EQUITY LITERACY TEAM
Seema's passion for creating equitable classrooms and schools drives her commitment as an advocate for underserved youth. Her extensive experience improving student success in historically underperforming schools began when she taught in Houston. She was elected Teacher of the Year in her region and appointed to the superintendent's committee to address the opportunity gap. In addition to teaching, she has worked as a K-12 cultural integration specialist and consultant, improving student outcomes by creating family, school, and community partnerships and providing staff development. Seema served as board president for Avenues for Homeless Youth and currently serves as president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education. She is also the author of Case Studies for Equity and Social Justice Education (with Paul Gorski).
Taharee is an Assistant Professor of Minority and Urban Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a magna cum laude B.A. from Harvard University in Psychology and Spanish, a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. from Emory University. Her areas of expertise include teacher education, pedagogies for diversity and equity, inclusive schooling practices and policies, and urban education reform. Taharee is particularly interested in how members of “privileged” groups become advocates and allies for others, and the most salient factors that influence the beliefs, practices, and retention of deeply committed urban teachers. Her work racial equity work for both teachers and students has been published in Race, Ethnicity, and Education; The Poverty and Education Reader; Racism Review; and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Watch for her forthcoming book, A Different Way to be White: Becoming Antiracist Teachers and Teacher Educators.
STEM Equity Specialist
Michelle has over 12 years of experience in public education as a high school English teacher, district technology trainer, and professional development specialist. Her primary focus is ensuring all students have access to high-quality STEM experiences in and outside of the classroom by working with schools and building community partnerships. Michelle also provides professional development to school professionals ranging from classroom teachers to cabinet-level members. She is passionate about advocating for STEM equity by presenting at conferences, collaborating with organizations, and sparking discussions on social media. She holds a BS in Secondary Education-English from the University of Tampa with certification endorsements in ESOL and Reading. Michelle is particularly interested in building equity and empathy in STEM through the implementation of sustainable and scalable programs in public schools.