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Module 6: Words of Wisdom—Practical Approaches to Improving Equity in Higher Education


  • Learn what it means to apply an ‘equity lens’ when building processes, policies and engagement strategies with students.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the scope and impact of culture on our work.
  • Discover how an Equity Audit can be used to support positive change on your campus.
  • Strengthen your awareness of the basic needs insecurity experienced by many students.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how staff across your institution can play a role in improving outcomes for students.


Attending conference presentations is not an opportunity that is equitably available to everyone who works at a college or university. Thanks to funding from Ascendium Education Foundation, we can bring this series of top-notch speakers and presentations directly to your campus.

Below are three presentations that can be used by you and your colleagues for personal or shared professional development. Please take the time watch each of these presentations and consider how the recommendations offered by each speaker could be applied to your work on behalf of students.

Tips for Using This Module

  • Group Meetings and Staff Training: Select and share videos that support your goals during staff meetings. Use the Featured Video Worksheet (below) with groups, or as an individual.
  • Onboarding New Staff: Integrate resources into onboarding materials for new hires.
  • Individual Professional Development: Provide access to resources to staff to support their personal learning goals and professional growth.

Three-Part Webcast Series

Meet the Presenter

Trinice McNally is a black queer feminist organizer, student affairs professional, and educator. She is a nationally recognized transformative leader who is committed to the liberation of all black people.

As a two-time alumnus from Bethune-Cookman University, she is most passionate about developing national strategies and best practices for HBCUs to foster welcoming and inclusive environments for marginalized populations through programmatic, advocacy and political education efforts. McNally has committed her life to the advancement of LGBTQ people of color and is dedicated to creating inclusion and fostering awareness at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The Equity Lens: Exploring Systems and Processes with Underrepresented Students in Mind

Call to Action: Consider the cultural elements that impact our daily interactions with students and explore how awareness of our individual identities can shape our approach to building an inclusive culture on campus.

Watch Now

Download "The Equity Lens" Presentation

In addition, consider utilizing this Identity Wheel Worksheet.

Download Presentation

Meet the Presenters

Dr. Crystal E. Garcia is an assistant professor in the administration of higher education program within the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology at Auburn University. Follow her on Twitter for more: @CrystalEGarcia

Dr. Antonio Duran (he/him) is an assistant professor in the Administration of Higher Education program at Auburn University. Antonio’s research investigates how historical and contemporary legacies of oppression influence the experiences and development of college students. Follow him on Twitter for more: @ant_duran

Moving From Reflection Towards Change: A Shift to Social Justice Informed Practice

Call to Action: Play a role in moving your campus forward. Learn about concrete steps you can take to build equity into your work processes and student-facing resources.

Watch Now

Download "Moving From Reflection Towards Change" Presentation

In addition, consider utilizing this resource: 360-Degree Student Equity Audit Toolkit.

Download Presentation

Meet the Presenter

Dr. Robin DeRosa is the Director of the Open Learning and Teaching Collaborative at Plymouth State University, part of the University System of New Hampshire.

The Open CoLab is a dynamic, praxis-powered hub dedicated to innovative teaching and learning and a community-driven approach to academic professional development; its focus is on instructional design, open education, interdisciplinary learning, and increasing the public impact of the academy.

Innovation Inside: Empowering Our People to Transform Our Institutions

Call to Action: Build your understanding of ‘real college students’, and how their needs are shaping programs and instruction across campuses that are committed to equity and student success. Learn how to tap into the knowledge and creativity that staff across your campus can bring to the table.

Watch Now

Download "Innovation Inside" Presentation

In addition, consider utilizing this resource: Addressing College Students’ Basic Needs Toolkit.

Download Presentation