description

This panel will discuss the connection between communities of color, institutions of higher education and the impact of Covid-19. The panelists will overview the high-level stressors of Covid in African American, Afro-Latino and Latino communities and how this has affected these groups in higher education in terms of being faculty and/or instructional staff, students and essential employees. As well, the panel will review the larger efforts of higher education institutions seeking to incorporate and embrace “anti-racist strategies” which further disproportionately burdens faculty of color. The outcome of these demands can lead to extraordinary levels of inequitable experiences for faculty of color. Then, to provide an encompassing analysis of higher education, the panel will also review the preparedness policies of historically black colleges and universities as they relate to Covid.

Panelists Bios

Amalia Dache is an Afro-Cuban American scholar and is an associate professor in the Higher Education Division at the University of Pennsylvania. Her experiences as a Cuban refugee and student traversing U.S. educational systems—among them urban K–12 schools, community college, state college, and a private research-intensive university—inform her research and professional activities. Dr. Dache’s major research areas are postcolonial geographic contexts of higher education, Afro-Latina/o/x studies, community and student resistance, and the college-access experiences of African diasporic students and communities. She is lead editor of Rise Up! Activism as Education, published in 2019 by Michigan State University Press. Her most recent article, “Ferguson’s Black radical imagination and the scyborgs of community–student resistance,” appeared in The Review of Higher Education in 2019. Dr. Dache was named a 2020 NAEd/Spencer Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow for her project, “Mapping Public Housing and Urban Higher Education Accessibility and Enrollment in Philadelphia.” In 2019, she completed Rockefeller Institute’s Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellowship where she conducted research on racial, transit, and economic factors inhibiting access to local postsecondary education in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate, New York.  She received the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s (ASHE) Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year award in 2014.

Dr. Jennifer Johnson has been an active scholar-practitioner in the fields of college access and student retention. A former Philadelphia middle school teacher with a background in science and mathematics, she spent several years working as a counselor and advisor for college access and success programs. Broadly defined, her research areas include pre-college access programs, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and high-achieving students of color. This scholarship, both qualitative and quantitative in nature, examines intersections of race, class, and gender with a focus on how institutional contexts shape college access, experiences, and outcomes among Black students. In 2014, Dr. Johnson launched a large-scale qualitative research project focusing on the college choice motivations, collegiate experiences, and outcomes of HBCU alumni.

Henrika McCoy is an Associate Professor and the Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Services at Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois Chicago. Dr. McCoy’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. Her research has predominately focused on: 1) strengthening the screening of mental health needs for justice system involved youth and examining the intersection of mental health and juvenile delinquency, particularly for African American males and 2) on better identifying and understanding the violent victimization experiences of young Black males ages 18 to 24. Recently her scholarship has focused on the experiences of Black faculty in academia, including during our current pandemics of racism and COVID-19. Examples of that work include her Op-eds, “The Life of a Black Academic: Tired and Terrorized” published by Inside Higher Education and “Minority Academics Face Dual Pandemics of COVID19 and Racism” published by Times Higher Education. In addition, she serves as a Director-at-Large for the Society for Social Work and Research, as an Executive Counselor for the Division on People of Color and Crime for the American Society and Criminology, and on the Editorial Board for Child and Adolescent Social Work.

Roseanne L. Flores is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  She received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and more recently an Advanced Certificate in Public Administration and Public Policy as well as a Certificate in Health Care Policy and Administration both from the CUNY School of Professional Studies.  She is also a Faculty Associate of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College as well as a member of the Public Policy and Human Rights faculty. She is a Developmental Psychologist by training and was a National Head Start Fellow in the Office of Head Start in Washington, DC in 2009-2010 where some of her work focused on research, practices, and policies that influenced children, families, and communities.  In 2011 she served as a reviewer for the Race to the Top — Early Learning Challenge Grant, and in 2014 as a reviewer for the Preschool Development Grants. 

Roseanne is an Eastern Psychological Association fellow and served as a member of the EPA Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and is the 2021 President elect for EPA.  She served as the 2013 chair of the Committee on Children, Youth and Families at the American Psychological Association https://www.apa.org/pi/families/committee and the past chair of the APA Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education  https://www.apa.org/ed/schools/coalition#:~:text=The%20mission%20of%20the%20coalition,pre%2DK%20to%2012%20education. Dr. Flores also serves as a Representative to the United Nations for the APA.  Her current research focuses on education, health disparities, and human rights and is she is the co-editor of the recently published Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Human Rights.