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Ryan Oto, Ph.D.

Ryan Oto has taught social studies in Minnesota for 10 years. He earned his B.A. from Carleton College (2009) and received both his M.A. (2016) and Ph.D. (2021) in curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota, exploring the ways that teachers worked against anti-Black racism through their relationships with Black and Brown youth. Ryan exists in the space between the academy and K-12 schools, guided by the philosophy that research should improve communities. He has published in scholarly journals such as Race Ethnicity and Education and The Journal of Social Studies Research, and works as an instructional leader for a local public school district, developing anti-racist approaches to teaching.

Show Highlights

  • The idea of starting an affinity space
  • Participation in affinity spaces
  • Creating White Affinity spaces
  • Dealing with pushback

Connect with Ryan

We didn’t have to go through those barriers”: Culturally affirming learning in a high school affinity group

Marking the “Invisible”: Articulating Whiteness in Social Studies Education

Becoming Critical: Exploring the confluence of justice, belonging, and love with 6th grade youth

Additional Resources

Book Dr. Eakins

Amplifying Student Voices Program

Watch The Art of Advocacy Show

Learn more about our Student Affinity Groups

Free Course on Implicit Bias

20 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Activities

FREE AUDIO COURSE: Race, Advocacy, and Social Justice Studies

Hosted by Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins

A Weekly Livestream

Follow us every Thursday at 6:30 PM Eastern to learn ways that you can develop your advocacy skills in your school/community from experts in education.  

This show is built on three principles

  • The  Power of Preparation- Discover ways to develop a plan to address inequities in schools.
  • The Power of Persuasion- Gain an understanding of the art of influence and create a sense of urgency towards change.
  • The Power of Persistence- Recognize how to endure challenges as they may arise.
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Free Course

Enroll in this free course to learn about your biases and how to address them.

This course includes:

  • 11 video lessons
  • 5 downloadable resources
  • 1.0 Hour Professional Development Certificate
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An Affinity Space for Student Voices

Are you ready to transform the culture inside your district or school for the better? Enroll in the Advocacy Room today!

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Transform your school and your classroom with these best practices in equity

Leading Equity delivers an eye-opening and actionable discussion of how to transform a classroom or school into a more equitable place. Through explorations of ten concrete steps that you can take right now, Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins offers you the skills, resources, and concepts you’ll need to address common equity deficiencies in education.


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