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Tyrone Howard Wins the 2022 AERA Social Justice in Education Award

By Joanie Harmon
UCLA Professor of Education Tyrone Howard

Scholar of education and social justice directs the UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools and the Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families.

UCLA Professor of Education Tyrone Howard has been honored by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) with the 2022 Social Justice in Education Award. Howard, who is the AERA President-Elect for 2022-23, is recognized for his work in making the connections between educational research and social justice. He will be presented with the award at a ceremony during the 2022 AERA Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 24, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. PDT, in the San Diego Convention Center.

“I am honored and deeply humbled to receive this distinguished Social Justice in Education Award from AERA,” says Howard. “Throughout my entire career, I have tried to dedicate my research, scholarship, teaching and service to achieving educational justice for all students. 

“Though we have a long way to go, this recognition is affirmation that my efforts may be having an impact on such huge challenges before us. I am grateful for this award, and it only motivates me more to work harder toward attaining the elusive justice that so many of our students need and deserve,”

Professor Howard is the director of the UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools and the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families. He is also the founder and director of the Black Male Institute at UCLA.

Howard’s research examines equity, culture, race, and teaching and learning, with more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports. He has published several bestselling books, among them, “Why Race & Culture Matters in Schools and Black Male(d): Peril and Promise in the Education of African American Males,” published by Teachers College Press.  

Professor Howard’s most recent books include, “All Students Must Thrive: Transforming Schools to Combat Toxic Stressors and Cultivate Critical Wellness,” published by the International Center for Leadership in Education, which focuses on equity, race, trauma, and learning; and “No More Teaching Without Positive Relationships,” an examination of relational trust between teachers and students to enhance students’ learning.

"We are thrilled that AERA has recognized the outstanding work of our colleague, Professor Howard, as the recipient of the Social Justice in Education Award," says Christina (Tina) Christie, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.

Professor Howard will present the opening plenary session, as well as the following sessions at the annual AERA conference, which takes place April 21-26, in San Diego. 

A Wicked Problem: Diversifying California's Teacher Workforce
Thurday, April 21, 2:30- 4 p.m., PDT
Division K - Section 06: Approaches and Models for Field Experiences, Student Teaching, and School/Community Collaborations Virtual Roundtable Session Room

Abstract: Diversifying California’s teacher workforce is a wicked problem. Wicked problems are ill-defined, complex, and have tangled, intersecting root-causes that require several resolutions instead of a single solution (Rittel & Webber, 1973; Glasser, 2019). This issue is sustained through the state’s massive educator pipeline, a complex, interlocking system of processes and institutions bound together by ever-evolving policy, practice, and ideology. Issues preventing equitable outcomes for individuals of color exist in and across all pipeline structures and entities making a single-pronged approach all but impossible. This symposium will explore how various aspects of the educator pipeline inhibit California’s efforts to recruit, prepare, and support a diverse K-12 workforce.

The 25th Conversations with Senior Scholars on Advancing Research and Professional Development Related to Black Education
Saturday, April 23, 2:30 – 4 p.m., PDT 
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Floor: South Building, Level 3, Marina Ballroom D

Abstract: Initiated at the 1997 Annual Meeting in Chicago, the 2022 session of “The Continuation of Conversations with Senior Scholars on Advancing Research and Professional Development Related to Black Education” will be number 25 in this popular and widely heralded series. Some of the most notable education scholars in the country will participate as topic discussion leaders.

Disentangling the Reproductive from the Liberatory: Trauma-Informed Practice for Racially Just Systemic Teaching
Saturday, April 23, 8- 9:30 a.m., PDT 
Division Virtual Rooms, Division G - Section 5: Inquiry, Transformation, and Communities Virtual Paper Session Room

Abstract: Although existing trauma-informed education-based practices have the potential for transformative action, they are often constructed without explicit attention to systems of racism and social inequity. This symposium will highlight liberatory, systemically trauma-informed practice (Authors, 2020) while unpacking and disrupting existing harmful approaches.

Cultivating and Expanding Equitable Education Opportunity by Implementing Multicultural Research, Policy, and Practice
Saturday, April 23, 9:45 - 11:15 a.m., PDT
San Diego Convention Center, Floor: Upper Level, Ballroom 6E

Abstract: To cultivate and expand equal educational opportunity, education must be re-imagined and new systems created that foster transformative teaching and learning. The presentations in this session will focus on research, policies, and practices that provide a foundation for reimagining schooling so that students from diverse racial, cultural, social-class, and linguistic groups will attain high achievement levels. Topics to be discussed include institutionalized racism; culturally responsive teaching; ethnic studies, and policies for redesigning schools for diverse population groups. The presentations in this session address complex educational issues based on chapters to be published in a book commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Multicultural Education Series at Teacher College Press, Transforming Multicultural Education Policy and Practice: Expanding Educational Opportunity.

Examining the Bright Spots: Successful Strategies for Promoting Black Student Success in K–12 Schools
Sunday, April 24, 2:30- 4:00 p.m., PDT
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Floor: North Building, Lobby Level, Torrey Pines 3

Abstract: Black youth across Los Angeles County continue to underperform in comparison to their peers from other ethnic/racial backgrounds. Examinations of the reasons for underperformance of Black youth often centered on deficit-based accounts of Black youth, families, and communities, while failing to consider structural factors which explain youth experiences and outcomes. This session highlights the “bright spots” where Black youth performed better than County and State levels, looks at characteristics within these schools which explain these performances, and offers considerations for how such efforts can be replicated.

Keys to the City: Nipsey Hussle, Marathon Education, and the Celebration of South Central
Tuesday, April 26, 2:30- 4 p.m., PDT
SIG Virtual Rooms, SIG-Critical Educators for Social Justice Virtual Paper Session Room

Abstract: We offer this session in memory of Nipsey Hussle - 33-years-old at the time of his passing -  as his growth over time embodies the type of learning and civic engagement we aspire to teach towards. This symposium illuminates the Black brilliance, Black excellence, Black culture, and Black joy of the Marathon District of Los Angeles and offers insights for how educators can more effectively serve the needs Students of Color by celebrating their community’s influence in youth culture and local politics. This symposium includes three papers that present ways to transform potential perceptions of cultural deficits in Black and Brown students into potential cultural and academic strengths.