January 16, 2024

Volume 2, Edition 10

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Photo: Bishop Julian Smith (left) & Rev. Ralph Abernathy (right) flank Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during a civil rights march in Memphis on March 28, 1968. Jack Thornell/AP

Dean’s Letter 


The World’s Least Likely Revolutionaries


Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.

Martin Luther King Jr.


In his final speech on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. had traveled to Memphis to speak to striking sanitation workers. Eight weeks prior, two of these workers, Robert Walker and Echol Cole, had died in a horrific accident, crushed by a defective sanitation compactor. Earning low wages and lacking insurance, overtime pay, sick leave, or pensions, the 1300 workers found themselves in a precarious circumstance.


Facing threats from the Mayor of Memphis and not members of a union, the workers nevertheless went on strike and received several visits from Dr. King, including that night. In the throes of tornado warnings and inclement weather, he spoke extemporaneously, but eloquently to the audience of around 15,000, many of whom were descendants of slaves from the region of the South called the Delta. Author, journalist, and political philosopher Garry Wills, who is 89 years of age today, called the striking workers “the world’s least likely revolutionaries.”


Most presciently, Dr. King ended the speech with this:


I’ve been to the mountaintop …I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.


He would be dead less than a day later.


I often say that as educators, we prepare people for a world we will not see. This knowledge requires us to exist wholly in the present, but with an eye toward an unknown future. It also demands we understand the past.


I recently undertook a national research investigation with my co-principal investigator, Dr. Jill Perry, who is the Executive Director of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate and a professor at University of Pittsburgh. In this study, we are seeking to understand how CPED-influenced doctoral programs have prepared and now sustain scholarly practitioners.


One of my participants, an African American woman who is now an admissions leader at US-based medical school, talked with me about the intersections of being black, being a woman, and being a medical professional. Lillian (a pseudonym) described how selecting students for medical school is far more than high MCAT scores. Possessing dispositions of ethics, justice, and equity lead to medical providers who demonstrate care of their patients.


But it is more than dispositions that matter, Lillian pointed out. She lost her mother, grandmother, and sister-in-law in medical circumstances that could have had far different outcomes if the medical providers had simply listened to these women.


Representation matters.


Black female medical professionals help foster values of listening to black women who suffer disproportionate silencing when they seek medical care.


Nearly 56 years after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final speech of encouragement to African American sanitation workers, a young, Black woman commits her days to advocacy for a new generation, seeking to give all medical professionals and their patients a future America beyond merely what ought to be. Every day we have opportunities to be more than the world’s least likely revolutionaries.


Looking forward,


Elizabeth C. Orozco Reilly

N.B. Read Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech, I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.


Photo: "I am a man". Sanitation workers on strike in Memphis, TN, March 1968. Via Walter P. Reuther Library/Wayne State University


SOE Transitions

While it is never easy to announce the departure of a colleague, I am thrilled for Brittany Heery and the new opportunity she has accepted on our campus as ​Coordinator of Enrollment Management Events in ​Management and Marketing. She departs SOE for her new position after January 16, 2024. 

Brittany arrived three days after I did in June 2022, and I have frequently said she was the surprise gift to this new Dean. Her contributions have left a significant mark on SOE. 

  • In her role as Social Media and Events Coordinator, Brittany orchestrated a remarkable 300% increase in engagement and traffic across all social media platforms, expanding our reach and impact. 
  • As Chair of the Committee of the Social Justice in Education Conference, she assisted in doubling the guest count, fostering greater connections with our region and students. She has also overseen dozens of events in addition to SOJU. 
  • Brittany's initiative in creating a newsletter saw its subscriber base grow from zero to nearly 4,000 community members, providing a direct channel for communication and community-building within the School of Education and with our external partners. 
  • She played a key role in enhancing our online presence through the creation and upkeep of webpages. 

As Brittany takes the next step in her professional journey, please join me in thanking her for her dedication to her work with us and in wishing her continued success. I look forward to the positive impact she will undoubtedly have across our university in her new role and wish her the very best!

A Call to Action: Join the Effort to Survey Homelessness in Ventura County

In an initiative aimed at obtaining a comprehensive snapshot census of individuals experiencing homelessness in Ventura County, community members are invited to participate in a vital survey. This survey not only serves as a means to understand the extent of homelessness but also opens avenues for accessing crucial state and federal funding. Open the flyers below to learn more about how you can participate.

Point in Time Count- English

Point in Time Count- Spanish

Upcoming Information Sessions

All sessions will be held via Zoom. Registered participants will receive an email with meeting details.

Please register in advance. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming session.

General Credential Program Information Sessions

FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2024, 3 – 4:30PM

Please register here

MA in Education Information Sessions

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2024, 5:15-6:00PM

Please register here

Upcoming Events



SOE All School Retreat

Our faculty and staff luncheon will be taking place on  on Thursday, January 18, 2024 in the Broome Library Exhibition Hall from 8:30-1:00. Coffee and treats are to be served beginning at 8:30 followed by lunch at noon. Please be sure to bring your laptop and charger so that you can follow along with any materials being presented. Please email Evan at evan.hill@csuci.edu with any questions or concerns.

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Show Your School Pride with CSUCI Gear on Wednesdays

The School of Education invites you to display your school spirit by wearing your CSUCI apparel every Wednesday! Stop by the Cove Bookstore on Wednesdays to get your gear and receive an extra 20% off your purchase.

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