EdChange: Professional Staff Development, Consulting, and
Scholarship for Equity, Diversity, Multicultural Education, and
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Reforming Our Schools.
Transforming Our World.
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EdChange is a team of passionate, experienced, established, educators dedicated to equity, diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice. With this shared vision, we have joined to collaborate in order to develop resources, workshops, and projects that contribute to progressive change in ourselves, our schools, and our society.

We offer a variety of projects and resources, workshops and consulting services, and scholarship grounded in equity and social justice in schools and communities. For more about our philosophies and ideas, visit our Philosophy page.

Our Bios

[ Paul C. Gorski | Jennifer Hickman | Julie Landsman | Seema Pothini | Robert W. Simmons III | Katy Swalwell]

Paul Gorski social justice and diversity activist [click name to send email]
Founder, EdChange and the Multicultural Pavilion
Associate Professor, Integrative Studies
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia
Paul's Personal Web site

is an associate professor of Integrative Studies in George Mason University's New Century College, where he teaches classes such as Poverty, Wealth, and Inequality; Social Justice Education; Animal Rights; Social Justice Consciousness and Personal Transformation; and Environmental Justice. He recentedly led the design and development of the new Social Justice and Human Rights undergraduate and graduate programs at Mason as well. Paul is a Research Fellow for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and is serving his second term on the board of the International Association for Intercultural Education. He has been an active consultant, presenter, and trainer for nearly twenty years, conducting workshops and providing guidance for schools and community organizations committed to equity and diversity. He created and continues to maintain the Multicultural Pavilion, an award winning Web site focused on critical multicultural education. He has published more than 50 articles and eight books, focusing most recently on topics like poverty and educational opportunity, racial equity, and activist resiliency. He also has taught for the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, Hamline University, and the Humane Society University. He lives in Washington, DC, with his cats, Unity and Buster.

Areas of specialty:

  • Equity literacy framework
  • White privilege and racial equity in schools and school districts
  • Poverty and class equity in schools and community organizations
  • Research-based, holistic strategies for addressing achievement (or opportunity) gaps
  • Activist burnout and resiliency
  • Leadership development and the training of trainers for equity and diversity


Robert Simmons social justice and diversity activistRobert W. Simmons III [click name to send email]
Assistant Professor, School of Education
Loyola University
Baltimore, Maryland

Robert W. Simmons III is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Loyola University in Baltimore. Robert’s doctoral dissertation explored the experiences of African American teachers. His current research agenda is focused on exploring the experiences of African American teachers and urban education. Robert taught middle school science in Detroit, MI, in the Detroit Public Schools, as well as 2nd grade and 4th grade in the Dominican Republic and Minnesota. In addition to teaching in K-12, Robert has explored international education issues through work in the Dominican Republic, Japan, and Costa Rica. Robert's experience as an award winning science teacher, nominated twice as the national teacher of the year, adds to his expertise and understanding of what it takes to be a successful teacher in urban schools and working with African American students. Robert is a contributing author to White Teachers in Diverse Classrooms: Creating Community, Combating Racism (2006).

Areas of specialty:

  • Urban education
  • Education of African American children
  • Multicultural curriculum development
  • Eliminating the achievement gap
  • School-community partnerships
  • African American teachers
Seema Pothini social justice and diversity activistSeema G. Pothini [click name to send email]
Educational Equity and Diversity Consultant and Author
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Seema G. Pothini's passion for creating equitable classrooms and schools drives her commitment as an advocate for underserved youth. Her extensive experience improving student success in historically underperforming schools began by teaching elementary school in Houston, TX. She was elected Teacher of the Year in her region and was appointed to the superintendent's advisory committee, which addressed the achievement gap in Houston's schools. Seema also has trained new teachers to work in underserved communities, providing a foundation of teaching skills and self-awareness regarding how their biases can impact equity in the classroom. In addition to classroom teaching, she has worked as a K-12 cultural integration specialist. She improved student outcomes by creating family, school, and community partnerships, by providing staff development, and by facilitating student groups. Seema is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory and serves on boards for the Minnesota chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education and Avenues for Homeless Youth, a shelter in Minneapolis.

Areas of specialty:

  • Parent/guardian and community involvement in schools
  • Assessing intercultural competence using the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
  • Student success through high expectations and interest
  • Strategic planning to move from "celebrating diversity" to ensuring equity
  • Conflict resolution amongst students, families, and staff from diverse backgrounds


Katy Swalwell social justice and diversity activistKaty Swalwell [click name to send email]
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland--College Park

Katy Swalwell's research focuses on teacher activism and social justice education with a special focus on race and class issues within social studies teaching and learning. She is the author of Educating Activist Allies: Social Justice Pedagogy with the Suburban and Urban Elite, as well as several articles and blog posts in academic journals and publications like Teaching Tolerance and Rethinking Schools. Before becoming a professor, Katy taught social studies at a public high school in St. Charles, Minnesota and a boarding school summer program in Connecticut. She has facilitated learning communities of practicing K-12 teachers across disciplines, supervised student teachers, and taught a variety of teacher education courses at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, the University of Wisconsin--LaCrosse, and George Mason University. Originally from Iowa, Katy currenty lives in Washington, DC, where she is a research fellow with the Zinn Education Project.

Areas of specialty:

  • Social justice and multicultural education
  • K-12 social studies curriculum and instruction
  • Equity and schooling
  • Students and teachers in elite school settings
  • Teacher activism and teacher leadership
  • Action research


Jennifer Hickman social justice and diversity activistJennifer Hickman [click name to send email]
The Humane Society of the United States
Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Hickman has over thirteen years of professional experience dedicated to conservation, environmental justice, and animal welfare work. She currently works for The Humane Society of the United States as a fundraiser in the Philanthropy Department, and has worked for National Wildlife Federation, Galapagos Conservancy, and as well as Esquinas Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica. She has volunteered for Saint Paul Feline Rescue in Minnesota, The Sierra Club, and Alley Cat Allies in Washington, D.C.. She has a strong and passionate history as an animal welfare activist, particularly related to the elimination of circus animal abuse and other forms of animals in entertainment, ending the practice of keeping exotic or wild animals as pets or tourist attractions, the replacement of animal models in testing and research, abolishing factory farming methods and captive and other cruel hunting methods, and the preservation of wild spaces and wild animals in their native habitats.

Areas of specialty:

  • Relationship building, outreach, and engagement
  • Special event planning and fundraising for animal welfare and environmental causes
  • The relationship between animal rights and human rights
  • Animal cruelty and exploitation in modern society
  • Rainforest ecosystems and wildlife conservation
  • Holistic and naturalpathic medicine for human health and the environment
  • Healthy plant-based eating for cleaner and healthier global communities


Julie Landsman social justice and diversity activistJulie Landsman [click name to send email]
Educational Equity and Diversity Consultant and Author
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Julie Landsman taught in the Minneapolis public schools for 28 years. She has recently taught at Carleton College and has been an adjunct professor at Hamline University and St. Thomas in St. Paul. She has just published the book, Growing Up White: A Veteran Teacher Reflects on Racism with Rowman and Littlefield. Her books, Basic Needs: A Year With Street Kids in a City School and A White Teacher Talks About Race, are memoirs about her days in Minneapolis Public Schools. She co-edited White Teachers in Diverse Classrooms: Creating Community, Combating Racism with Chance Lewis, released in April 2006. She and Chance are completing a DVD and workbook to accompany their text. She has edited two books for young people: From Darkness to Light and Welcome to Your Life with David Haynes. She's also published Diversity Days, a book of activities to help teachers create a community of voices in their classrooms and Tips for Creating a Manageable Classroom. Julie recently won a Loft Literary Center Career Grant, which she used to give talks in various schools and literary centers in New York. Her poem, "Laos on the Radio" appeared in the February, 2004 issue of Paj Ntaub, a magazine centering on Hmong experience and culture. Her short story "Suspension" recently won the New Letters Award in Fiction. Landsman has been a featured speaker on White Privilege in many venues. She is a frequent contributor to Educational Leadership magazine.

Areas of specialty:

  • Building inclusive schools, classrooms, communities
  • Anti-racism activism: how do we do it?
  • Creating community in the classroom
  • White privilege: how it plays out in our lives
  • Fighting the racism of low expectations
  • Creating classrooms of hope

 


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