Innovations 2024 Sunday Keynote

General Session Keynote
Sunday, March 17
3:30 - 5:00 PM

J. Luke Wood

President, California State University, Sacramento

Keynote Address

Advancing Equity in Climates of Resistance to Promote the Well-Being and Success of Students of Color

In an era marked by social, political, and educational challenges, fostering environments that prioritize equity and inclusivity is crucial for the well-being and success of students of color. This dynamic keynote is designed to empower educators, administrators, and advocates with the knowledge and tools needed to create transformative spaces that promote the academic and emotional flourishing of students of color. We will (1) delve into the complexities of resistance within educational settings and identify the barriers that students of color often face; and (2) explore the historical, systemic, and institutional challenges that contribute to resistance, hindering the pursuit of equity.  In addition, we will cover equity-centric strategies, cultivating inclusive spaces, building collaborative communities, and action planning. Join us for this empowering session as we strive to create educational climates that not only resist the status quo but actively work toward dismantling barriers to success for students of color. Together, let's advance equity and pave the way for a future where every student has the opportunity to thrive.


Dr. Luke Wood became Sacramento State’s ninth President on July 16, 2023, returning to his alma mater, at age 41, as the youngest person to lead the university and the youngest permanent president in all of the nation’s public four-year colleges and universities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Black history and a master’s degree in higher education leadership at Sac State, then a Master of Education in early childhood education and doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at Arizona State University.

Dr. Wood served as a professor and administrator, including Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, at San Diego State University before becoming Sac State’s President. He has authored 16 books and published over 180 articles, book chapters, and other scholarly works focusing on racial inequality issues in education. This academic record led him to be named the first Black distinguished professor in San Diego State’s history.

In 2023, Wood was appointed by the California State Senate to serve on the California Racial Equity Commission. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc and an amateur boxer.

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