Estela Mara Bensimon

Dean’s Professor in Educational Equity
USC Rossier School of Education

Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon is the Dean’s Professor at the Rossier School of Education and the Founding Director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California. Professor Bensimon has dedicated over 20 years of work towards creating tools to bring about racial equity in higher education policy, practices, and outcomes. Professor Bensimon believes racial inequity in higher education is created through practices, structures, and policies that produce racist results even while being passed off as race-neutral. She blames the fear of straight-talk about race and racism for the inequality Blacks, Latinx, and Indigenous people continue to experience in higher education more than 50 years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Her most recent book (with co-authors Tia McNair and Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux) is titled From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education. Professor Bensimon is an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Education and serves as a Fellow in the American Education Research Association. She also serves on the boards of Complete College America and the Campaign for College Opportunity and is a governor-appointed member of the Education Commission of the States.

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