Center for Educational Justice

The University of Redlands re-launched the Center for Educational Justice (CEJ) in the fall of 2022 with the goal of expanding the work of the CEJ in supporting initiatives that promote justice, strengthen democracy, and encourage community and civic engagement. The new leadership at the CEJ aims to broaden the scope and reach of the CEJ across the University of Redlands, in local schools and districts, and with community partner organizations.

Center for Educational Justice Leadership


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Dr. Mikela Bjork, Co-Director

Mikela Bjork is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She is a poet, a mother, and an advocate for marginalized youth, engaging educators in conversations around the intersections of queerness, dis/ability, race and class.

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Dr. Brian Charest, Co-Director 

Brian Charest is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching in Learning and the lead instructor for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course for the School of Education. His latest book, Civic Literacy in Schools and Communities, examines the role of teachers and students in efforts to reform schools and revitalize communities. He’s written extensively about education, democracy, and social justice.

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Fidel Chagolla, Graduate Assistant for CEJ

Fidel Chagolla is a graduate student in the School of Education in the MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Fidel is also an organizer with All Of Us Or None, a community-based group that works to support justice-impacted individuals.

Center for Educational Justice Initiatives


To work with stakeholders at the University of Redlands and beyond to support justice-related activities that serve the greater good.


To develop new initiatives that promote more democracy, justice, and equality.

Guiding Principles

The Center for Educational Justice (CEJ) is grounded in a shared set of principles, which include a commitment to the following ideals:

  • promoting more democracy
  • advocating for more justice and equality
  • preserving free speech and open inquiry
  • building collaborative spaces
  • supporting civic and community engagement
  • working across social and political boundaries


The Center for Educational Justice embraces a broad set of goals and works to develop, expand, and support initiatives that promote educational and social justice.

Current CEJ Research and Initiatives


The Race in Education Analytics Learning (REAL) Lab: Understanding the Role of Race in Education

The Race in Education Analytics Learning (REAL) Lab: Understanding the Role of Race in Education fosters the ability for School of Education students to produce knowledge and resources about the role of race in education. 

The REAL Lab engages students in:

  • Accessing data to critically examine the role of race in education systems, policies, and practices
  • Data-informed advocacy and change efforts across the K-20 continuum

In the REAL Lab, Latinx and Black students:

  • Conduct and participate in quantitative and mixed methods research projects
  • Participate in hands-on workshops using analytic tools
  • Reflect on how their own racial identities shape their experiences through affinity groups

Learn more about the REAL Lab here.


Inland Empire Educators for Social Justice - IEESJ

Inland Empire Educators for Social Justice

The Inland Empire Educators for Social Justice is a grassroots organization that is committed to creating just, democratic, and anti-racist schools and communities. IEESJ is composed of local administrators, teachers, university faculty, activists, and guardians.

We collaborate with schools and community-based organizations to help facilitate anti-racist conversations, develop anti-racist curricula, and co-create spaces for courageous conversations related to bringing more justice and democracy to schools and communities.

Learn more about IEESJ here.


Inside Out Course

Critical Perspectives on Education and Inequality in America

Community-based Section from Inside the Justice System

Are you interested in a career in education? Do you want to examine how we can disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline? This course explores critical perspectives on education and justice, while learning inside a prison alongside students who are incarcerated. Topics include theoretical frameworks for understanding the work of teachers, the purpose of public education in a democratic society, the school-to-prison and the prison-to-school pipelines, and the intersection of race, class, gender, and discipline in schools. This is the first course in the teacher credential program and can also count as elective credit in other programs. All classes meet inside the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) in Norco. Carpooling will be available.

Learn More about the Inside Out course

Professional Development


Join the Movement for Educational Justice

The School of Education's Center for Educational Justice is rooted in the mission to advance a more just society for all, appreciating the diversity of people and ideas.

If you're interested in learning more about the Center for Educational Justice or have an idea for a new initiative, please contact us.