Lindsay Dolce is the Chief Advancement Officer for Reading & Math, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing student achievement in literacy and math. She previously served as the Executive Director of Serve Colorado and Colorado Reads - Colorado’s Early Literacy Initiative. She also gained extensive national and state-level advocacy and outreach experience as Senior Program Manager for the David and Laura Merage Foundation. Dolce received her B.A. in English, Political Science and International Relations from William Jewell College, studied at Oxford University, and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Describe your area of study and how it relates to current policy discussions surrounding inequality.
Our area of study is how community members can make a significant impact on community issues. This approach inherently works to address inequities in society. In education, where this area of study has advanced the furthest, we have acquired substantial evidence that community-members serving in Reading Corps or Math Corps can and do support schools to improve student reading and math outcomes. These community members often reflect the backgrounds and experiences faced by students, such that not only are they delivering educational interventions that significantly improve reading and math outcomes--in many cases with empirical evidence for closing the achievement gap--they provide students literally living proof that they can make a positive impact on their local communities.
What areas in the study of inequality are most in need of new research?
In the area of recovery from drug and substance abuse--which is disproportionately negatively impacting communities of color and lesser financial resources--what is the potential to tap community members to deliver recovery supports that align with evidence-based practices and produce a demonstrable effect on individual recovery outcomes?
What advice do you have for emerging scholars in your field?
Don't underestimate the power of communities to lift themselves up, not just in an inspirational sense but in an empirical sense.