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Margaret K. Bass, Ph.D.



I began teaching in the public schools of Mississippi in 1974. Though I was primarily a high school English teacher, I also spent some years teaching middle-school age youth, Special Education, and Migrant Education.  My undergraduate degree is in English, and I earned an M.ED. in Special Education. After several years of teaching in public schools, I decided to focus full-time on my studies. I earned a Ph.D. in English in 1989, and I've taught at various colleges and universities since that time. I was tenured at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, and I retired from full-time teaching in 2016.


I’ve been affiliated with predominantly white institutions for my entire professional life.  In addition to teaching, I’ve also served in various DEI capacities on campuses, such as Director of Multicultural Affairs, Director of the Center for Diversity and Social Justice, and Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Social Justice.  I’m passionate about and committed to DEI and social justice.  I’ve also had some institutional success in achieving DEI, but I can’t do the work alone.  Your commitment must be sincere and authentic.  You must be willing to work hard, revision, reorganize, and believe in the transformative work that DEI demands. 


Honest conversations about “race” between black and white Americans are rare.  Guilt, anger, prejudice, defensiveness, and fear, hinder “real talk” about “race “and real progress toward the goal of DEI. DEI REAL TALK wants to do just what it says: I want to serve as advisor and confidential conversation partner to organizations, institutions, or small groups that are invested in and committed to doing the hard work of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  My approach is tough love and real talk.  Ask the hard questions you’re afraid to ask.  Want an honest evaluation of where your organization or institution is in relation to DEI?  I can do that.  Want an outline or plan to determine how to reach your DEI goals and commitments?  I can do that.  Want classroom or workplace observations?  I can do that as well. Want to discuss human and systemic barriers to achieving the goal of DEI?  We can do that.  I can speak forthrightly to groups and individuals about the importance of “real talk” as we begin conversations about DEI, and I can tell you why DEI is a moral, ethical, and human obligation.  DEI isn’t politics; it’s people.


I can’t transform your organization or institution, but I can tell you whether your goals are realistic and achievable, and I can collaborate and strategize with you as you create a DEI plan.  I can train, coach, and offer support to you and your staff as we work together toward the goal of DEI.  I can initiate and facilitate difficult conversations, and I have significant experience in restorative justice practices.

For further information or to make an appointment, please contact me, Margaret Bass, at

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