Skip to Content

College of Education

January 2023

Notes From ODEI Staff

Happy New Year!
Let’s commit to working together on behalf of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion this year. Cheers!  
Gloria Boutte, Joan Harris, and Preston Thorne


A Note From Meir Muller

For religious holidays, faculty should consult the interfaith calendar for religious holidays that may require absence from class and plan accordingly. It might be simplest to not have tests on those days, but faculty can also choose to have make-up work and tests. Also, it would be helpful to students to remind them both in class and in the syllabus that they should let the instructor know in writing that they will be missing classes due to religious observances by the end of the second week of regularly scheduled classes in a full fall or spring semester term and within twice the length of the drop/add period of any other term. If a student fails to provide notice by the end of the notification period and can explain why, faculty should consider granting an exception to the deadline for notification.

January Holidays

  • January 7 – Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)
  • January 13 – Maghi (Sikh)
  • January 15 – World Religion Day
  • January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • January 22 — Chinese New Year (Year of the Rabbit)
  • January 24 – International Day of Education
  • January 26 – International Customs Day
  • January 27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day


Preston Thorne in classroom, holding a book


Preston Thorne, Director of the Apple Core Initiative was featured in the most recent Carolinian as part of his promotion of his book #Justachicken and his ongoing work with literacy in the state of South Carolina.

Jamil Johnson and Gloria Boutte

We're talking Critical Race Theory: What is it and why are some people fighting so hard against it?

Jamil Johnson, Ph.D. and Gloria Boutte, Ph.D. sat down with IMARA Magazine to help in decoding some of the contention surrounding Critical Race Theory.

2023 Equity in Education Conference invitation. includes event information and photos of Tiffany Jewell and Anthony Broughton.

Join us for the 2023 Equity in Education Conference

It is not too late to register for the Equity in Education conference January 16-17, 2023. New York Times bestselling author, Tiffany Jewell, will speak on anti-racism in plain, accessible terms. Please join us.

Meir Muller

Join us for Centering Diaspora Symposium: Jewish Diaspora featuring Meir Muller

Thursday, February 2, 6:00 p.m.
Wardlaw 126

Martin Luther King at a microphone, one hand outstretched

Celebrate MLK Day: January 16 and beyond

Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) federal holiday is celebrated on January 16, 2023 this year.

Thanks to Vice President Julian Williams, USC is rolling out a sustained celebration of the King holiday across the campus. Typically, USC has the MLK breakfast, but this year units across campus were invited to plan events that extended beyond one day.  The goal is to have an opportunity to learn about Dr. King’s criticality in ways that extend beyond sanitized  excerpts from his "I Have a Dream" speech.

TikTok commentary by Gloria Boutte, Ph.D.

Martin Luther King at a microphone, one hand outstretched

January 24 and 25: MLK Lunch and Learn

Please join us for a lunchtime symposium on The Real Martin Luther King (12 -1:30 pm) and a chance to see the Revolutionary Love and Black Joy exhibit  in the COE Museum of Education. Led by Eliza Braden, Ph.D., Kamania Wynter-Hoyte,  Ph.D., Meir Muller,  Ph.D., and  Gloria Boutte, Ph.D.. Lunch will be served.

Stay tuned for invitations. Several COE classes have already engaged in a curated visit of the Black Joy exhibit. Contact Toby Jenkins, Ph.D. ( for appointments.

Martin Luther King at a microphone, one hand outstretched

MLK in his own words:

Martin Luther King's last speech,
"I've Been to the Mountaintop"  (3 ½ minutes)

The whole speech is also available.
 (43 minutes)

MLK: "The Other America" (41 minutes)

Videos can be found in the Blackboard site under Resources: COE Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. You should have access. If not, please let Joan Harris know.

Also, feel free to start a discussion on the Blackboard Discussion Board. Let’s engage in critical dialogue about DEI issues.

Martin Luther King at a microphone, one hand outstretched

MLK Social Justice Awards

Please join me in congratulating three COE faculty members who are receiving the Martin Luther King Social Justice award for 2023:  Eliza Braden, Ph.D.; Meir Muller, Ph.D.; and Kamania Wynter-Hoyte, Ph.D.. Video with remarks from the three recipients can be seen below.

Black man with saxophone sitting in front of a bar

Join us for The Sounds of Blackness: A Musical Interpretation of the Exhibit, “Revolutionary Love and Black Joy"

Join us as we close the exhibit, "Revolutionary Love and Black Joy in Schools, Universities, & Communities" with a musical interpretation of the memories, perspectives, thoughts and feelings captured in the exhibit. Acclaimed artist, Dante Lewis will musically guide us through an artistic interpretation of this educational exploration of Black Joy.

Light refreshments will be provided. Event is free and open to the public.

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion logo

ODEI Jet Awards

In the fall, ODEI initiated Justice, Equity, and Inclusion grants to advance the COE’s focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). 

Congratulations to two teams who were awarded ODEI JET grants of $10,000 each:


1. Advancing DEI Efforts into the Systems Improvement Ed.D. Program.
Team Members: 
Henry Tran, Ph.D.
Kathleen Cunningham, Ph.D.
Suzy Hardie, Ph.D.
Peter Moyi, Ph.D. (EDLP Faculty & Dept. Chair)
Era Roberts, Ph.D. (External member; Educational Professional: curriculum expert, API Batesburg-Leesville High School)
Mary Gaskin (Educational Professional: Chief Academic Officer, Lexington School District One; Doctoral Student Representative from the EDLP Education Systems Improvement Ed.D. program)


2. Environmental Justice in Elementary Education
Team Members:

Eliza Braden, Ph.D.
Todd Beasley, Ph.D.
Stephen Thompson, Ph.D. (Elementary Education Faculty)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.