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2021 Legislative Preview

Beyond Economic Mobility: Can Higher Education Advance Racial Equity?

Thurs. Jan. 7, 2021      5:30–6:30 p.m. PT


Join the UWAA and UW Impact online for the seventh annual UW Impact Legislative Preview!

The year 2020 is sure to be remembered as a period of historic upheaval, change and challenging conversations. At this critical time, higher education has the opportunity to strengthen its leadership in advancing racial equity and the power to expand the conversation beyond economic mobility.

Leaders from the UW, the state legislature and beyond come together for a moderated discussion about the role higher education can play in dismantling systemic racism and achieving a more just society, while holding one another accountable. Our state lawmakers will also share a preview of what’s to come for higher education and beyond in a very challenging budget session.

Cost: Free

About the panelists


Portrait: Crystal HallCrystal Hall

Associate Professor, UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Crystal Hall’s research explores decision-making in the context of poverty, using methods of social and cognitive psychology along with behavioral economics. This work has had a particular focus on financial decision making and economic opportunity for low-income families. In addition to broadening the understanding of this population’s behavior, her work explores new ways of incorporating these insights into policy design and implementation. She has served government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels, having most recently been a Fellow on the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team and at the federal Office of Evaluation Sciences. She earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton University


Portrait: State Rep. Chris CorryRep. Chris Corry, ’04 (R-Yakima)

State Representative; Member, Appropriations Committee

Chris Corry represents the 14th Legislative District, which includes most of Yakima County, all of Klickitat and Skamania counties and a small portion of Eastern Clark County. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from the UW, Chris’s career path took him to Southern California. After a few short years, looking for a better environment to raise a family, he moved back to Yakima—his wife, Jennica’s, hometown. An ardent supporter of our Constitution, Chris was inspired to get into politics to serve the Central Washington communities he loves.

As a state representative, Chris committed to the economic freedom and development of the Central Washington region. Chris believes an effective local school system is essential to healthy communities. A licensed foster parent, he is also an advocate for families and those struggling with mental health or addiction battles.

With over fourteen years’ experience in the insurance industry, Chris advises clients on risk management and how best to protect their employees and businesses. A volunteer with a variety of non-profits, such as the West Valley Citizens for better schools, he is also a board member of SW Rotary and Crime Stoppers of Yakima County.

Chris and his wife live in Yakima and have three children.

Portrait: Rickey HallRickey Hall

Vice President, UW Office for Minority Affairs and Diversity

Rickey Hall is the eighth vice president for the office of minority affairs and diversity. He leads the University’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and plays a key role in advancing institutional excellence. He has oversight of the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) which administers programs that broaden college access, support student success and enhance diversity-related teaching and learning across campus.

OMA&D also works collaboratively with and serves as a resource for colleges and administrative units as they establish, coordinate and assess their contributions to institutional diversity goals.

In addition, to being the vice president for minority affairs and diversity, Rickey is the University Diversity Officer for the University of Washington campuses.

Portrait: Victoria JacksonVictoria Jackson

Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Formerly of Education Trust

Victoria Jackson is a senior policy analyst with the state fiscal policy team, focusing on K-12 and higher education.

Prior to joining CBPP, Jackson worked as a senior policy analyst for higher education at The Education Trust. Her work focused on federal and state college affordability policy and student debt. She also worked as a researcher and state policy fellow at Policy Matters Ohio. At Policy Matters, Jackson worked on budget and tax policy related to K-12 and higher education and state and federal SNAP policy. While in graduate school, Jackson worked as a graduate assistant for the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and for the Ohio Department of Education. Before graduate school, she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with College Now Greater Cleveland, advising high school students at two Cleveland Metropolitan School District high schools.

Jackson holds a master’s degree from The Ohio State University in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in Pan-African Studies from Kent State University.

Portrait: Senator Emily RandallSen. Emily Randall (D-Bremerton)

State Senator; Chair, Higher Education Committee

Emily Randall was born and raised on the Kitsap Peninsula in a hardworking union family. As a community leader and advocate for health care and education, she is focused on putting the people of the 26th District and all of Washington state first.

Emily was elected to the state Senate in November of 2018 and is entering her third legislative session after being sworn in January of 2019. Emily is now the chair of the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee – having been elected by her colleagues after just one session – and served as vice chair of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee for two sessions until her December 2020 election to the role of Majority Whip. She will continue to champion health equity on the Health and Long Term Care Committee, as well as serve on the Senate Transportation Committee.

Growing up in Port Orchard, Emily learned the value of education from her parents and her teachers. Her dad worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and her mom started a career as a paraeducator when Emily was in high school. As the first in her family to attend a four-year college, she knows how important it is to make higher education opportunities accessible for all. She is dedicated to using her position on the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee to prioritize affordable college tuition and available apprenticeship and job training programs to prepare students for living-wage jobs at local businesses. Because of her work on behalf of students both current and future, she has been awarded the 2019 Washington Student Association’s Legislator of the Year Award, the 2019 Community Employment Alliance’s Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award, and the 2019 South Kitsap School District Superintendent Award.

Since graduating from Wellesley College, Emily has dedicated herself to expanding education opportunities and access to affordable health care for women, children and LGBTQ folks around the country – work that has earned her 2019 Tacoma Pride Pearl Award, the 2019 SEIU Social Justice Award, and the 2020 Council of State Government’s 20 Under 40 Award. The meaning behind the work is personal for her: Emily’s sister Olivia was born with severe developmental and physical disabilities, and it was their family’s access to Medicaid that made it possible for Olivia to live a happy life in their family home for 19 years. Emily believes that all families should have access to the health care they need to keep their families together, and no one should be at risk of bankruptcy because of their health care needs. In her first session as a legislator, she sponsored and passed the Reproductive Health Care for All bill and built a pathway to universal health care.

Moving forward, she plans to continue making progress toward affordable higher education and expanded health care access. She is proud to serve her community in the state Senate and to put people first.

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