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DEI Collective Learning Series

DEI Collective Learning Series

Each month the School of Education and Human Development's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will engage faculty and staff in learning focused on DEI. The monthly series will have four parts:

  1. Read: Short and impactful articles, chapters, or blogs to help frame the topic for the month (Week 1).
  2. Watch/Listen: Watch a pre-recorded presentation, YouTube recordings, and/or listen to a podcast focused on the topic for the month (Week 2).
  3. Write: Journal, write reflections, and respond to prompts/questions based on the "read" and "watch/listen" for the month reading and recording (Week 3).
  4. Engage: Participate in an on-Grounds session, which may include presentations from authors from the readings, presenters from the pre-recorded session or podcast, an expert on the topic of the month, as well as opportunities to connect and converse with members of our community around the month’s topic. (Week 4).

The DEI Collective Learning Series is intentionally framed in this way to allow faculty and staff to build a shared understanding of topics and concepts (read and watch/listen) before engaging.

This fall’s DEI Collective Learning Series will focus on equity-minded approaches to mentoring, the impact of implicit bias and cultural appropriation, and LGBTQ+ awareness and advocacy. Each month will have the trademark structure of a weekly action (Read, Watch/Listen, Write), and the month’s series will end with an Engage Session, held in-person in Bavaro Hall. Join us as we continue to grow our knowledge and capacities towards a more inclusive community. Come ready to engage! If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected]

October 2021 - Ableism

  • Introduction:

    Ableism is based on the socially constructed doxa that people with disabilities are inferior. Ableism often operates invisibly, and systematically privileges people without disabilities, but is inseparable from other forms of discrimination in the United States, such as racism, classism, and sexism. Unfortunately, disability is too frequently left out of DEI work and other social justice and human rights movements. Therefore, our conversations on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion must incorporate issues of disability to fully confront matters of racial, economic, and gender inequities.

    This month’s Collective Learning Series centers the experience of people with disabilities, the systems of Ableist discrimination that uphold notions of normalcy, and how SEHD can create greater inclusivity. While you are invited to read, watch, and listen to all of the material, the expertise, experience, and engagement will flow into three streams: Intersectionality, Language and Representation, and Allyship.

    While the engagement portion of the ODEI Collective Learning Series this month will initiate as a whole group, we will be unpacking each of the three strands in smaller discussion groups.

  • Read:

    Actors Against Ableism
    This study reports the results of an interview-based study of the qualities that people with physical and sensory disabilities use to describe effective non-disabled allies. Participants (n = 16) were asked to describe a nondisabled person in their life who understood and cared about the concerns of people with disabilities. A thematic analysis of their responses suggested that they appreciated nondisabled people who offered appropriate help, were trustworthy in their understanding of disability identity, made personal connections, advocated and acted against ableism, were willing to learn, and communicated effectively. Consistent with research about White allies to people of color, participants emphasized both political and social dimensions of being an ally.

    Disability Missing from the Conversation of Violence
    The data on violence against disabled people are scarce. The data on prevalence that does exist is staggering, however: disabled people make up one third to one half of all people killed by law enforcement and experience twice the rate of violence that others do. To study the relationships among ableism, violence, and disability as an intersectional identity, the authors use a DisCrit theoretical framework to conduct a selective review of three reports: a Bureau of Justice Statistics (2017) report on violence and disability, a Ruderman Foundation white paper on media coverage of police violence and disability (Perry and Carter-Long), and a report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) investigating the mass incarceration of people with disabilities in the United States (Vallas). The authors examine ways the available data tell a particular story about disability and violence and identify crucial missing conversations. The findings from these analyses suggest that to combat ableism and the violence it causes, oppressive systems must be named, the voices of disabled individuals must be included, and data on disability must be more systematically gathered in all national efforts related to violence and violence prevention. The report also presents the implications of this work for social policy, psychologists, and larger contributions to the literature on victimization.

  • Watch:

    Crip Camp (1 hr 46 min) This 2020 documentary (made freely available by Netflix on YouTube) starts in 1971 at Camp Jened, a summer camp in New York described as a "loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities.” Starring Larry Allison, Judith Heumann, James LeBrecht, Denise Sherer Jacobson, and Stephen Hofmann, the film focuses on those campers who turned themselves into activists for the disability rights movement and follows their fight for accessibility legislation.

    "I'm Not Your Inspiration. Thank You Very Much." (9:15) In this Ted Talk, Stella Young challenges how people with disabilities are represented. She tells her story of growing up in a very small country town in Victoria. She had a very normal, low-key kind of upbringing. She went to school, she hung out with her friends, and she fought with my younger sisters. It was all very normal. And when she was 15, a member of her local community approached her parents and wanted to nominate Stella for a community achievement award. As she tells it, “My parents said, "Hm, that's really nice, but there's kind of one glaring problem with that. She hasn't actually achieved anything."

  • Write:

    Intersectionality reflection prompts:

    Listen to Keri Gray speak on Intersectionality. Reflect on the importance of Intersectional identities in social justice and how it specifically applies to educators. Have you included disability in your conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion? What is the potential impact of excluding disability from DEI conversations and programs?

    Language and Representation reflection prompts:

    Read this guide to the 5 Disability stereotypes in the media, and reflect on the ways in which you see Disability talked about and represented in your media feed, personally or professionally. Is this reflected in the ways in which you hear people talk about disabilities in your personal and professional circles? Are there questions you wish you could ask about terminology?

    Allyship reflection prompts:

    Consider the points that Daphne Frias makes in her video, and reflect on ways in which you can be an ally for people with visible and invisible disabilities. How does allyship apply specifically to educators? How do you indicate allyship for people who may not readily disclose their disability?

  • Engage:

    Join us for our Engagement session, either on-Grounds or online!

    • October 26; 1:00-2:00 pm; Holloway Hall
    • October 26; 6:00-7:00 pm; Zoom