Our Progress

Teacher resident at the teacher institute.

2022–23 Progress Report

For decades, the University at Buffalo's Graduate School of Education (GSE) has expressed a commitment to diversity and preparing our students to live, work and lead in schools and society. In 2017, GSE expanded and deepened that work beyond a singular focus on increasing diversity to also center equity, justice and inclusion. We are no longer simply interested in helping our students address the everyday challenges in the world; instead, our goal is to provide them with the education and the tools to transform the world. This goal requires that our faculty, staff and administrators are also prepared to center equity, diversity, justice and inclusion (EDJI) in their pedagogy, scholarship, service and leadership.

GSE is committed to affirming the various identities and communities important to our students, staff and faculty. We value and view racial identity and experiences as central to all of us, embrace the full range of gender and sexualities, honor the various faiths and world views, appreciate the unique experiences and challenges faced by those born outside the U.S., and understand the impact of growing up with fewer resources and opportunities due to social class than are needed to thrive. GSE also attests to the challenges faced by first-generation students, staff and faculty who forged their way into higher education. We also understand that growing up in urban areas, rural communities, or the suburbs impacts how we interact with the world. Our community is vast and diverse, and we are committed to honoring diversity and creating an inclusive and equitable environment where everyone feels they belong.

Concomitantly, we also acknowledge that the world has dramatically changed since 2020. The most recent racial reckoning has taught us that even our focus on diversity and belonging was not enough. Without a clear and authentic focus on racial inequity, systemic racism and anti-Blackness, our EDJI efforts will fall short. This commitment must also center on other systems of oppression (e.g., sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, cis-genderism, religious oppression) and intersectionality. We will work to continually expand and deepen our understanding of EDJI and the work necessary to transform GSE and advance equity and justice in schools and society. We aim to create equitable educational systems, ensure libraries are liberatory spaces, build inclusive and just systems for data and information science, and center equity in mental health services.   

Our EDJI work requires vigilance and ongoing engagement. Our efforts are not perfect but are designed to move us forward, create a learning community where all students, faculty and staff can thrive and make a more-perfect GSE. Our approach in developing this report was not simply to create a simple list of our accomplishments but instead to record our efforts, identify strengths and clarify the path ahead.

2025 Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion Comprehensive Plan

Although begun in 2018, in 2020 GSE approved and adopted a five-year Comprehensive Plan for Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion. The Comprehensive Plan identified six primary goals.

  1. Ensure that the GSE commitment to equity, diversity, justice and inclusion is visible and embedded at all levels of GSE
  2. Identify, recruit, attract, hire, mentor/coach and retain a highly talented and diverse and culturally competent faculty and staff
  3. Attract, enroll, retain, mentor and graduate a highly talented and diverse student body
  4. Expect and require all members of the community to engage in curricular, co-curricular and research activities that improve diversity, equity and multicultural competence within GSE and through our community engagements
  5. Build and maintain a welcoming, inclusive and equitable climate for all GSE faculty, students, staff and administrators
  6. Increase alumni engagement to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and multicultural competence within the GSE community

To learn more about the Graduate School of Education’s vision for equity, diversity, justice and inclusion, explore our 2025 Comprehensive Plan, which outlines what needs to be done and how we will do it.

Below is a snapshot of our current assessment of our progress on the primary goals.

Diversity Demographics

Understanding and meeting the needs of our GSE community requires that we know who we are. In order to build a diverse and inclusive environment, we must have the broadest demographic information possible. We have done a better job of capturing racial, ethnic, and related demographics but have yet to create the systems to gather information on gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, social class, ability, first generation status, and other key identities. Moving forward, we will expand our data collection efforts to ensure that we can better understand and serve our community.


Faculty Racial Demographics Three Year Trend

20-21 21-22 22-23
Non-URM 15 14 13
URM 6 7 17
White 52 49 46


Student Racial Demographics Three Year Trend

20-21 21-22 22-23
Non-URM 41 55 74
URM 236 269 297
White 1,000 981 918
International 69 61 70
Unknown 154 130 118

Selected Key Initiatives and Investments

One-Year, Paid Teacher Residency Program

Teacher Residency cohort 1.

The Teacher Residency Program aims to collaboratively prepare and sustain skilled, diverse teachers to effectively serve the varied needs of historically marginalized students, families and school communities. Our one-year, paid residency program is designed for those interested in pursuing initial and/or initial/professional certification in childhood, early childhood, English for speakers of other languages, or adolescence education.

Teach-Ins for Racial Equity for Faculty, Staff and Students

To make good on our mission, vision and commitment to equity, diversity, justice and inclusion, GSE canceled classes and closed offices dedicating time to teach and learn about racial equity. Key to understanding the systematic violence against Black people is understanding the role that education has played and continues to play in perpetuating these systems of oppression. Change is both an individual and collective responsibility.

Promotional graphic for GSE Teach-In Event.

The Graduate School of Education hosted its second Teach-In for racial equity on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.

Promotional graphic for GSE Teach-In Event.

The Graduate School of Education hosted a virtual Teach-In for racial equity on Sept. 3 and 4, 2020.

Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education

The Center for Black History and Racial Literacy Education promotional banner.

The Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education is a research and professional development center housed within the Graduate School of Education at the UB. The center’s research focuses on how Black history and race are taught and learned around the world in K-12 schools, teacher education programs and other educative spaces with particular focus on research, professional development and learning, networking and advocacy.

Western New York Youth Alliance for Education

Groupd of students gathered for a meeting.

As part of GSE’s educational outreach, this organization was established to work with area youth and help them learn how to advocate productively for the schools they wish they had. Members participate in developing an annual agenda organized around their ideas and concerns related to equity in education.  They identify priorities and goals, and engage in research projects, policy analysis, and the development of policy recommendations.

Buffalo Education Equity Task Force

Buffalo City Hall.

The purpose of the Buffalo Education Equity Task Force is to marshal existing education resources and work collaboratively to eliminate barriers to educational equity for students and families in this community. We envision an educational system that puts the needs of all students and families in Buffalo first. The task force is working to facilitate and expand multidisciplinary research focused on education disparities and inequity in the Buffalo, advocate for the removal of structural barriers and policies that impede educational equity and mute student achievement and foster collaboration to create collective impact with respect to educational equity.

Task force in the News

Additional Progress Highlights

2022–23 EDJI Committee Membership

Raechele Pope, PhD
Chief Diversity Officer and
Committee Chair

Amy VanScoy, PhD
Assistant Professor
Information Science

Jianqiang Wang, PhD
Associate Professor
Information Science

Megan Iantosca, PhD
Associate Professor
Educational Leadership and Policy

Jinting Wu, PhD
Associate Professor
Educational Leadership and Policy

Tony Tosado, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Counseling, School and Educational Psychology

Sabrina Musson, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Counseling, School and Educational Psychology

Ryan Rish, PhD
Associate Professor
Learning and Instruction

Christina King, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Learning and Instruction

Giambatissta Davis
PhD Student
Educational Leadership and Policy

Devi Gopal
PhD Student
Learning and Instruction

Ryan Taughrin
Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management
Office of Admission