Feb 26, 2021 · 3 min read

Black Teacher Collaborative, Education Trust, UPENN and More Join CZI at 2021 SXSW EDU

Researchers and Educators Discuss Creating Equitable Learning Environments

March 2019 | CZI Staff at SXSW EDU | Photograph by CZI

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) will host three panels at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) EDU Online event March 9-10, centering around the topic of racial equity in education. The full program list includes:

Education Policy and Equity in a Pandemic World

March 9 1:00 p.m. CST

A year since the pandemic first caused a major disruption to U.S. schools, there are significant opportunities to expand how student success is defined, advance how technology is used to support student learning, and shift how schools prioritize racial equity and the social, emotional, and mental wellness of students and teachers. In this conversation, experts will examine the opportunities and challenges ahead in policy to help create a stronger, more equitable education system.


  • Denise Forte, Senior Vice President for Partnership and Engagement at The Education Trust 
  • Jacob Allen, Co-Founder and CEO at pilotED
  • Dakarai Aarons, Director of Education Policy & Partnerships at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Beyond Representation: Measures to Ensure Justice 

March 10 12:30 p.m. CST

Measurement holds promise to lift the veil on disparities in educational outcomes. But what exactly are we measuring, and how are we ensuring these metrics don’t unintentionally exacerbate existing inequities? Where are we not measuring outcomes that matter, and where are we measuring outputs that don’t reflect the outcomes we’re really hoping to achieve? Are we relying on proxies that are themselves biased?


  • Jennifer Randall, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs/Associate Professor, Research, Educational Measurement, and Psychometrics/Director of Evaluation, Center for Educational Assessment at University of Massachusetts, College of Education
  • Ezekiel Dixon-Román, Associate Professor of Social Policy/Director, MS in Social Policy Program/Chair, Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate Program at University of Pennsylvania
  • Gaby López, Director of Research to Practice Measures at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Fostering Anti-racist Culture: Start at the Top

March 9 4:00 p.m. CST

Many school leaders believe addressing racial inequities is an urgent matter, but few feel equipped to take action. How can leaders at the top, particularly superintendents and principals, become unstuck to foster more equitable learning environments? Our expert panel will discuss actionable steps for leaders to create these environments and develop programsincluding anti-racist curricula, professional development, and community involvementso the responsibility doesn’t mainly rely on teachers. 


  • Hiewet Senghor, Founder & CEO at Black Teacher Collaborative
  • Evan Gutierrez, Managing Director of Curriculum and Assessment at Gradient Learning


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.

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