Dr. Raul Fernandez is the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at BU’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and a lecturer in Wheelock’s Higher Education Administration program. He is an accomplished educator, with thousands of people having attended his workshops at campuses, conferences and organizations around the country and internationally.
He is an elected Select Board Member in Brookline, MA and an appointee to the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He is also the co-creator of the popular Wide Lens film series at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, which seeks to explore underrepresented perspectives through film and conversation.
Raul’s signature workshop Blind Spots challenges participants to examine their background, beliefs and biases while identifying areas where they can do the work and grow. He’s facilitated versions of Blind Spots and other workshops for deans, faculty and administrators, doctors and nurses, lawyers and social workers, teachers and tutors, resident assistants, campus activities boards and orientation leaders.
He has also presented at numerous conferences including SXSWedu, the Conference on the First Year Experience and NASPA regional, national and international conferences. He's been a guest facilitator on Teaching in a Diverse Classroom at Boston University’s New Faculty Retreat and facilitated workshops at the New England College Health Association’s (NECHA) Annual Meeting, the Youth at Risk Conference, the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Massachusetts Drive-In Conference and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) Annual Business Meeting.
Raul previously taught courses in Speech and Communication at Miami-Dade College, and taught a section of BU’s First Year Experience course for five years. He also co-developed the curriculum and taught a Boston University course on Identity, Inclusion & Social Action. The course helps students to examine systems of oppression and identify opportunities to work toward social justice. In addition to teaching his own section, Raul developed the module on Race, Ethnicity and National Origin, with a focus on the causes and impact of implicit bias.
Raul’s expertise also includes engaging students in transformative social justice experiences, having led such trips to Haiti, Honduras, Israel and Rwanda. While working at BU’s Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, he also developed a 10-day social justice retreat to Washington, DC where students explored the interplay between those who advocate for and those who legislate social justice issues.
While working at BU’s Student Activities Office, Raul brought diverse speakers, performers and events to campus, including #BULEADS, a leadership summit focused on innovation, collaboration and social action, Let’s Talk About It, a moderated discussion on race, power and privilege, and Mind the Gap, a town hall conversation on masculinity and the gender divide.
In 12 years at BU, Raul has chaired or served on numerous committees including the Campus Activities Team, Alcohol Task Force, Scarlet Key Selection, Multicultural Weekend, Student Affairs Management Conference, Social Media Communicators and the University Retention & Engagement Committee.
Raul has been active in NASPA for several years, including a stint as the regional Latinx Knowledge Community Representative. He currently serves as a representative to NASPA's Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice Division as well as a Region 1 representative on the Faculty Council.
A first-generation college graduate, Raul holds degrees in Communication and Nonprofit Management from Boston University, Barry University and Northeastern University, as well as a doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Boston University’s School of Education. His dissertation examined the comments of 143 Student Trustees in Board of Trustees meetings at the University of Massachusetts, from 1969-2015. It sought to demystify one way that students can engage in institutional governance and policymaking at the highest level.
He has recently taught Legal Issues in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Current Issues in Higher Education and Diversity & Justice in Education.