This talk examines the nature of racial inequality in schooling, and through drawing on findings from multiple empirical studies, argues that we can and must find ways to provide equitable access to high-quality instruction, using STEM as an example, both within and across schools and districts. Na’ilah Suad Nasir also will discuss the critical role of student identities— racial identity, gender identity, and disciplinary identity— in the learning process and share ways that districts, schools, and teachers have worked to provide new kinds of opportunities for identity construction for marginalized students.
Na’ilah Suad Nasir is the sixth president of the Spencer Foundation which supports research about education. She was a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley from 2008-2017 where she served as Vice-Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley from November 2015. Nasir earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at UCLA in 2000 and was a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Stanford University from 2000 – 2008. Her work focuses on issues of race, culture, learning, and identity. She is the author of Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement for African-American Youth and has published numerous scholarly articles. Nasir is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In 2016 she was the recipient of the AERA Division G Mentoring Award.