Past Institutes

2023: Wellness and Cultural Wealth: Exploring Racism and Mental Health in Higher Education

2023 CECW Institute focused on the impact of institutional racism in higher education on the wellness and mental health of students, staff, faculty, and administrators who identify as Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander and Indigenous, including those with intersecting LGBTQIA+ identities. 

Featuring nationally recognized leaders, student-centered, and interactive sessions, the institute explored ways that higher education institutions can respond effectively to the equity and mental health concerns of their community members of color. Efforts rooted in Community Cultural Wealth, that foster creative, protective, and activist spaces that strengthen resilience and wellness, and drive institutional change we spotlighted.

The 2023 Speakers and Outcomes

Featured Speakers

Joy DeGruy headshotDr. Joy Angela DeGruy

Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher and educator. For over two decades, she served as an Assistant Professor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and now serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Joy DeGruy Publications Inc. Dr. DeGruy’s research focuses on the intersection of racism, trauma, violence and American chattel slavery. She has over thirty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work. She conducts seminars, lectures, and trainings in the areas of Intergenerational/Historical trauma, mental health, social justice, improvement strategies and evidence based model development.

Dr. DeGruy has published numerous refereed journal articles and authored her seminal book entitled “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing.” She has developed the “African American Male Adolescent Respect Scale” an assessment instrument designed to broaden our understanding of the challenges facing these youth in an effort to prevent their representation in the criminal justice system. 

Dr. Angel Acosta

Acosta HeadshotDr. Angel Acosta works to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice and mindfulness. As a member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, he designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience to support with understanding structural inequality through a mindfulness-based and contemplative approach. Angel is a proud first-generation Dominican-American and graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh. He completed his Ed.D. in the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is currently the Director of the Garrison Institute’s Fellowship Program. He serves as the Creative Director at the NYC Healing Collective, a community initiative curating work and insights at the intersection of healing, wellness, and societal transformation. To support with expanding his research he is currently building the Acosta Institute--a digital learning and research lab fostering innovation at the intersection of healing-centered education, contemplative social science, and slow work.


  1. Understand and analyze the historical roots of institutional racism in higher education.
  2. Understand and analyze the impacts of institutional racism on the wellness and mental health of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander and Indigenous members of a higher education community and the urgent need for reform.
  3. Identify and understand the contributions of Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Indigenous educators, including those with intersecting LGBTQIA+ identities, to the advancement of equity in higher education, and the far-reaching impact of this work on the wellness of communities of color.
  4. Identify and understand specific policies and practices higher education institutions can enact to advance the mental health and equity of Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Indigenous people. 
  5. Recognize and apply creativity, healing practices, and activism rooted in Community Cultural Wealth, to foster institutional equity and wellness for people of color in higher education.
  6. Develop and strengthen professional networks and partnerships to advance equity and wellness of Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Indigenous people in higher education institutions.

2022 Recognition and Reckoning: Empowering Men of Color through Equity and Cultural Wealth

Re-envisioning our institutions as spaces designed to empower men of color will require a radical and honest reevaluation of who we are and what we do. This year’s Institute will center on the cultural wealth of men of color and apply an equity-minded lens to our own institutions. The three-day experience will feature nationally renowned scholars, artists, and activists, including Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. June 1 and 2 will be held virtually and provide breakout sessions, workshops, and critical reflection and networking opportunities. June 3 will offer in-person and virtual opportunities to strategize and implement key takeaways from the Institute.

2022 Speakers and Outcome

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Dr Ibram X Kendi - Keynote speaker of the 2022 InstituteDr. Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Dr. Kendi is also the author of many highly acclaimed books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and How to Be an Antiracist. In 2020, Time magazine named Dr. Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the Genius Grant. His relentless and passionate research puts into question the notion of a post-racial society and opens readers’ and audiences’ eyes to the reality of racism in America today.

Dr. Pedro Noguera

Pedro Noguera is the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the Rossier School ofPedro Noguera headshot Education and a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Southern California. A sociologist, Noguera’s research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education and Phi Delta Kappa honor society, and in 2020 Noguera was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author, co-author and editor of 15 books.

Tak Toyoshima

Tak Toyoshima headshotTak Toyoshima is the artist/creator of the comic strip "Secret Asian Man." Starting as a two-page monthly in a Boston-based arts magazine, "Secret Asian Man" became a weekly comic strip for the next six years. In the fall of 2006, "Secret Asian Man" was scouted by United Features Syndicate ("Peanuts," "Dilbert," and "Boondocks") and developed to launch in July of 2007 as the first Asian American comic strip since the days of Bruce Lee and Charlie Chan.

Toyoshima has worked on many comic art related projects and publications in support of marginalized communities including Secret Identities: An Asian American Superhero Anthology, New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei, APB: Artists Against Police Brutality, and most recently, Kwok, a self-published short story fundraiser to assist Asian seniors in the wake of the surge of anti-Asian violence. He also teaches a weekly comics and sequential arts class to middle school aged kids in Massachusetts' south shore area. 

2022 CECW Institute Outcomes

  • Identify and discuss Community Cultural Wealth of males of color and how to integrate that into curricular, co-curricular or administrative spaces
  • Analyze complex and intersectional identities of males of color, including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and gender identities.
  • Share and analyze resources used to facilitate successful outcomes for males of color. Examples include but are not limited to academic, community based, culturally sustaining, financial, and mental health resources.
  • Apply equity-minded perspectives to institutional systems, structures, and/or policies that impact males of color
  • Recognize and apply strategies that reform inequitable systems, structures, and/or policies that impact males of color
  • Analyze and discuss historical, cultural, and/or social factors that impact the experiences of males of color in academic or work settings.

2021 The Urgency of Now

The past year has illuminated inequities that have long existed in higher education, but it has also presented a unique opportunity. We have proven we can dramatically and immediately transform how we work and commit to equity and racial justice at the same time. If we want to transform higher education into an equitable system that centers and amplifies the cultural wealth of our diverse communities, the time is now.

At the center of a just transformation are two of the foundational beliefs of “transformative resistance”:  a commitment to both social justice and to challenging inequitable structures and practices.  Join us as we explore practical approaches and strategies to identify and reform inequitable, oppressive structures in higher education by centering equity and our cultural wealth.  The two-day virtual experience will be framed by our featured speaker, Tara Yosso, who created the theory of community cultural wealth. Yosso’s work has shifted our thinking, so we recognize the unique strengths and assets communities of color bring to our work.

2021 Speakers

Featured Speakers

Tara Yosso
Tara Yosso - Featured Speaker at CECW 4th InstituteTara J. Yosso is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California Riverside. Her research and teaching apply the frameworks of critical race theory and critical media literacy to examine educational access and equity, emphasizing the community cultural wealth Students of Color bring to school.

Claudia Rankine
Claudia Rankine - Featured Speaker at CECW 4th InstituteClaudia Rankine is a poet, essayist, playwright, and the editor of several anthologies. She is the author of five volumes of poetry, two plays, and various essays. Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. 

2020 Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth Virtual Institute: Plot Twist: Disrupting False Narratives in Higher Education

From politics to pandemics, the story of the need for true equity and cultural wealth has been unfolding around us with constant twists and turns. The next chapter of this story will be impacted by our collective choices. This year's CECW Institute on May 27-28, 2020, was an opportunity to begin crafting new narratives together through the disruptive power of hope.

*Faculty will be compensated for participation in professional development workshops at the contractual rate. Faculty and staff will be compensated for optional follow-up activities including curricular/co-curricular integration, research and resource development.

CECW Institute Program 2020

2019 Power and Place: Valuing Cultural Wealth to Advance Equity in Higher Education

The Institute, held from May 28-30, 2019, brought together higher education faculty, staff and administrators, artists, community-based organizations, K-12 educators, and cultural institutions to explore scholarship and practice that supports equity outcomes and values community cultural wealth.

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2018 First Equity and Cultural Wealth Institute

On May 22-24, 2018, more than 200 Bunker Hill Community College faculty, staff and community partners gathered for the convening of BHCC’s first Equity and Cultural Wealth Institute, which examined the impact of power and privilege on access and equity in higher education.

Read the Program