SEEDS Inaugural Statement of Solidarity

We find ourselves in a historical moment where science, technology, engineering and mathematics are unquestioned as important and necessary for participating in an increasingly technological and diverse society. In contrast, researchers with a long commitment to addressing equity and social justice issues, many of whom are scholars of color, have moved beyond mainstream ways of superficially addressing “STEM” education that do not explicitly address the role of power, hegemony, and oppression in science education. Instead, we seek to tackle issues directly and with transformative action. To this end, Science Educators for Equity, Diversity and Social Justice is an organization committed to researching, building, and sustaining transformative science education with all students through critical engagement.

Given the political moment in which we currently find ourselves, and in light of the increased bullying and attacks (e.g., directed toward women and girls, LGBTQIA people; people of non-Christian faith, such as Muslims and Jews;  people who are working class, poor, and/or homeless; immigrant and refugee communities; people with disabilities; Black, LatinX, Asian, indigenous, and American Indian communities, we feel it important to state clearly and firmly that we stand with you, and each other. We stand against unjust deportations. We stand against misogyny and trans/homophobia. We stand against anti-Semitism. We stand against xenophobia, racism, and anti-blackness. We stand to protect our planet, and our ecological communities, and slow the impact of human-induced climate change. We stand against economic and environmental injustice, and the contamination of our land, air, and water--contamination which disproportionately affects minoritized communities. SEEDS embraces science education as an important tool for transformative action and social/environmental justice. We recognize that critical and public engagement with any and all forms of oppression is essential, particularly in these times--even if/as we become increasingly targeted for our commitments to critical scholarship and public intellectualism. We stand in support of each other as we continue on this journey together.

Additional clarification of our standing against gender discrimination of all kinds…

We at Science Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice (SEEDS) stand united in opposition to the Trump administration's proposed identification of gender only through genetic testing and as a 'biological reality' determined solely by 'genitalia provided at birth.' We also want to make explicit that our formal position at SEEDS, as an organization pursuing equitable and intersectional social justice, is one of resounding opposition to any attempt to marginalize, oppress, and exclude members of our community. Below we highlight tenets of this statement of solidarity aligned with Trans+ social justice in the face of policies being supported that marginalize and oppress our community members. Principally, we argue that the most recent proposed policy change is outright dehumanizing:

  • Historical and present day discriminatory policies towards Trans+ subject positions need to be understood as also intimately connected to racist/white nationalist colonial rhetoric;
  • These policies embody reductionist paradigms denying intersectional analyses of the material realities that Trans+ people face on a daily basis due to bias and ignorance, oftentimes leading to physical, psychological, and spiritual violence toward our members;
  • Through decentering the voices of the Trans+ community, and disregarding gender identity justice more broadly in historical account and present day political movements, the proposed policy inaccurately represents the dissemination and application of scientific theories related to the interplay between identity, gender, sex, and sexuality;
  • We situate policies such as this within a long history of scientific praxis being used inaccurately, inappropriately, and unethically to exclude;
  • No one has the right to decide another person’s gender identity based on “ biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”
The proposed change in U.S. policy around gender identification is outside of our community’s conception of identity based on research in science, education, and sociology, while concurrently denying our members the right to be valued as a person and to self-determine. We commit ourselves to transform and reclaim science, education, and social justice for their radical potential to embody and foster critically understandings of diversity as the foundation for equity. On the next page, we provide resources to educate ourselves and others around this issue.

In Solidarity,
Science Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice (SEEDS)

Fruits doesn't fall far from the tree but there seeds can go places and wherever they go by their virtues they leave their traces
― Indira Mukhopadhyay
Stacks Image 2989

Leadership Team

Enrique Lopez
Stacks Image 234
Enrique Lopez is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the division of Curriculum and Instruction at CU-Boulder’s School of Education. Dr. Lopez’s scholarship explores students’ experiences in undergraduate science and their relationship to learning and achievement, particularly within the discipline of chemistry. Currently, his research focuses on exploring the cultural norms, behaviors, and values in undergraduate science education programs in relation to Latin@/x students’ decisions to remain or leave their intended majors. 
Daniel Morales-Doyle
Stacks Image 2970
Daniel Morales-Doyle is an assistant professor of science education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research examines the potential for science education to act as a catalyst for social transformation. Specifically, his work explores high school science curriculum, teaching, and teacher education with a focus on engaging youth in learning science and learning to critique science in order to access educational opportunities and to construct communities that are more just and sustainable. He was a high school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for more than a decade before coming to UIC.


Stacks Image 260
Deb Morrison, PhD, is an educator-researcher engaged in work around disrupting racism and improving educational opportunities in formal classroom spaces ( She is currently working as a research associate for the Institute of Science and Math Education within the College of Education at the University of Washington. Deb earned her PhD in Science Education, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado (Boulder)’s School of Education. She also has an Masters in Environmental and Plant Science from the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Morrison’s research interests lie at the crossroads of justice, environmental literacy and teacher education. She is particularly passionate about environmental justice challenges intersecting issues of race, culture and climate science. In her positionality as a white science educator and researcher, Dr. Morrison believes that praxis is a personal responsibility and seeks to engage in ethical research and it’s translation into practice. More about Deb can be found at

Alexis Patterson
Stacks Image 2660
Alexis Patterson, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Patterson’s research lies at the intersection of equity studies, social psychology, and science education. Her work explores 1) equity issues that arise from social hierarchies when students work together on group projects in science and 2) teacher development of practices that support equitable and robust interactions between students that can deconstruct implicit and explicit language and literacy hierarchies. Dr. Patterson was a middle school science teacher and intervention instructor supporting upper elementary students in the California Bay Area.

Cassie Quigley
Stacks Image 2979
Dr. Cassie Quigley is an Associate Professor of Science Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at Clemson University. She received her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction at Indiana University in 2010. During her time as a high school biology and physics teacher, she often witnessed students who were disengaged from school science. As such, her research focuses on broadening the ideas of and participation in science so that all students feel connected to science. Currently, she works with in-service teachers on expanding their current pedagogical practices to include equitable approaches. Dr. Quigley also teaches in the secondary and middle-level MAT program which are one-year masters and initial certification program for secondary school teachers. In this program, she teaches science methods, environmental science, and other foundational courses. Additionally, she teaches advanced Qualitative Inquiry courses for the College of Education.

Stacks Image 751
Alberto Rodriguez's research focuses on the use of sociotransformative constructivism (sTc) as a theoretical framework that merges multicultural education tenets (as a theory of social justice) with social constructivism (as a theory of learning). Thus, Dr. Rodriguez is investigating how—through the use of sTc as a guiding framework—teachers can make their pedagogy and curriculum more culturally and socially relevant to all students, as well as how teachers can better integrate STEM across all curriculum subjects. Currently, he is the PI of the 20/20 Vision for Transdisciplinary and Cross-Cultural STEM Education Project. This study involves the participation of faculty from all the teacher education curriculum areas (social studies, language literacy, mathematics, and science), and the project's main goal is to develop and implement a set of modules (lessons and activities) that can be used to illustrate how cross-cultural and STEM education can be integrated across curriculum areas. 


Stacks Image 2597
Dr. Alexa Schindel is an Assistant Professor of science education at the University at Buffalo.  Dr. Schindel is an active science and social studies educational researcher who explores such efforts as Citizen Science and other movements emphasizing the student as advocate, researcher, and change agent over their own environment. She explores such questions as, “What role does caring play in environmental education?” arguing that the development of caring relationships in formal school settings remains a foundational yet under-examined concept in environmental education research. Dr. Schindel’s work with River Keepers and other leading organizations that engage today’s youth in authentic scientific study of their own learning context has revealed that the caring role of the environmental science teacher in this study is significant; the teacher’s caring/carework mediates how students in his class relate to the environmental learning experiences. Further, through these experiences students in the study likewise initiated care both for themselves and others.

Stacks Image 347
Regina L. Suriel is an assistant professor of Science Education at Valdosta State University. As a past bilingual high school science teacher, she promoted science curricula inclusive of multicultural perspectives and approaches to teach the natural world. While culturally relevant pedagogy is evident, science curricula remains mostly westernized, often neglecting the contributions of the culturally diverse, minimizing the accessibility of science knowledge to all. In this effort, Dr. Suriel’s research interests are developing science curricula that supports both linguistic and culturally responsive instruction for all students' equitable contribution and engagement. Furthermore, the underrepresentation of Latin@s in science / related careers remains low. Dr. Suriel’s second research focus is in multicultural mentoring. Mentoring supports Latin@ students' transition from middle school to high school, and college to science careers. However, the number of Latin@ faculty in Institutes of Higher Education is abysmal. Multicultural mentoring for Latin@ faculty and students is needed to support Latin@ academic success overall, particularly in science careers.  

Stacks Image 292
Dr. Sara Tolbert is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Teaching, Learning, & Sociocultural Studies Department at the College of Education. Drawing from critical theory, critical feminist/feminist science theories, and critical race theories, Sara partners with teachers to investigate relationships among local and global justice issues, school science, community, and students’ experiences, and to understand how opportunities for justice are constituted within rigid institutional constraints. She has also collaborated on the design of new transformative models for science teacher education to improve teaching and learning for/with students historically marginalized in scientific research and science education. Before pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of California-Santa Cruz, Sara taught and directed programs for ESOL, science and sheltered science, and sustainability education in formal and informal settings in the South Bronx, NY, Atlanta, GA, South Auckland (Papatoetoe), New Zealand, and Latin America. 

Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez
Stacks Image 1003
Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Portland State University. She is the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Panama, and was born and raised in Miami, FL. She received her BS in physics and chemistry at the College of Charleston, a masters in physics at Wake Forest University, and her PhD in science education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has spent several years as a scientist in biophysics and physical chemistry, and as a middle school science teacher to predominantly Latin@ students in a bilingual setting, in Los Angeles, CA, and in North Carolina. She is licensed to teach K-12 physics, biology, middle school general science, and English as a Second Language. Her research focuses on critical and decolonizing approaches to science education, Latin@ critical race theory, Chican@ feminism, borderlands theory, and issues of social justice. She is a scholar-activist and an advocate for a paradigm shift in education towards critical, anti-oppressive, decolonizing lenses.

Matthew Weinstein
Stacks Image 2631
Matthew Weinstein is a professor of education at the University of Washington - Tacoma. He coordinates the secondary science program which focuses on democratic practice within the broadly defined STEM fields. His current research explores the impacts, limits and resistance to neoliberal capitalism within science education, schools broadly, and conversely the use of science within social movements resisting neoliberalism/corporate globalism. In pursuit of the latter subject he has conducted ethnographic research with the street medic community, the medics that have supported protesters starting with the March from Selma to today’s anti-corporate globalization protests. He is the author of two books, Robot World: Education, Popular Culture, Science and Bodies Out of Control, coauthored with Nidaa Makki. These examine the intersections of science education with patriarchy, racism, bioethics, popular culture, and science fiction.

Stacks Image 2618
Randy Yerrick is a Professor of Science Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo where he also has serves as the Associate Dean for the Graduate School of Education. Randy’s work as a researcher and teacher educator focuses on two central questions: 1) how do scientific discourse practices get enacted in classrooms and 2) how can historical barriers to science learning be traversed for STEM students through expert teaching practices? Randy has devoted his career in higher education to improving STEM education in k - 20 contexts and coordinates his university and school collaborations for maximum impact and relevance. Randy has received awards from science education organizations such as the Excellence in College Science Teaching Award from STANYS and the Teaching Innovation Award from The State University of New York as well as receiving recognition as an Apple Distinguished Educator. He has also received the Journal of Research in Science Teaching Outstanding Research Paper Award.

Committee Leadership
For a complete list of Committee Members and ways to contribute to SEEDS click here.
who we are
SEEDS Stands for Science Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Social justice.
contact us
Email questions about SEEDS to:
what we do
SEEDS is an organization dedicated to social justice within/through science and science education.
Stacks Image 3000
Find us on Facebook
Stacks Image 3003
Find us on Twitter @seeds4equity  
Stacks Image 3006
Find us on Instagram
© 2019 SEEDS Contact Us