UDC Equity Imperative and Social Justice Webinar – 5/27/20

UDC Equity Imperative and Social Justice Webinar – 5/27/20

UDC Equity Imperative and Social Justice Webinar

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


  • 10:00am – 10:05am     Welcome Notes from Dr. Carl Moore – Assistant Chief Academic Officer
  • 10:05am – 10:10am      Panel Introduction
  • 10:10am – 11:00am      Panel Discussion
  • 11:00am – 11:20am     Panel Response to Questions from Public
  • 11:20am – 11:30am Closing Remarks from Panelists
  • Adjourn    11:30am

In case you missed the webinar, you can see it below.

EI & Social Justice Webinar May 27, 2020


Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr.

Dr. Barbara Means

Dr. Barbara Means

Chavar Henry - SBOT

Chavar Henry


Dr. Kamran Zendehdel
Panel Moderator

Webinar Focus:

Bridging the Digital Divide in times of uncertainty for underserved students and communities in Washington, DC

The necessities of life include food, water, shelter, and now, the Internet. We need smartphones, computers, tablets, and technology to carry out our day-to-day routines. However, it is essential to know that 25 percent of D.C. households lack access to broadband Internet service, and 17 percent of them lack access to a computer. How are they surviving without this technological necessity? Access to digital devices is not only relevant today, but vital, as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed many aspects of our lives, presenting various challenges as well as opportunities to reinvent how we do things.

At the University of the District of Columbia, we are working closely with our faculty, students, staff, and partners to ensure our task — educating the next generation of leaders — is not impacted by this pandemic. UDC is a public historically black land-grant university in the nation’s capital. It serves the needs of the community of the District of Columbia and produces lifelong learners who are transformative leaders in the workforce, government, nonprofit sectors, and beyond.

Because all of our academic classes and community outreach programs have moved to online platforms, our students and community access to the Internet, and their ability to adapt to this new environment, will dramatically impact their success and progress. This challenge further highlights the Digital Divide issue in our communities. The digital divide is defined as the growing gap between those who have access to information and communication technology, and those who do not.

The evolution of the digital divide has transformed over the years to present itself as both a technological issue, and a social one. The digital divide disadvantages pockets of people in the District because of their income, education, age, and disability status. For many, the digital divide makes striving for upward mobility a nearly impossible struggle.

As part of the UDC response to the COVID-19 crisis, we will host a series of webinars entitled: The Equity Imperative and Social Justice. Part I of this series will highlight UDC and our partners’ efforts to bridge the Digital Divide for our students and community. During this webinar, we will explore challenges and potential opportunities for collaboration to provide adequate responses to continue our services and to minimize the digital divide.

This webinar is open to the public, and participants will be able to share their comments and questions with our panelists.

The panel will discuss Bridging the Digital Divide in times of uncertainty for underserved students and communities in Washington, DC. Moderated by Dr. Kamran Zendehdel from UDC, the panel includes:

Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr. (UDC Chief Academic Officer)

Dr. Barbara Means (Executive Director of Learning Sciences Research at Digital Promise)

– A representative from the Office of the District’s Chief of Technology

Chavar Henry (A UDC undergraduate student from the Engineering Department)

Panelists’ Biographies:

Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr., was appointed UDC’s Chief Academic Officer (CAO) in February 2019, after a 20-year career and leadership in higher education administration, including serving as a tenured professor, department chair, associate dean, two-time chief diversity officer, and Principal Investigator/Director of McNair Scholars Program. Dr. Potter is an experienced leader and accomplished educator and author.  He is currently helping lead UDC’s academic and research enterprises through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis.  His professional experiences at diverse types of U.S. higher education institutions (public/private, liberal arts/comprehensive/research-intensive, urban/rural/regional, HBCU/HSI/PWI) have made him a highly sought speaker, consultant, and commentator on matters related to college access; student success and retention initiatives; faculty development and advancement; academic budgeting and strategic planning; institutional climate and culture (diversity, equity, and inclusion); international education; curricular innovation and program development/growth; as well as fundraising, governance, and external relations.  Throughout his career, Dr. Potter has encouraged innovation in scholarship and teaching, launched initiatives to build interdisciplinary strength around global challenges, created environments that foster inclusive excellence, and expanded opportunities for experiential learning.  Dr. Potter graduated magna cum laude with a triple major in English, philosophy, and religion from Stillman College, and earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in English, with distinction, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A leading scholar of race and literary studies, he has traveled and lectured extensively in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Dr. Barbara Means, Executive Director of Learning Sciences Research at Digital Promise, studies the effectiveness of innovative education approaches supported by digital technology. With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she is currently studying the equity impacts of the shift to remote instruction caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Her other ongoing work includes supporting colleges and universities in implementing continuous improvement research on their efforts to incorporate learning technology in ways that enhance teaching and learning in high-enrollment gateway courses. Dr. Means has advised the U.S. Department of Education on national educational technology plans and has authored or edited more than a half dozen books related to learning and technology. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Chavar Henry, a proud Jamaican, enrolled in UDC’s Engineering Department after graduating from the prestigious Titchfield High School. He is working toward earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 2022. Currently a sophomore who is no stranger to the Dean’s List, Chavar was sworn in as the Student Representative to UDC’s Board of Trustees in May 2020. He currently serves as the Public Relations Agent for the Caribbean Students’ Association, overseeing promotion of the club’s events. Chavar is committed to his University and community, and aspires to impact the world with his intellect.