Like many states, Illinois suffers from alarming racial achievement gaps in higher education, which we must address if we hope to achieve equity for all. Join Women Employed and education experts for an important conversation about the gaps that exist, the importance of addressing them, and how we can advance racial equity in higher education at a statewide level. Women Employed’s President and CEO Cherita Ellens will share our latest policy recommendations and engage in a conversation with education leaders and policymakers about successful efforts and promising practices in other states, as well as the current outlook for racial equity efforts and plans in Illinois.
• Jesse Ruiz, Illinois Deputy Governor for Education. Jesse oversees the state’s education system from early childhood through higher education. Throughout his career he has served as the Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education, Interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, Commissioner on the U.S Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission.
• Brandon Bishop, Policy Analyst at State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). As a policy analyst, Brandon’s areas of focus are: supporting the SHEEO Membership Survey and writing the SHEEO Membership Report, supporting SHEEO’s racial equity work, and working on the Frontier Set project. Before joining SHEEO, Brandon was a state relations associate at Education Commission of the States.
• Rudyane Rivera-Lindstrom, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Rudyane leads equity and diversity efforts, supporting the HECC’s goals for equitable outcomes in postsecondary education, helping staff uphold Oregon's Equity Lens in policymaking, budgeting, and supporting the HECC agency to become more inclusive, diverse, and equitable for all employees.
• Moderated by Cherita Ellens, CEO of Women Employed