Join Us at the Reach Academic Lecture Series!


The theme of this inaugural Reach Institute for School Leadership Lecture series takes into account the current positioning of people of color and marginalized groups in social and academic spaces. The work of invited speakers points to the ways in which political rhetoric, neoliberal discourses, anti-immigrant, and anti-black sentiments impact identities. Such discourses, which are implicated in reifying pathological stereotypes and fostering xenophobia, also impact the ways people of color navigate spaces in society and schools.

We understand that issues of policing, devaluation, violence, stereotyping and discrimination lay at the heart of lived experiences of many of students and their families. The proposed lecture series provides Reach faculty, students, school partners and surrounding community access to research that will impact how they are serving students and engaging families.


Invited Speakers:


Dr. Juan Salinas

“Pro-Latino” Racial Framing: How White Employers Justify Exploitation and Labor Abuse of Latino Immigrant Workers”

November 9, 2018

1233 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Presented by Dr. Juan Salinas, Sonoma State University
Moderated by Ben Sanders and Jill Thomas of the Reach Institute

RSVP for Dr. Salinas’ lecture.

Dr. Juan Salinas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Sonoma State University. He received his PhD from Texas A&M University, his MA from the University at Hawaii, and his BA from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Salinas’ research and teaching interests include race and ethnicity, immigration, Latino sociology, and social stratification. He has researched inequalities caused by having an undocumented status in labor, educational attainment, and mental health. His current research focuses on white employers and Latino immigrant laborers for studying how race, immigration, and undocumented status shape inequalities in the workplace. Dr. Salinas’ latest research has been published as a book chapter in a forthcoming edited volume entitled Latino Peoples in the New America: Racialization and Resistance.


Dr. DeLeon Gray

“Black and Belonging at School: A case for interpersonal, instructional and institutional opportunity structures”

5:00-6:30 pm
December 14, 2018

1233 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Presented by Dr. DeLeon Gray, North Carolina State University
Moderated by Dr. Lynette Parker of the Reach Institute

RSVP for Dr. Gray’s lecture.

DeLeon Gray is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at North Carolina State University. Dr. Gray also holds an appointment as Mentor Faculty in the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is Member-at-Large on the Executive Committee for the American Psychological Association’s Educational Psychology Division (Division 15). Gray is also on the Editorial Board for four journals, including the Journal of Educational Psychology.

So far, DeLeon Gray has secured over 2 million dollars in funding to support his research program, which examines how adolescents and emerging adults perceive and interpret their social encounters in academic contexts. His research program has been recognized by the receipt of prestigious honors including the Research on Socially and Economically Underrepresented Populations Award (RiSE-UP) from the Association for Psychological Science. Most recently, he was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of 100 men of color who are “living up to a standard of excellence and using their talents and influence in their respective industries to shift the perception of men of color to create and encourage a positive narrative.”  Prior to that, DeLeon received a dissertation fellowship from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. This project that was later awarded the 2013 Outstanding Dissertation Award in Human Development from the American Education Research Association (AERA Division E). Gray brings energy and commitment to the Professoriate, and has received honors related to his extension and outreach work with predominantly African American schools in Durham, NC. Gray also is a 2014 inductee of NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension.


Dr. Lynette Parker

“The far reaching impact of the referral you write: Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and the
criminalization of victims”

January 11, 2019

1233 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Presented by Dr. Lynette Parker, The Reach Institute
Moderated by Kenan Delgado of The Reach Institute

RSVP for Dr. Parker’s lecture.

Lynette Parker is a faculty member and research coordinator at Reach institute for School Leadership. She received her BA from C.S.U., Long Beach. After teaching in Compton for six years, she was offered the NYU Opportunity Fellowship and New York University to obtain an MA in Educational Administration.  During her first tenure in NY pursuing an MA, she taught in the Bronx and became clear that inequities in education were truly a national issue.   To further understand these inequities, Dr. Parker pursued and MS in Applied Statistics and Research Methods at the University of Northern Colorado where she was awarded the Applied Statistics and Research Department graduate research grant to pursue her work measuring levels of internalize racial oppression.

Upon her return to California, she taught in Los Angeles, and ultimately landed in her home – the Bay Area – where she realized the mistreatment and hyper disciplining of students of color and the role of internalized racial oppression in student academic achievement was chronic. This would be the topic of her doctoral studies.

In 2007, Lynette was awarded the Chancellor’s Fellowship and went on to UC Berkeley in Policy, Organization, Measurement, and Evaluation doctoral program. In 2012 and was awarded the UC/ACCORD Dissertation Fellowship to complete her doctoral dissertation.

Dr. Parker’s research and scholarly agenda includes the examination of the role of race, racism and social forms of oppression on teachers, students, and the education environment. She examines how racism and bias impacts learning environments, academic achievement and discipline practices. She draws upon qualitative and quantitative methodologies to explore the effects of internalized oppression and the impact institutional and structural oppression on schools and communities surrounding schools. She has two book chapters co-authored with Bruce Fuller. Her work has been published in The School Community Journal, The Journal of Race and Pedagogy, and her article entitled Who let the dogs in? Antiblackness, social exclusion, and the question of who is human, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Black Studies.

Dr. Connie Wun

“Unaccounted Foundations: Black Girls, Anti-Black Racism, and Punishment in Schools”

February 8, 2019

1233 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Presented by Dr. Connie Wun, Transformative Research​
Moderated by Dr. Cheryl Wilson of the Reach Institute

RSVP for Dr. Wun’s lecture

Connie Wun, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of Transformative Research. In this capacity, Dr. Wun has worked with organizations such as Girls for Gender Equity in NYC and Monsoon: Asian and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity to train their staff in community-driven qualitative research and data analysis. Connie has also co-developed and facilitated forums with national experts including PolicyLink and the National Organization of Asian & Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV) on intersectional violence for educators, students, community organizers, and policy advocates. Dr. Wun is also a co-founder of AAPI Women Lead, an organization working to highlight the issues and celebrate the leadership of self-identified Asian and Pacific Islander women in the United States – in solidarity with other communities of color. She is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Women and Gender Studies Department at San Francisco State University. She has also been a recipient of the Ed-Trust West Senior Fellowship, National Science Foundation Fellowship, American Association for University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship, UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship, Mills College Research at the Intersections Fellowship and UC Berkeley Center for Race and Gender Fellowship. She is a former high school teacher, advocate for sex workers, and anti-sexual assault counselor. Dr. Wun holds a Ph.D. in Education from UC Berkeley. Her work has been published in Critical Sociology, Educational Policy, Educational Theory and Practice, and Race, Ethnicity, and Education. She has also written for the The Feminist Wire,, and is currently working on her book manuscript on schools and violence against girls of color.


Dr. Juanita Garcia

“​Embracing Emotions: How to Combat Being Silenced in our Research and Existence as Latinxs in Academia”

March 8, 2019
1233 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Presented by Dr. Juanita Garcia, University of California, Riverside
Moderated by Adelfa Hegarty of the Reach Institute

RSVP for Dr. Garcia’s lecture.

Dr. Garcia’s received a BA in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Sam Houston University.  She went on to earn an MA and PhD in Sociology from Texas A&M University.  Dr. Garcia’s interests are immigration, sociology of mental health, medical sociology, Latina/o sociology, and the intersections between race, ethnicity, class, gender, and legal status. Her research examines how “illegality” shapes the response to stressors and susceptibility to depressive symptoms among Mexican-origin women, across legal status and nativity. This research highlights the salience of undocumented status as another marker of inequality and adds to the growing interest on “illegality” and its impacts on immigrant mental health disparities.