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Working Toward Equitable Higher Education

ScottQuatez Bernard Scott


Institution:
The University of Toledo
Graduate Program: Ph.D., Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
Education: B.A., Communication Arts, Wilmington College of Ohio; M.A., Educational Leadership, Eastern Michigan University; Graduate Certificate, Foundations of Peace Education, The University of Toledo
Mentor: Sigrid Solomon, Art Brooks and Dr. Corey Cockerill, Wilmington College of Ohio; Robert Bruce, CHOICES, Inc.; Dr. Ketwana D. Schoos, Community College of Allegheny County; Kathy King and Tracy Cook, Cincinnati ProKids; Ron and Phyllis McSwain

Quatez Bernard Scott has been working in higher education for almost a decade, mostly in multicultural and student affairs. His current position is intercultural specialist at the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center at Wright State University.

“He is impassioned and passionate about contributing to the academy and to the research, scholarship and practice,” says Dr. Ketwana D. Schoos of Quatez Bernard Scott, who is currently completing his doctorate at The University of Toledo.

“He’s a scholarly practitioner of changing the dynamic and not just putting lip service towards it,” Schoos adds. “He’s trying to push forward the agenda to have true, genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion so that people … who are marginalized can feel supported.”

Balancing full-time employment with writing his dissertation, which is called “A Pioneering Antiracism Effort in Higher Education: A Single Case Study of a University Racial Equity Center in a Predominantly White Institution,” has been stressful. Compounding that are pressures and constraints due to the pandemic as well as dealing with significant trauma suffered throughout his childhood and adolescence as he dealt with multiple placements in the foster care system and then independent living programs.

“As much as the pandemic has been unhelpful in some areas, it’s definitely encouraged me to get some other areas of my life worked out,” says Scott, who is in counseling.

He continues to collect data for his dissertation, which is qualitative, so he’s collecting and writing at the same time. Reading about justice, antiracism, racism, and history fuels his determination to make an impact.

“The only way that we can move forward is if we identify systemic and social issues and also put actions in place to transform those situations,” says Scott. “Being able to identify the folks who don’t necessarily have opportunities or aren’t being provided opportunities is what drives my work.”

At present, he works with marginalized students to help them feel empowered on campus and with faculty and staff to create an inherent sense of belonging for those students. Following completion of his doctorate, Scott envisions a multi-faceted career. He would like to be a professor — he has done some teaching — but also would like to be a DEI a consultant and podcaster.

“We’ve had multi-cultural centers, cultural centers, and women’s centers, and now we have this growth of racial equity centers,” he says. “I’m taking Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s theoretical conception of antiracism and I’m applying it to how, in particular, one university’s racial equity center is engaging in this work.”

He looks at the way the center works with students, faculty, and staff and how the institution engages with the community. He examines how Kendi’s concepts and practices are being activated and utilized to bring forth racial equity within the university.

“I’m using this dissertation as an analytical benchmark for other institutions to benchmark their own efforts,” Scott says. “Even if they don’t have a center at their institution, it can be used to gauge what their own respective racial equity or antiracist efforts are doing.

“Are practices focused on policy change, making sure that students of color are graduating at a higher rate than previously, working to officially change the climate at the institution, focusing on being a more inclusive institution?” he adds. “It’s about what institutions are doing to raise awareness about racial equity and the intersections of racial equity. If it’s not focused on the intersections of identities as well as racial equity, then it’s not truly antiracist work.”



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