Donald Easton-Brooks was born on a street in Port Author, Texas, and grew up in Houston, Texas. He attended Booker T. Washington High School. The historical school was first named "Colored High," as it was the only high school for Blacks in Houston.
Dr. Easton-Brooks first attended the University of Texas at El Paso Miners on a football scholarship. After a knee injury in his junior year, he transferred to Greenville University and earned a degree in sociology. At Greenville, he earned all-conference honors as an outside linebacker and cornerback. He was the first football player and Black to be inducted into the Greenville University Athletic Hall of Fame.
After earning his degree, Dr. Easton-Brooks moved to Denver, where he worked as a counselor before earning his master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education, emphasizing multicultural family studies at the University of Colorado at Denver. Dr. Easton-Brooks also earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Educational Research and Culturally Responsive Practice. His dissertation was on the impact of Wealth on the Academic Achievement of Black students. After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Easton-Brooks went on to produce award-winning research and create programs to combine the academic challenges of minoritized communities by using quantitative methods to show the impact systematic barriers play on the role of these students.
Dr. Easton-Brooks has over 100 scholarly articles, monographs, book chapters, books, and presentations. His research has been cited on educational initiatives and policy efforts in the US and countries such as Africa, Australia, Germany, India, and New Zealand. The impact of his work has led to national and international interviews on television, radio talk shows, newspapers, and parenting magazines.
Dr. Easton-Brooks was instrumental in creating and chairing the Oregon Educator Equity Advisory Group, which assists the state, universities, and school districts in developing a culturally-responsive educator workforce. Based on his research, Dr. Easton-Brooks helped create the Oregon Teacher Pathway and South Dakota Teacher Pathway programs, designed to promote equity in education by diversifying the educator workforces and developing culturally responsive teachers. To date, these programs have reached more than 800 high school students.
Dr. Easton-Brooks has served in leadership and dean roles at institutions such as the University of Nevada Reno, the University of South Dakota, the University of Connecticut, and the University of North Texas. He helped lead some of these universities to national recognition. His leadership has been recognized statewide and nationally and rewarded internationally. In these roles, Dr. Easton-Brooks has managed budgets of over $40M, has raised more than $15M in donor funds, and supervised upwards of 500 employees.
Dr. Easton-Brooks is on the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) board, the executive board of the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI), and the executive board of WestEd. He also has a member dean of the Learning and Education Academic Research Network (LEARN), a group of deans from top research universities who meet with national legislators to promote educational research's continued support. Dr. Easton-Brooks of part of the Coalition of Black Deans. He serves on the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Committee on the Senior Scholars of Black Education (CSCE). Dr. Easton-Brooks' reputation led him to serve on a sub-committee of the National Center for Research on Educator Diversity. He has served on panels with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (CNSTAT). He serves on the editorial board of Urban Education and has been awarded twice for his leadership by being recognized at the International Urban Education Conference.
Beyond education, Dr. Easton-Brooks serves as a consultant and conducts workshops for businesses, non-profits, healthcare, government agencies, etc., on culturally responsive practices, Diversity, Equity, Diversity, and Anti-Racism.