Minding the Obligation Gap
in Community Colleges and Beyond:

Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity

About the authors

Dr. Jeremiah J. Sims, inaugural Director of Equity for the College of San Mateo, was born in Oakland and raised in Richmond, California. Because of his own life experiences, Jeremiah has devoted his career to the realization of educational equity for hyper-marginalized students. Jeremiah is an alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley where he earned a B.A. in rhetoric, with honors, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in education. Jeremiah’s work, chronicled in his first book, Revolutionary STEM Education: Critical-Reality Pedagogy and Social Justice in STEM for Black Males (Peter Lang, 2018), details his experiences as an educator working toward a revolutionary, paradigm shift in the STEM education of and for Black boys. Sims, an educator, speaker, author, and consultant, resides in the East Bay Area with his wife, Rachel, and their five boys: Judah, Malachi, Zion, Freedom, and Jehu. Sims is also the editor of a Peter Lang book series, Educational Equity in Community Colleges.
Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza is Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College (California), with over twenty years of higher education experience. Dr. Taylor-Mendoza is continually inspired by the brilliance, power, and endless potential of community college students. Her research focuses on the intrinsic resiliency of students of color and institutional approaches to addressing systemic, structural inequities. She holds a B.A. in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, an M.S. in counseling from California State University, Northridge, and a Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate University.
Lasana O. Hotep is an educator and entrepreneur committed to developing strategic and practical solutions to address systemic inequities in education and society at large. He earned his B.A. in speech communications and history at Texas State University, San Marcos and his M.A. in history from Arizona State University. For over 15 years, he has worked at large research universities, two-year colleges, and as a consultant to educational and corporate entities in addressing issues of race, gender, and social justice and their impact on organizational success. Lasana most recently served as the inaugural Dean of Student Equity and Support Programs (SESP) at Skyline College in San Bruno, California. He currently serves as the founding Executive Director of the Equity Institute at Skyline College.
Jeramy Wallace is Associate Professor of English at College of San Mateo (CSM) in San Mateo, California. He has served in a variety of leadership roles, including as president of the CSM Academic Senate, as president of the San Mateo County Community Colleges District Academic Senate, and as the coordinator for the CSM Umoja Community. He has written and presented widely on race, educational equity, and social justice in community colleges. Jeramy received his M.A. in English from Notre Dame de Namur University and his postsecondary teaching credentials from San Francisco State University. He resides in Redwood City, California, where he enjoys being outdoors, writing, brewing, and spending time with his family.
Dr. Tabitha Conaway currently works at the College of San Mateo as Basic Skills Coordinator. Her research interests include juvenile hall-to-college pipelines for previously incarcerated youth, counter-narratives, and creating educational equity concerns for historically underserved and underrepresented students in higher education. Tabitha holds a B.A. in African American studies from University of California, Los Angeles, an M.A. in education, with a specialization in teaching in a global society from National University, an M.A. in history from California State University, Sacramento, and a doctorate in education from San Francisco State University.


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