Meet The Team
Todd M. Mealy, Ph.D.
Dr. Mealy is a 20-year educator at both the secondary level and in higher education. For two decades, Mealy has advocated for race consciousness in schools. He has written extensively on the topic, including the publication of seven books. His most recent book is Race Conscious Pedagogy: Disrupting Racism at Majority White Schools. He also works as the Director of Equity and Instruction at The Bond Educational Group, and serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion trainer.
Heather Bennett, J.D., Ph.D.
Senior Director of Equity
Dr. Bennett has worked as the Director of Equity at the Pennsylvania State School Board Association (PSBA) since August 2017. Before that, she served as President of the Pennsylvania Educational Equity Project, an advocacy group that strives to influence lawmakers and educators on issues related to educational equity. In less than three years, she has already left an indelible imprint at PSBA. As the organization's first director of equity, Dr. Bennett has been instrumental in creating an equity toolkit, equity action plan, equity policy guide, and an equity system continuum framework.
Steffany Baptiste-Bosco, Ed.D.
Senior Director of Curriculum
Dr. Baptiste-Bosco, a Rutgers University alumna and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar from Seton Hall University, is a New Jersey administrator and adjunct professor with a background in the field of special education, instructional technology, and administration. Along with her 22 years of dedication to the public school system, Dr. Baptiste-Bosco has focused on the role of race, ethnicity, culture, and equity in curriculum and instruction through her involvement with her district’s Equity Leadership Team, the South African Initiative of Rutgers University, and her research on the impact of the New Jersey Amistad Bill within the classroom.
Mr. Dixon is a graduate of the Lafayette College Economics Program, and a former Division 1 student-athlete. He has spent the last four years working in the Loan Operations Group at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Before arriving at JP Morgan Chase & Co., Demetrius spent a year at Day & Zimmermann as a Project Controls Analyst. Demetrius is a firm believer in the mission of the Equity Institute for Race Conscious Pedagogy and looks forward to getting involved in the institute’s various projects.
Ms. Layton is a doctoral candidate in Penn State University’s Department of Education, concentrating on Higher Education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and African American Studies from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts in Social Work Administration with a concentration in Community Schools from the University of Chicago. Andii is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at PSU.
Brittany Foose, M.A.
The Equity Institute for Race-Conscious Pedagogy (RCP) is an organization that advances scholarship in race-centered learning while advocating for social justice through pedagogy and curriculum. RCP was founded in 2020 to help educators at all levels write curriculum with a critical race lens. It also possesses a research agenda to enhance race-conscious and antiracist pedagogies through book publications and research internships.
Race-Conscious Pedagogy, A Definition:
The Classroom: Race-Conscious Pedagogy is about designing curricula that move instruction from colorblindness to race consciousness. It is an interdisciplinary way of viewing the world from the vantage point of one or more marginalized groups. Students have an open invitation to pose questions relevant to their own lives, then use academic tools and knowledge to address those questions. Race-conscious curricula are organized around key concepts of critical race studies that are drawn from texts in decolonial nonfiction and fiction literature. The concepts are supported by facts and theory while acknowledging and analyzing counter-arguments. Three themes encompass race-conscious classrooms: (1) colonialism, dehumanization, and genocide; (2) hegemony and institutional Power; and (3) decoloniality, regeneration, and transformational resistance.
The Educator: When educators reach a transcendent stage of our Race-Conscious Pyramid (see below), they realize that race intersects with other identity categories: gender, class, ability, age, religion, immigration status, language, body type, and sexual orientation. Race-consciousness is the ability to create an inclusive learning environment that generates a sense of belonging for everyone in the classroom. To become a race-conscious pedagogue, the educator must allow for a new style of critical teaching that democratizes the class by moving away from regulating and managing voices but instead allows students to share what they have learned about the world from their unique experiences combined with assigned texts. This teaching style utilizes foundational tenets of Critical Race Theory, with particular attention given to the intersection of race and the teacher's particular subject. The educator accomplishes this by acknowledging and valuing the cultural differences of every student. The educator recognizes there is no middle ground between racism and antiracism. Moreover, the educator realizes there is no neutral disposition regarding classism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and religious bigotry. A race-conscious pedagogue does not grow comfortable with the school system as it disproportionately disciplines Black and non-Black students of color or stands intolerant of same-sex and same-loving individuals; nor does the educator become satisfied with the development of under-resourced low-income White students, being as every aspect of student performance and school culture can advance closer to perfection.
CURRICULUM WRITING - Race-conscious and Inclusive curriculum writing consultation
RESEARCH STUDIES - Diversity Audits and Climate Studies
TRAINING / PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - Advancing Diversity Literacy Professional Development
PUBLISHING - RCP Publishing is the institute's publishing house that carries an agenda to work with authors writing about the intersection of race and education
INTERNSHIPS - Race-conscious research internships for high school and college students, and for interested educators
To help educators obtain a state of race-consciousness by providing quantitative and qualitative resources for self-study
To help educators create race-conscious classrooms where students of a dominant culture understand hegemonic systems while empathizing with students of non-dominant cultures
To offer educators an opportunity to publish scholarship about diversity, equity, and inclusion