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Throughout her career in Early Childhood Education, Mariana Souto-Manning, Ph.D., has used her passion for equity and justice to envision and build learning environments that support the unique brilliance of multi-lingual students. She has dedicated herself to developing educators who support the development of children, their families, and their communities.
Dr. Souto-Manning’s personal life experiences have shaped her into an advocate for children and championing change in classrooms and systems that continue to oppress children of Color. Dr. Souto-Manning began her career as a teacher in public preschools in Brazil, where, as a Brazilian woman of Color, she observed the need for change. That mission took her to the University of Georgia at Athens, where she completed her undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.
Dr. Souto-Manning has developed and taught courses in Teacher Education, Integrated Early Childhood Education and Special Education Programs, Child Development, Linguistics, and Early Childhood Education. A vision for equity and justice drives Dr. Souto-Manning. Her work examines the wrongs of the past from a restorative point of view that seeks societal healing to create more holistic educators, clinicians, parents, and lifelong learners.
As President of Erikson Institute, Dr. Souto-Manning takes a hands-on approach by actively communicating with Erikson faculty, staff, students, trustees, and community partners. She has an open-door policy where students, faculty, and staff can come to chat with her. As an Afro-Latina, Dr. Souto-Manning joins a distinguished group of women of Color who currently make up just 5 percent of all presidents in higher education. Dr. Souto-Manning seeks to use her role to highlight the importance of diversity in Erikson’s academic programs as well as across the organization.
“Erikson is poised to deliver an extraordinary, high-quality educational experience, make programs more accessible to diverse populations, expand the knowledge base, and influence systemic change. I envision a future where all children experience equity, inclusion, belonging, justice, and opportunity,” Dr. Souto-Manning said as she embarked on her presidency at Erikson.
Dr. Souto-Manning is molding Erikson’s graduate programs to be more inclusive, equitable, and community-focused. Dr. Souto-Manning wholeheartedly understands the importance of an environment that invites students to learn from each other, and from the children they teach. They can better apply their knowledge to meet children’s unique needs while highlighting the innate brilliance children bring to the classroom.