Race, Racism &... Series

Published April 1, 2021

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Race, Racism, & Logo

We are pleased to introduce our Educational Leadership Racial Equity Fellows (REFs)! In fall 2020, the department put out a call for students in all programs who wanted to help the department prepare all students to advance racial justice and equity in their institutions. We are excited to be able to welcome 6 students into this leadership role (From the doctoral program: Autumn Cunningham, Ryan Howard, Miguel Reyna, Aimee Vaquera, and Oluwatosin Williams; from SDHE: Louis Williams)! This is a very committed, collaborative, and insightful group – and our community is going to benefit from their leadership.

The REFs have been meeting, together with a team of faculty (Drs. Glass, Haviland, O’Brien and Vega), regularly since October and are going to be hosting a series of conversations known as the Race, Racism &… series. These sessions are facilitated dialogues designed to look broadly at issues of race, racism, and society. The REFs will use the lens of specific topics (e.g., Education, Health) in order to name specific dimensions of how the institutions of racism, white privilege, and white supremacy are woven in into our society and how these ideologies impact our institutions. The hope is that by naming and better understanding these topics, we can work as citizens and educational leaders to disrupt and ultimately dismantle these structures.

The sessions, which are facilitated by REF teams, are intended for students, so that participants have the space to be as honest and open as they wish. The goal is to be able to name specific issues and then identify actions or steps that participants can take as educational leaders. Importantly, we view this series as the beginning of an ongoing conversation, with the intent of informing action in the department and beyond. We hope these will be a space for honest conversation, learning and growth that builds our collective ability to advance racial justice.