About The Equity Avengers
At a California Community College CEO Conference over 10 years ago, Dr. Pamela Luster facilitated an accreditation panel, during which Dr. Keith Curry made an impassioned statement requesting support for Compton College. Unfortunately, due to time limitations, he wasn’t able to finish his statement, and the session ended. Dr. Luster apologized personally for not being able to provide that platform, and the discussion began. Both discovered that they started their official CEO positions at the same time, just that year. The two had the opportunity to discuss common ground and the work central to their careers, equitable outcomes for all students, and in particular, racial equity.
Over the next several years, Drs. Curry and Luster served together on various higher education equity boards and initiatives. They found that while their early life backgrounds were dissimilar, their future vision looked very similar. These common leadership issues regarding student-athletes, racial equity, basic needs, and more have been a hallmark of their shared work. In Spring 2020, the Equity Avengers created #EquityChat, sponsored by the College Futures Foundation, a weekly conversation held on the X platform (formerly known as Twitter) discussion for higher education leaders and the online community.
Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson has also been a leader in several statewide efforts to find solutions that address students’ basic needs, support undocumented and mixed-status students, and achieve social justice through focused racial equity efforts. In addition, she spent years working alongside Drs. Curry and Luster as president of Laney College and now at Evergreen Valley College, and she was inspired to accept the invitation to join the Equity Avengers as its third member in May 2022.
Dr. Curry and Dr. Luster established the Equity Avengers to recognize their united work – addressing community college students’ needs. Over the years, they have presented at national and state conferences on the following topics: community college athletics, basic needs of college students, dual enrollment, diversity, equity, and inclusion, community college CEO leadership, student completion, and guided pathways.