Culturally Responsive Pedagogy allows for learning to go beyond the surface level and create significant and meaningful learning experiences for all students. It moves past the “what” and into the “why” of education and allows students to have their daily experiences validated through learning. In this session, two practitioners with experience addressing the challenges of centering race and culture alongside their partners at the district and school levels will illuminate ways to overcome what can feel like overwhelming odds in this work. Through the case stories, work will be highlighted where advocacy and activism are taking place, as well as lessons learned around crowdsourcing and developing equity-centered solutions that promote culturally responsive and sustaining systems.
Rawlin J. Rosario, Senior Program Associate, WestEd
Rawlin J. Rosario is a Senior Program Associate for the Talent Development and Diversity team at WestEd. He delivers technical assistance; develops research and evidence-based tools and resources; and provides research and policy support with state, regional, and local education agencies to help build more equitable and culturally responsive systems.
Before joining WestEd, Rawlin was a middle school ELA teacher, instructional coach/leader, and administrator in Gaston, North Carolina; New Haven, Connecticut; and The Bronx, New York. In those roles, Rawlin was able to model outstanding culturally responsive instruction and deliver professional development to teachers and staff on instruction, systems change, classroom management, and culturally responsive practices. In addition to his experiences in K–12 spaces, Rawlin also contributed to the development and implementation of the New York State Education Department statewide framework for Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education—the first of its kind in the nation.
In 2018, Rawlin earned his master’s degree in educational leadership, policy & advocacy from New York University Steinhardt’s School of Culture, Education and Human Development. As a first-generation college student born in the Dominican Republic and an English Language learner, Rawlin is motivated to do racial equity work because he believes in the power of creating educational systems that reflect and honor the diversity of the communities they serve. He is dedicated to dismantling racist systems of oppression to ensure our Black and Brown students can discover their best selves and contribute to their communities in the ways they see fit.
Timothy Ojetunde, School Climate Program Associate, WestEd
Timothy Ojetunde is a Program Associate at WestEd on the Resilient Healthy Schools and Communities team, focusing on school climate and data use. He supports districts and schools in centering equity and improving educational outcomes for all. Timothy’s expertise is grounded in school culture and climate, restorative practices, SEL, and trauma-informed practices, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Timothy comes to WestEd with over a decade of knowledge and experience across multiple spaces and communities having been a teacher, advisory and school culture specialist, school administrator, and DEI consultant. In his work, he has coached school administrators, presented to leaders, and facilitated sessions for hundreds of educators and learners across multiple conferences. He is extremely passionate about creating equitable outcomes and is dedicated to supporting students and adults as they grow, develop, and find success.
Timothy was born and raised in Los Angeles and is a graduate of UCLA with master’s degrees from Arizona State University and California State University, Dominguez Hills. He also enjoys music, sports, film, and television.