Dr. Gray: blindspots in school belonging research

Award-winning author and researcher delivers keynote at SOE's 2022 Research Colloquium.

DeLeon Gray, Ph.D., speaks at the Dewey Gottwald Center on March 18, 2022.
DeLeon Gray, Ph.D. spoke at the Dewey Gottwald Center on March 18, 2022.

DeLeon Gray, Ph.D., an award-winning author and researcher on belonging and achievement among historically marginalized student groups, addressed a group of VCU faculty, staff and students recently at the Dewey Gottwald Center at the Science Museum of Virginia on the cultural and contextual blindspots in school belonging research.

Gray’s keynote address was part of the School of Education’s annual research colloquium, which highlights faculty and doctoral student research and research-related activities. The day before the colloquium, Gray spoke at Peter Paul RVA about how to break conventions to support belonging in predominantly Black schools.

In his research, Gray aims to support educators, parents, leaders and mentors in unpacking the concept of motivation, and works jointly with them to disrupt structural aspects of schooling environments that leave marginalized students vulnerable to anxieties about belonging. His program of research has been recognized by the receipt of many prestigious honors, most recently the Change Agent Award of Appreciation from St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C.

Gray’s research on belonging and achievement among historically marginalized student groups aligns with SOE’s research focus on issues of social justice, equity and diversity, as well as our Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s efforts to raise awareness and facilitate discussion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The events were sponsored by SOE’s Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, with support from the Office of Research and Faculty Development and donor contributions. SOE partnered with Armstrong High School in Richmond Public Schools, Peter Paul RVA, and the Science Museum of Virginia on these events.

View the Flickr Album of photos from SOEs 2022 Research Colloquium.

View the Flickr Album of photos from the Peter Paul RVA event.