Skip to main content

AAAS Annual Meeting Logo (a set of interconnected pink, blue, and yellow circles) on the right, with event title, speakers names, and event time listed in blue text on the left
Event | Friday, February 16, 2024 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm
The Future of Higher Ed DEI: Commitment and Progress Despite Politics and Law

Join SEA Change Director Shirley Malcom, PhD, and Sr. Project Director Darla Thompson, PhD, at the AAAS Annual Meeting in conversation with Zakiya Ellis, EdD, and Jamie Lewis Keith, JD, of EducationCounsel.


With threats to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in STEMM higher education from Supreme Court decisions and politicians, transforming risked retrenchment into seized opportunity for meaningful action and progress is critical. Excellence and integrity in STEMM education and the workforce depend on systems, policies, and initiatives that dismantle structural barriers to DEI and create climate where all talent can thrive. These aims are ever more central -- and success requires awareness and navigation of an ever more challenging legal and political landscape. This session will offer guidance and resources to support the success of committed leaders at institutions of higher education in achieving their DEI goals. The session, led by legal, policy, and academic experts, will demystify -- and offer strategies to diminish -- the impacts of federal and state court rulings, laws, and administrative policies on institutions of higher education including minority-serving institutions, two-year colleges, health care training and delivery to structurally marginalized communities, and the overall U.S. scientific enterprise. Achieving DEI objectives is hard work that requires navigating many intersecting goals and managing challenges, practical realities, and legal “design parameters.” This session will help to equip academic leaders with knowledge and strategies to achieve transformative change for students, faculty, and staff, setting the stage for effective and sustainable change.