The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) named Saroja Warner, Director for Talent Development and Diversity at WestEd, as Co-Chair for the SREE 2022 Conference Program. Warner will co-chair the program with Nathan Jones, Associate Professor of Special Education and Education Policy at Boston University. The theme of this year’s conference is “From Reckoning to Racial Justice: Centering Underserved Communities in Research on Educational Effectiveness.”

The conference will be SREE’s first in-person event since March 2019. Since the pandemic began, the organization has continued its work to advance research relevant to practice, from early childhood through post-secondary education, hosting conferences and other events virtually.

In addition, SREE co-hosted a webinar series last year that aimed to identify and cultivate perspectives, strategies, and tools for leading culturally responsive research that contributes to education equity along racial, socioeconomic, and gender lines, among others.

In a message posted to the organization’s website, Warner and Jones noted that going back to business as usual would represent a missed opportunity. “We see this year’s conference as a necessary and timely opportunity to continue the conversation that SREE began in earnest last year. To carry forward last year’s urgency and commit as an organization to building a research agenda that advances racial equity and centers underserved communities.”

Saroja Warner is a leading national expert on culturally responsive and sustainable education (CRSE), educator diversity and effectiveness, educator preparation and professional learning, and school and district improvement. She credits excellent teachers at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, for helping her develop a passion for history and eventually leading to a career in education. She started her career as a history teacher in the district she attended as a K–12 student. Since then, she has become a National Board-certified teacher, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, and teaches in the teacher preparation programs there. Throughout, she has championed education equity.

Recently she co-authored with Andrea Browning What Are Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education — and What Do They Have to Do with Critical Race Theory (CRT)? A Primer. The primer describes the three distinct concepts, discusses how each relates to equity issues, and explains how SEL and CRSE differ from CRT’s academic framework.

This year’s SREE conference will be held September 21-24 in Arlington, Virginia.