Leading with a Racial Justice and Decolonization Lens: Wednesday, July 24, 1pm ET on Higher Ed Live

Senior student affairs leaders face important and difficult challenges as student and community activism pushes for more inclusive and socially just institutions of higher education. These leaders need knowledge, skills, and courage to lead in these tumultuous times.

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Keith Edwards speaks with Robin Holmes-Sullivan, Jamie Washington, Patty Perillo, Jacob Diaz, and Kent Porterfield as they reflect on their recent ACPA Institute on this topic. This episode will explore how senior leaders in student affairs can effectively lead students, communities, and organizations effectively toward racial justice and decolonization.

This free episode will air live on Wednesday, July 24 at 1 pm ET. To watch the archived video, just return to this page at any point after the episode airs.

If you have questions for our panelists, in advance of the episode please email keith@keithedwards.com or tweet @KeithEPhD with your question and Keith will incorporate it into the dialogue. We will also take questions during the episode via the Twitter backchannel at #higheredlive.


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Episode Host

Keith Edwards

Keith Edwards

Over the past 18 years Keith (he/him/his) has spoken and consulted at more than 200 colleges and universities, presented more than 200 programs at national conferences, and written more than 20 articles or book chapters on curricular approaches, sexual violence prevention, men’s identity, social justice education, and leadership. His research, writing, and speaking have received national awards and recognition including ACPA Dissertation of the Year and ACPA Diamond Honoree. His TEDx Talk on Ending Rape has been viewed around the world. Keith is also a certified executive and leadership coach for individuals who are looking to unleash their fullest potential. Keith was the Director of Campus Life at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN from 2007 – 2015 where he provided leadership for the areas of residential life, student activities, conduct, and orientation. He was an affiliate faculty member in the Leadership in Student Affairs program at the University of St. Thomas, where he taught graduate courses on diversity and social justice in higher education for 8 years.


Robin Holmes-Sullivan

Dr. Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan is the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students (VPSL) at Lewis and Clark College. As the senior student affairs officer for the campus, her responsibilities include enhancing and transforming the student experience at the College, ensuring that the student voice and student needs are considered in decision making. Before joining Lewis and Clark College, she was at the University of California (UC) and held the role as UC’s systemwide Vice President for Student Affairs, where she provided strategic leadership in support of the 10 UC campuses in the development and implementation of systemwide policy and practice in the areas of undergraduate admissions, student financial support and student life. Prior to serving at the University of California, she served as Vice President for Student Life at the University of Oregon (UO), serving 9 of her 25-year Oregon career as the Senior Student Affairs Officer for the campus. At UO, she led efforts in support of students’ academic success including the construction of new residence halls, a new student union, recreation center and health/counseling center additions. She also provided leadership and policy development in the areas of sexual assault/sexual violence prevention, campus climate, co-curricular learning opportunities, suicide prevention, wellness initiatives and cultural competency.


Jamie Washington

Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington is the President & Founder of the Washington Consulting Group (WCG). WCG was named by the Economist as one of the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants in the world. Dr. Washington has served as an educator, administrator, and consultant in higher education for over 34 years. He serves as an invited instructor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is the President and Co-Founder of the Social Justice Training Institute and the immediate Past President of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).


Patty Perillo

As a renowned scholar-practitioner for 30 years, Dr. Patty Perillo provides leadership for 25 departments, and over 3600 faculty and staff, in the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech. She manages a budget of over $160 million and is responsible for 30% of the campus physical capital. She is committed to ensuring transformative learning experiences for students, as well as for faculty and staff. She is an assistant professor in the higher education program at Virginia Tech, past president of ACPA–College Student Educators International, and is certified as an executive/life coach. She’s worked at six other institutions for higher learning and obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware.


Jacob Diaz

Dr. Jacob Diaz serves as the Regional Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs & Dean of Students at the University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg where he oversees a diverse portfolio of areas including Housing and Residence Life, Student Conduct, Student Outreach and Support, Title IX Services and the Military and Veterans Success Center. His purpose in the profession is to create an environment where all students can cultivate their dreams.

In his gifted career of 22 years he has served in a variety of capacities in student affairs leadership, student conduct and multicultural affairs in 3 prior institutions. In addition to these administrative posts, he has served as a faculty member teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in intergroup dialogue, leadership and governance of higher education, community engagement and leadership. Dr. Diaz’ undergraduate degree is from the University of California, Santa Barbara and both Master’s and Doctoral degrees are from the University of Vermont. His dissertation entitled, Marginalized Narratives in the Academy: One Chicanos Story of his Journey in Higher Education was awarded dissertation of the year by the College of Education. He was selected to participate in the Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute and Harvard University’s Management and Leadership in Education program. In addition, he was chosen to be a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar.


Kent Porterfield

Dr. Kent Porterfield currently serves as the Vice President for Student Development at Saint Louis University. Kent is a firm believer in a holistic model of education and has worked cooperatively with academic leaders to establish a number of collaborative initiatives, including learning communities and first-year interest groups in residence halls, the Center for Global Citizenship, the Center for Service and Community Engagement, and Student Success Centers. In addition to his outstanding achievements on his campus, Kent served as the ACPA President from 2014-2015. He also served two terms as the Missouri College Personnel Association president and was program co-chair for the 2011 ACPA Convention in Baltimore. Kent has been the recipient of many awards and honors because of his excellent leadership and dedication to the student affairs profession. Among them are the Outstanding State Division President award from ACPA in 2003; the Commitment to Quality Award from Northwest Missouri State University in 2003 and the Richard Caple Award for Outstanding Service to the Missouri College Personnel Association in 2001. In addition to being a strong leader and the consummate professional, Dr. Kent Porterfield is a kind, humble person with a genuine spirit. His heartfelt concern for people, and for students in particular, is demonstrated through his daily interactions with students, faculty, staff and colleagues. Kent received his Ed.D. from the University of Missouri and his M.S. Ed. and B.S. Ed. from Northwest Missouri State University.