The Center is committed to building collaborative networks of researchers, civil rights advocates, and policymakers. 

Join us for our regularly sponsored events to promote educational racial and ethnic equity.

Speaker Series

The Center’s speaker series and brown bags encourage dialogues about important civil rights issues in education and connects interested members across Penn State and other campuses.

Past Speakers

“The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America”
Richard Rothstein, Research Associate, Economic Policy Institute
October 11, 2017

​This lecture and discussion was led by Richard Rothstein and featured his recently published book, which details how local, state, and federal policies led to a segregated America.

Making 'America' Possible: A Conversation about Building Community and Embracing Race
Andrew Grant-Thomas, Co-director of EmbraceRace
March 8, 2017

​Andrew was previously the director of programs at the Proteus Fund; deputy director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University; & researcher at the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.

Undocumented and Unafraid: Identity, Higher Education &  Social Activism
Dr. Susana Muñoz, Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Colorado State University
October 20, 2016

Dr. Muñoz addressed the process of how undocumented students "come out" and make meaning of their legal status within the context of higher education and social activism.

Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools
Dr. John Diamond, Hoefs-Bascom Professor in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
November 11, 2015

Dr. Diamond presented findings from his book Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools.

Listen to it here.

Read about it here.


Brown Bags

Past Brown Bags

Educating and Supporting Children from Immigrant Families: What Educators Need to Know
In collaboration with Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights
October 4, 2017

The program focused on educators’ rights and responsibilities regarding immigration, existing federal guidance for children from immigrant families, and offered ideas for communicating with families affected by these policies and achieving a safe learning environment for all children.

Raising Anti-Racist, Anti-Biased Children: A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Featuring Holley Rochford, Director of Early Child Care Programs and Services; Dr. Allison Henward, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education; Dr. Erica Frankenberg, Associate Professor of Education and Demography
September 26, 2017

This open Q&A forum was for families and educators. Center administrators shared information about the new Commitment to Diversity Statement for Penn State Child Care Centers and associated objectives and professional development opportunities throughout the year. 

Why and How to Talk About Race with Young Children
Featuring Dr. Allison Henward, Dr. Erica Frankenber, and Early Childhood Educators from PSU child care centers
April 4, 2017

This session supported parents and teachers in building community to engage in conversations with young children and teach equitable perspectives of race.

Philosophy and Diversity: Implications and Questions for Education
Dr. Michael D. Burroughs, Associate Director of the Rock Ethics Institute & Senior Lecturer of Philosophy
February 28, 2017 

Dr. Burroughs has published widely in the areas of ethics, social epistemology, and the philosophy of education, including his recent co-authored book Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). 

Civil Rights & Education in a New Administration: Higher Education
Featuring Dr. Alicia Dowd, Professor of Education; Dr. Leticia Oseguera, Associate Professor of Education; Dr. Liliana M. Garces, Associate Professor of Education
February 21, 2017

This forum aimed at fostering a discussion around policy continuity and change in civil rights in post-secondary and professional education in the Trump Administration.

Civil Rights & Education in a New Administration: Pre-K-12th Grade
Featuring Dr. Erica Frankenberg, Associate Professor of Education; Dr. Maria Lewis, Assistant Professor of Education; Dr. Dana L. Mitra, Professor of Education; and Dr. Mindy L. Kornhaber, Associate Professor of Education
January 24, 2017 

In the wake of the inauguration of President Donald Trump, many are wondering what are the changes a new administration will have on education policy and practice over the next four years. This forum aimed at fostering a discussion around policy continuity and change in civil rights in Pre-K-12 education in the Trump Administration.


The Center hosts national conferences that bring together researchers, legal scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and civil rights advocates.

Past Conferences

Education and Civil Rights, Historical Legacies, Contemporary Strategies and Promise for the Future
June 6-7 2014 at Lewis Katz Building
CECR’s inaugural conference in 2014 with Keynote Speaker Harvard Law School Professor Lani Guinier.


The Center supports convenings of educational leaders, such as superintendents and higher education administrators, through trainings and summer institutes focused on addressing educational inequality.

Past Trainings

Furthering Diversity in K-12 Schools Through Student Assignment 
June 1 2017 at Georgetown Law Center
School leaders worked alongside one another, advocates, and researchers on learning more about various aspects of designing, implementing, and sustaining student assignment plans that promote racial and socioeconomic diversity.