Wednesday, July 10th 2024

New faculty director for Equity in Learning initiative joins the Stanford Accelerator for Learning

Maisha T. Winn joined the Accelerator July 1

by Olivia Peterkin

Photo: Christie Gimpel


The Stanford Accelerator for Learning is welcoming Professor Maisha T. Winn as head of the Equity in Learning initiative. The initiative is one of six launched by the Accelerator to seize new opportunities in data, technology, and the learning sciences to create novel solutions that improve education.

“Maisha’s creativity, commitment to students and communities, and her innovative and groundbreaking research are a perfect combination for the Accelerator,” said Dan Schwartz, the I. James Quillen Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the Halper Family Faculty Director of the Accelerator. 

For Winn, MA ‘98, her new roles as professor of education and faculty director of the Accelerator’s initiative for equity in learning mark a return to the GSE, where she earned a master’s degree in Language, Literacy and Culture. She followed that up with a PhD in Language, Literacy & Culture from the University of California, Berkeley.

“After completing my master’s program, I was confident that I would continue my journey in the academy and that I wanted to be a researcher,” said Winn, whose scholarship focuses on restorative justice and contemporary and historical perspectives in Black education. “It was such a sacred and special time in terms of being introduced to a body of research, literature and thinking that really inspired me.”

Since then, she’s remained connected to Stanford as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) for the 2022/2023 year, and to the Accelerator by participating in its Equity in Learning design workshop last May. 

Winn’s upcoming book, “Futuring Black Lives: Independent Black Institutions and the Literary Imagination,” will be published next year. It examines the ideas and writings of leaders in Black institution building during the Black Arts Movement (1965-1975) and puts them in contemporary perspective. Winn says these “historical signals” provide context for equity work.

Winn comes to Stanford from the University of California, Davis, School of Education, where she was the Chancellor’s Leadership Professor and co-founder and faculty director of the school’s Transformative Justice in Education Center.

In her new role with the Accelerator, she will build on existing equity-focused work across the accelerator, spearhead projects that address disparities in educational outcomes, and foster collaborations with community organizations and educational institutions.

“I think this is such an exciting time right now for Stanford and the GSE,” Winn said. “The Accelerator is a source of such innovative thinking for how we can solve really important issues that are impacting young people in the country, all over the world, and across silos and disciplines.”

Winn started on July 1.

“I am incredibly excited and optimistic about Winn joining the Accelerator team,” said Isabelle Hau, the Accelerator’s executive director. “Her expertise and passion for equity in education will undoubtedly enrich our community and strengthen our efforts to create an inclusive learning environment for all students.

“With a dedicated faculty director for every initiative, I hope our leadership team will be able to implement cohesive and comprehensive strategies to address the diverse needs of our students.”


Winn is an American Educational Research Association (AERA) fellow and the association’s President-Elect, and a member of the National Academy of Education.