Dr. Matthew D. Davis Racial & Social Justice Institute

A 12-hour, online graduate certificate program encouraging participants to strategize ways to expand racial equity and social justice in society

The Dr. Matthew D. Davis Racial & Social Justice Institute offers the opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to come together to support the understanding, knowledge and skills needed to create a socially just and equitable society. The curriculum focuses on both institutional and personal processes, values, attitudes and behaviors that sustain injustice while encouraging the development of positive educational, familial, community-centric, and social group advocacy and action.


We welcome professionals from traditional and non-traditional education backgrounds and industries to join the program. For more information on the Dr. Matthew D. Davis Racial & Social justice Institute, please review the curriculum offerings below or contact the director, Dr. Thomasina F. Hassler, PhD: hasslert@umsl.edu

Dr. Matthew D. Davis (1960-2020) was an associate professor in the Department of Education Sciences and Professional Programs at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He was a recognized scholar and historian of education whose many scholarly contributions include, Unmasking desegregation: Anti-Black school policy in the border South, 1954-1972, with Dr. Claude Weathersby as lead author; and Local curriculum work in post-Brown mid-American schools. As a beloved advisor, mentor, colleague and inspiration to many, Dr. Davis was known for his teaching in foundations of education and social and racial justice. The Racial & Social Justice Institute was named in his honor in August 2021.

davis research symposium

Applicants must be admitted to the UMSL Graduate School and must submit official copies of all higher education transcripts. A GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale is required. International students are required to document English proficiency by providing scores from an internationally accepted standardized examination before a decision is made on admission.

Plan of Study

Graduate Certificate in Social Justice in Education

Students complete 12 credit hours selecting from the following courses:

ED FND 6200 Demographic Contexts of Education 3
ED FND 6201 Race, Trauma and Education 3
ED FND 6202 Race and Culture in Education Policy 3
ED FND 6203 Political Contexts of Education 3
ED FND 6204 Intersectional Justice in Education 3
ED FND 6431 History of African Americans in Education 3

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.