Mica Pollock, an anthropologist, is Professor of Education Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at the University of California, San Diego. Her newest book is Schooltalk: Rethinking What We Say About –and To – Students Every Day (The New Press).

Mica Pollock’s work emphasizes educators’ crucial role in daily efforts for antiracism and equality and pinpoints the key role of language in educators’ work. Through research based in schools, districts, cities, universities, community organizations, and the government, Pollock has created award-winning books and other tools expressly designed to support educators in equity- and inclusion-oriented dialogue and action. Pollock’s work is recognized nationally as offering “talk tools” supporting antiracist and pro-diversity dialogue in schools. Her first book, Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School (2004), helped readers navigate core struggles over talking (and not talking) in racial terms in schools. Because of Race: How Americans Debate Harm and Opportunity in Our Schools (2008), examined common debates over improving the school experiences of students and families of color, as experienced in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. In Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real about Race in School (2008), she organized 70 scholars to write short essays supporting educators to discuss everyday issues of race, opportunity and diversity in their work. In 2009-11, Pollock collaborated with educators, families, students, and programmers in The OneVille Project, piloting new ways that commonplace technology might help a diverse education community to communicate and collaborate in young people’s success. In her newest book, Schooltalk: Rethinking What We Say About – and To—Students Every Day, Pollock synthesizes her two decades of research and practice on communication, race and equity to help educators redesign talk for equity and improved student support in their schools. Her newest project designed with educator partners, #USvsHate, engages educators and students in proactive inclusion and unity dialogues, then public anti-hate messaging inviting youth to say loudly that all people are equally valuable.

Pollock’s work always asks how diverse education communities can come together to support equity – to develop the full human talents of every young person and all groups of young people, every day. Pollock’s current work as Director of CREATE explores how networks of conversation partners can leverage a university to create K-20 opportunities to learn.

Since 2011, with CREATE colleagues, Pollock has worked to spark new equity conversations in San Diego. At CREATE, she helps to network UCSD’s people, resources, and opportunities to the diverse K-12 educators, students, and families of the San Diego region, with the goal of co-creating new opportunities to learn for both students and teachers. Pollock and CREATE colleagues have most recently spearheaded the CREATE STEM Success Initiative (CSSI), a visionary collective effort linking UC San Diego faculty, staff and students and the San Diego education community in a shared effort to support and increase K-20 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education opportunity in the region (see create.ucsd.edu). Like all of Pollock’s work, the CSSI explores how diverse communities can come together in student support efforts and make more opportunities to go around.

All of these experiences, plus nearly two decades of work to support teachers, administrators, and students in diverse settings, provide content for Schooltalk. Pollock has also launched #schooltalking, a Facebook and Twitter-based effort to support equity-minded educators in dialogue and resource-sharing online.

Recently, Pollock has been researching the wave of efforts to restrict learning about race and diversity, including The Conflict Campaign (2022, with John Rogers and team). Pollock previously taught high school in California and worked in the civil rights field. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford.

For a list of publications, including downloadable material, see https://ucsd.academia.edu/MicaPollock

Mica’s Other Books:

Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School

Everday Antiracism: Getting Real about Race in School

Because of Race: How Americans Debate Harm and Opportunity in our Schools

A Companion to the Anthropology of Education