Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy

Dominique Lightsey-Joseph, Ed.D., M.Ed.

Dominique Lightsey-Joseph, EdD, MEd, serves as the Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Strategy at the Center on the Developing Child. Dominique develops strategies and action plans to advance the Center’s commitment to fostering equitable outcomes in early childhood development. She also leads the co-creation of an organizational culture where all staff feel respected, included, and able to do their best. Dominique works collaboratively with Center Leadership division heads to ensure the deep integration of EDIB principles into all workstreams and to develop, implement, assess, and adjust strategy as needed to establish a sustainable, Center-wide EDIB infrastructure. 

Prior to joining the center, Dominique spent 16 years advancing educational equity and access for marginalized and underrepresented students through her work in college admissions. She has served on strategic planning committees and diversity task forces at public and private universities on both coasts. In service of Pasadena City College’s retention efforts for marginalized first-year students, she taught courses and aided students as they built their foundation of self-efficacy, information literacy and critical thinking skills. She served as a principal committee member for the strategic plan to diversify the UCLA campus population between 2010-2016, created and conducted implicit and institutional bias trainings for University of Southern California (USC) faculty, staff, and students, and spearheaded diversity “think tank” working groups comprised of higher education faculty, alumni stakeholders, community-based organizations, K-12 district superintendents and community college senior-leaders. 

Dominique is a two-time Trojan, having earned both an M.Ed. in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from USC. There she acquired her skillset for financing and assessing colleges for equity and investigating the roles power, diversity and equity play in organizational change management. As part of her dissertation in practice, Dominique researched and reported on the significant impact microaggressions and invalidations of employees of color (specifically Black women) have on their career trajectory and advancement into senior-level leadership positions within historically white institutions. This ground-breaking exploration of the inequitable working conditions of Black women in the Ivory Tower highlighted the transformational resistance strategies communities of color employ for survival in the field. Her dissertation culminated in the creation of a national civic engagement society for Black women across industries centered around fulfilling their dreams, prospering economically and paying it forward. Dominique is a Miami, FL native and earned her B.A. in English from Florida State University (FSU).

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