President Allen talks equity in education on podcast

  • Posted in All University
  • Category: Campus News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. — President Brenda A. Allen recently discussed access and equity in higher education on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's podcast titled PDE Presents, hosted by Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Noe Ortega.

"My whole professional life has really been dedicated to creating spaces and opportunities for people of color to actually get a great education so that they can go out into the world and be full participants in society."

Listen to the podcast.

Allen speaks at length about leading through a lens of equity and the challenges that it brings.

"Even in our institutions where we have these long histories and missions of trying to support African-American students in their education and their post-graduation success, there's still many barriers, many perceptions about who our students are, what intelligence looks like, and then what our role is to make sure that our students can graduate and be successful as any of their colleagues who attend colleges anywhere else. And so generally, my leadership is guided by just the real value and commitment to equity, and it's manifested both as a teacher and an administrator.”

Allen said that the pandemic has shown her both the power and limitations of technology."

The challenges have been magnified because of the pandemic. Still, she said technology became an advantage in making sure the University could deliver continuity of education. However, the University had to do a lot to make sure that there was equal access.

She said the downfall of technology—especially for students who thrive in a face-to-face, hands-on educational experience—is that it cannot replace "the community itself, the campus is a place that's also transformative."

"I think that we really came to understand the importance of place, the social capital that many of our students have access to when they're actually on campus."

She speaks of a Lincoln education not just as the courses but also experiences such as internships, research, and community services in higher education.

"Education is not just about the courses, but it's really about the wraparound experiences of being in higher education."

In welcoming Allen, Ortega described Lincoln University as having "solidified its legacy as an institution that fosters an environment for students to grow and contribute to society as businessmen and women, regional and global leaders, innovators, and educators."

The Pennsylvania Department of Education's mission is to ensure that every learner has access to a world-class education system. The podcast PDE Presents is a series for lifelong learners that is dedicated to elevating voices across the commonwealth.


Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. Lincoln offers a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse student body of approximately 2,200 men and women in more than 35 undergraduate and graduate programs.