LEAPS Speaker Series I

“White Space: A Critical Race Examination of Equity in Higher Education”

On Jan. 31, 2024, Russell A. McClain, JD, of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, along with Rossina Zamora Liu, PhD, and William Ming Liu, PhD, of the University of Maryland, College Park, discussed the creation and manifestation of white space and time in higher education, including in physical spaces, curricula, and other aspects of our learning environments. They also discussed the consequences of these environmental dynamics on marginalized communities. Opportunities were provided for attendees to participate in the discussion about these issues and to explore application within their own domains.

Russell McClain, JD Bio 

image used for bio referenceRussell A. McClain is a professor and associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey Law School. Professor McClain’s scholarly interest is in the environmental factors that affect academic performance, including stereotype threat and implicit bias.  He has published two articles on these topics and is the author of the book “The Guide to Belonging in Law School” (West Academic).  Professor McClain is the former president of the Association of Academic Support Educators. He has been honored by the Maryland Black Law Students Association as a law school alum and as Professor of the Year.  He also received UMB’s Founders Week Educator of the Year Award in 2020.

Rossina Zamora Liu, PhD Bio 

Rossina Zamora Liu is an assistant professor in urban education in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership within College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). She has an MFA degree from the renowned Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program and a PhD from the Language, Literacy, and Culture Program, both from the University of Iowa. As a critical race and publicly engaged literacy educator, writer, and ethnographic researcher, she has worked with local artists, musicians, filmmakers, and people of color on community-based projects; first-generation college student-athletes; high school/middle school students in urban and rural communities; and community college students. 

Her work focuses on anti-racist social justice education; systems of white supremacy and anti-Blackness in school and society; critical ethnographic methodologies; counterstorytelling in pedagogical and research methods; and cross-racial solidarity and coalition building among Asian American, Black, and non-Black communities. She has published several articles in these areas, and she is the co-author of “Systems of White Supremacy and White Privilege: A Racial-Spatial Framework for Psychology” (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). She also has been a guest co-editor for several journal special issues about race, education, and anti-racism. She has been awarded for her scholarship and for her teaching both at UMCP and the University of Iowa.  

William Ming Liu, PhD Bio 

William Ming Liu is a professor of counseling psychology and chair of the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. His scholarly interests are in social class and classism, men and masculinity, and white supremacy and privilege. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition for his leadership and work in these areas.  He has authored and edited numerous books and journal articles and is cited frequently as an expert on these topics. He is the co-author of the book “Systems of White Supremacy and White Privilege: A Racial-Spatical Framework for Psychology” (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). He is the incoming editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology and the past editor of the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinities.