Dr. Ivette Dubiel
Dr. Ivette Dubiel (she/her/ella) is the founder, CEO and Chief Equity Officer for Systemic Educational Equity, LLC, a full-service diversity, equity and inclusion consulting firm. Systemic Educational Equity, LLC offers a wide-range of customized services for public and parochial school districts, non-for-profits and private corporations. Dr. Dubiel's passion for equity work stems from her identities. Born and raised in Chicago to young, Puerto Rican parents, her first years of life were met with financial struggles and transient challenges, in that, she attended six schools K-8. She was the first in her family to attend college. Prior to Systemic Educational Equity, LLC, Dr. Dubiel started out her career as an Investigator with the Chicago Police Department, Office of Professional Standards. In that capacity, she was responsible for investigating allegations of excessive force, police shootings, deaths in custody, and domestic violence among members of the Chicago Police Department. She also served as an Investigator for the State of Illinois, Office of Executive Inspector General, wherein she was responsible for investigating allegations of malfeasance, fraud and misconduct among State of Illinois employees. After almost a decade, Dr. Dubiel changed career paths to become a teacher. Dr. Dubiel was an ESL-sheltered and general education teacher in a public school district. She taught intermediate grade levels and sponsored several extracurriculuar clubs including Spanish classes for students and ESL courses for adults. She also served as the grade-level teacher leader at her school. Immediately following her years in the classroom, Dr. Dubiel served as an Assistant Director of Special Programs overseeing the EL department, Gifted/Talented program and Parent Outreach for Oswego School District 308. In 2014, she became the first Director of Educational Equity for Indian Prairie School District 204. Five years later, Dr. Dubiel served as the Executive Director of Equity and Professional Learning for the DuPage Regional Office of Education. After simultaneoulsy serving as a consultant for over six years to a variety of entities, Dr. Dubiel launched her own DEI consulting firm.
Dr. Dubiel currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at three universities. She teaches undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level courses related to diversity, equity, inclusion and transformative leadership. Dr. Dubiel is a co-founder of the Illinois Coalition of Educational Equity Leaders (ICEEL), and was the founder and Board President of the Illinois Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (IALAS). She also served as a co-founder and Board President of the non-profit, Happy Helpers, a 501C3 that organizes volunteer opportunities for families and children aged five and up. Dr. Dubiel also served on the Diverse Learner and Teacher Ready Network for the Illinois State Board of Education. Dr. Dubiel was a former contributor with Huffington Post, Latino Voices, and has authored these blogs: My Educational Experience, Pedagogy of Love and You Don't Talk Like You're Puerto Rican. Dr. Dubiel served as a member of the Community Leadership and Equity Advisory Council for U.S. Representative, Lauren Underwood.
Dr. Dubiel has earned a bachelor degree from Northern Illinois University, a Master's degree in Public Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a Master's degree in Education from Aurora University and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership also from Aurora University. Dr. Dubiel earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with a social justice emphasis from Lewis University. Her reserarch on transformative leadership led to her dissertation, A Case Study of Care and Relationships in Education: Opposing the Neoliberal Agenda.
Dr. Erica Dávila
Researcher & Editor
Erica R. Dávila (she/her/ella), PhD., is Professor of Educational Leadership at Lewis University. She serves as the current president of the Critical Race Studies in Education Association. Dr. Dávila has been teaching and writing curriculum for over 20 years in elementary, middle school and university classrooms in Illinois and Pennsylvania. She was the Director of Urban Education at Arcadia University where she worked with pre-service teachers to develop courses and a graduate certificate program. Dr. Dávila has supervised student teachers and coached them on curriculum design, specifically culturally relevant curriculum in Mathematics and Reading. In her current role at Lewis University, she works with aspiring and practicing school and community leaders working towards their doctorate in education. She teaches doctoral courses in Curriculum Theory, Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogy. Dr. Dávila works closely with her students to develop school-wide or community-wide initiatives, analyzing and envisioning school or district curriculum and policy formation. In addition to the work with her students, Dr. Dávila has worked on several scholarly projects focused on curriculum theory, most recently publishing an article with two colleagues entitled City of Wind, City of Fire: Education and Activism in Chicago 1966-1975 in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy that emphasized the pedagogical contributions that drove the political awareness and action of Black and Brown youth in Chicago.
Valentina Gamboa-Turner (she/her/ella), is an educator, researcher and project manager from Chicago working in community organizing and education for over 25 years. Earning her Master's degree in Community and Teacher Leaders program, Mrs. Gamboa-Turner worked with centers on popular education and family/community engagement. Her work includes facilitating culturally responsive and healing-seminars for K-12 schools, community organizations and postsecondary institutions. Currently, Mrs. Gamboa-Turner serves as the Assistant Director of Latinx Student Success for Northeastern Illinois University. She provides direct support for students and families as well as diversity, equity and inclusion professional development seminars for faculty and staff.
Dr. Elvira Pichardo
Dr. Elvira Pichardo (she/her/ella) is an Assistant Professor of Foundations, Language, and Literacy and ESL at the College of Education and Social Sciences at Lewis University. She has a Master's degree in Bilingual Education from The City University of New York, a Master’s in Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Pichardo's dissertation research focused on Dominican families' investments in education in NYC and in the Dominican Republic. She has over ten years of experience in education as a bilingual educator, bilingual coach, and instructional specialist. Dr. Pichardo has worked in both urban and suburban school districts including NYC and in the Chicagoland area, as well as various levels of elementary, middle and high schools and among adults leaners. She has worked predominantly with emergent bilingual students, focusing on instructional strategies, curriculum development, language acquisition, translanguaging, and mentoring and coaching bilingual and dual language teachers.
Dr. Aracelis "Janelle" Scharon
Dr. Janelle Scharon (she/her) is a Science teacher in Chicago Heights and TNTP Senior Manager of Academics - STEM. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where she majored in Chemistry and minored in Anthropology. After graduation, Dr. Scharon was awarded a fellowship to attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she completed her Master's in Cultural Anthropology and was introduced to community and education advocacy through teaching. After several years of teaching science, Dr. Scharon completed her Master's degree in Science Teaching from Dominican University followed by her Ph.D. in Science Education from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She elevated her work to include building leadership by completing a Master's in Educational Administration and Principal Leadership from Governors State University. As a school leader, Dr. Scharon has represented educators across Illinois on the Advance Illinois Educator Council, Illinois Science Teaching Association, and several Illinois School Board of Education Committees focused on teacher shortage, recruitment and licensure, and student diverse learner access and advancement in STEM. Dr. Scharon has worked alongside elected officials on education policy to advance youth apprenticeship and early access to college opportunities and workforce development. She currently serves on the Flossmoor 161 School Board of Education. Dr. Scharon identifies as Puerto Rican, Muslim, and a mom.