Dr. Tonikiaa Orange serves as the Director for the Culture and Equity Project and as the Assistant Director for the Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA Center X. Her work focuses on providing professional learning opportunities to educators on culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy and supporting educators in developing the skills necessary to facilitate conversations around culture and race. She is a former math and science teacher and principal of a k-8 school in Los Angeles. She teaches Theories of Curriculum and Instruction and School Leader as Researcher in the Principal Leadership Institute in the Graduate School of Education and Information Science at UCLA. Her commitment to education spans over 25 years.
Dr. Rita Suh has been an educator in Southern California for 15 years. As an educator, she has held many roles: classroom teacher, intervention teacher, literacy coach, educational therapist, and special projects TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment). As an educational therapist she helped students with learning disabilities develop strategies specific to their learning goals. In her role as a special projects TOSA, she coordinated, implemented and monitored site categorical programs; provided staff development and parent workshops; and collected data for yearly evaluations and assessments, including the evaluation of EL students. She is currently an adjunct professor at CSU Long Beach in the Department of Teacher Education and Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling.
She continues to pursue her passion for supporting teachers to maximize student achievement and opportunity for all students. In 2018, she started working with UCLA CenterX Project Social Justice through Language, Literacy and Leadership (Project SOL) as an Instructional Leader and with UCLA CenterX Culture and Equity Project as a Lead Coach. She also co-founded Myriad Creative Resources, an educational consulting company.
As a result of her many roles she has garnered expertise in teacher training, building professional relationships, increasing engagement, and helping teachers use culturally and linguistically responsive instructional approaches to raise the level of their students’ learning in all subjects. Rita has been a reviewer for American Educational Research Association (AERA) and has presented research and professional development for districts, universities, and research and teaching conferences.