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Wesley Williams II

Pronouns: He/Him

Senior Research Director
Wesley is a nationally recognized expert in educational equity, racial equity, and culturally responsive practice.

Wesley is a senior research director in NORC’s Education & Child Development department, where he provides high-quality, customized resources and tools for equity, racial equity, culturally responsive practice, diversity, and inclusion for states, organizations, districts, schools, and foundations. Wesley has authored both a comprehensive equity framework and a culturally responsive practice framework that is used to customized professional learning, equity implementation planning, thought leadership, development of state culturally responsive standards and guidance documents, and strategic planning. Williams has also served as a lead content facilitator and keynote speaker, and conducted planning for state and national equity forums, small meetings, and conferences using innovative adult learning processes and protocols. 

During his first year at NORC in 2022, Wesley launched equity and CR projects with the Colorado Department of Education, the National Association for State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), Region 8 Comprehensive Center, and Youth Empowerment Services. In addition, Williams serves as a subject matter expert and lead content facilitator for a host of NORC projects including a culturally responsive and equitable evaluation project (CREE) funded by the Kauffman Foundation, NORC’s Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion (DREI) Scholars Program, and supports and co-creates DREI projects with the NORC Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Communications Specialist. Williams has also received several direct requests: Delaware Department of Education to customize an equity and CR professional learning series for the state’s equity team and Career and Technical Education (CTE) student leaders and guide a workgroup to develop a CR framework and companion guidance documents; Birth to Five IL to plan and facilitate equity implementation planning and learning series for equity team and customize a culturally responsive practice professional learning series for regional case managers. 

Before joining NORC, Wesley was a senior study director at Westat, where he designed and customized equity and CR professional learning (PL) series and projects for educators and senior leaders in states, districts, and schools including YES of San Antonio, Worthington Schools, East Hartford Public Schools, and state education departments in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and Ohio.

Wesley has been called on by national organizations and states to lead the content development and facilitated large equity discussions at national and state meetings/conferences, including NASDTEC (January 2016, June 2017, January 2018, June 2018), CCSSO (March 2017, St. Louis), West Virginia Department of Education (October 2017, Charleston), and Milwaukee Teacher Education Center (August 2017, Milwaukee). 

Wesley is a skilled facilitator of Open Space Technology, Problems of Practice (PoP), and other collaborative group techniques. He developed a customized PoP protocol for the U.S Department of Education’s 2015 Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) project directors meeting and the TIF regional meetings in Austin and Washington, D.C., in September 2015. For the IDEA Data Center, Williams planned and facilitated a full-day Open Space Technology session for the 2015 national Big B conference in New Orleans. For the 2016 Title II, Part A, Ensuring Equitable Access to Excellent Educators directors meeting in Washington, D.C., he planned and facilitated two half-day Open Space Technology sessions. The i3 grant planning committee invited him to conduct three virtual meetings to introduce and conduct PoP sessions for the i3 grantees and conduct a PoP session at the national summer conference in July 2016. For the IDEA Data Center, he planned and facilitated PoP sessions for five national meetings representing nearly all 50 states and outlying territories in Kansas City (May 2016) and Savannah (June 2016), Orlando (February 2018), and Austin (March 2018).

In May 2020, Wesley received the Communicator Award of Distinction for two videos he produced in collaboration with Westat Graphics staff. The first video, an animation titled “That Noble Title Teacher,” was honored in the Film/Video: Inspiration category, while the other video, “Multiple Ways of Speaking” (written by Williams), was honored in the Film/Video: Education category. Williams’ videos are among the suite of materials used in his work to support equity and culturally responsive teaching and leading (CRTL) in education.

Quick Links




University of Mississippi


Jackson State University

Honors & Awards

Communicator Award of Distinction | 2020

Project Contributions

Supporting Culturally Responsive Teaching & Leading Among Delaware Educators

Developing a framework to help activate culturally responsive instructional practices in Delaware schools


Delaware Department of Education