DEI Collective Learning Series Archive

Each month the School of Education and Human Development's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will engage students, faculty, and staff in learning focused on DEI.

Summer 2022: Black Women and Black Feminism

  • Introduction:

    Recent studies show that Black women are the most educated group in the U.S. Black Americans are among those most likely to earn a postsecondary degree, which belies myths around narratives of Black learners' school achievement. Black women stand out, as a percentage, outperforming white women, Latinas, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American women in earning postsecondary degrees. Has this translated into greater professional opportunities, higher wages, and more excellent quality of life? In many cases, no. While Black women are enrolled in and graduating from school at the highest percentages across racial and gender lines, damaging portrayals of Black women persist in popular media and news outlets. These depictions are not just hurtful; they impact Black women's lives and opportunities. Despite the encouraging statistics around education, Black women continue to experience, as a bloc, profound disparities in professional growth and health, because of the nexus of anti-black racism, sexism, and the stress that comes along with caretaking.

    This summer's DEI Collective Learning Series (CLS) will focus on Black women as leaders and change agents. Through analysis of articles, podcasts, videos, and reflection prompts though Black Feminism, we hope that this learning journey will provide a small window into the day-to-day experiences, challenges, and triumphs of Black women in the U.S. Follow along with our materials and join us for our Engage Session on August 23rd on Zoom at 11 am, with lunch to follow! 

    To register for the Zoom Engage Session at 11 am, please click here. Please join us afterwards for Lunch at 12:30 in Holloway Hall. Click here to RSVP! 

  • Read:

    Black Women Are the Most Educated Group in the U.S.
    Despite stereotypes about African Americans, Black Americans in the United States are among those most likely to earn a postsecondary degree. The claim that Black women are the most educated bloc of Americans comes from a 2014 study that cites the percentage of Black women enrolled in college in relation to their other race-gender groups. Yet despite the fact that Black women are enrolled in and graduating from school in the highest percentages across racial and gender lines, negative depictions of Black women abound.

    Online access to Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, And Underprotected
    Against the backdrop of the surveillance, punishment, and criminalization of youth of color in the United States, Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected seeks to increase awareness of the gendered consequences of disciplinary and push-out policies for girls of color, and, in particular, Black girls.11 The report developed out of a critical dialogue about the various ways that women and girls of color are channeled onto pathways that lead to underachievement and criminalization.

    Chapter 5 of bell hook’s, Ain’t I a Woman, Racism and Feminism: The Issue of Accountability (PDF)

    Ain’t I a Woman is named after an 1851 speech by black women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. Though named after a nineteenth century speech and published in 1981, bell hooks’ work is as relevant today as it has ever been.

    Hooks examines how a combination of racism and sexism throughout history has left black women at the very bottom of the social pecking order. By understanding how black women came to be so oppressed, hooks put forward theories about how that oppression may be overcome.

    In this chapter, hooks evidences the ways in which feminism neglected the influences of racism. Feminist movements, such as Women’s Suffrage, which aimed to further White women’s rights ahead of the rights of Black people, to maintain racial hierarchy above a gender hierarchy.

    Available from the library: Chapter 10 of Diana Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross’ book, A Black Women’s History of the United States, Shirley’s Run, Black Power, Politics, and Black Feminism, 1970-2000

    In centering Black women’s stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women’s unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Berry & Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.

    In this chapter, Shirley Chisholm, whose campaign slogan read, Unbought and Unbossed is credited as the catalyst for Black Feminism in the latter half of the 21st century. While the connection between rappers and Congresswoman Chisholm might seem like a stretch, Shirley’s politics and presidential run inspired broad cross-sections of Black people. This chapter traces how Black women cultivated and amplified their own voices, ones reflective of their connection to the Black community but also distinctly their own.

  • Watch/Listen:

    YouTube: What is Intersectionality?
    Kimberlé Crenshaw briefly explains Intersectionality and how it captures Black female experiences that racism or sexism alone cannot explain.

    YouTube: Black History in Two Minutes - Black Feminist Organization
    While the Civil Rights Movement continued to spread across the US and the feminist movement evolved, one group felt neither movement really addressed their existence: Black women. As a result, the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO) was formed.

    The NBFO sought to meet at the intersection of racism and sexism, all the while pushing an agenda that created policies and protections for Black women. Even as they grew, another group, The Combahee River Collective Statement, recognized that important components like sexuality and the “everyday working woman” were missing from the conversation. In the end, the 1970s saw a much-needed introduction to Black feminist organizations that wanted to ensure the Black woman and her presence in society was not overlooked.

    Black History in Two Minutes (or so) is a 4x Webby Award-winning series. In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Imani Perry of Princeton University, Hasan Jeffries of Ohio State University and Diana Berry of The University of Texas, we celebrate a group of women who laid the foundation for the advancement of Black women that we still recognize and see to this day.

    YouTube: An ‘unapologetic’ black feminist on accelerating the pace of change
    Brittney Cooper is a cultural theorist, author, and professor. Listen to what she has to say about the intersection of race and feminism and the unacceptable, empty offer of gradual change.

    Subjects of Desire
    Subjects of Desire, directed by Jennifer Holness explores the cultural shift in North American beauty standards towards embracing Black female aesthetics and features while exposing the deliberate and often dangerous portrayals of Black women in the media. From society’s new fixation on the ‘booty’, fuller lips, the dramatic rise of spray tanned skin, ethnic hairstyles, and athletic bodies, some argue that Black women are having a beauty moment. But others, primarily Black women, argue that traditional Black features and attributes are seen as more desirable when they are on White women.

    Told from the POV of women who aren’t afraid to challenge conventional beauty standards, the film is partially set at the 50th Anniversary of the Miss Black America Pageant, a beauty pageant that was created as a political protest.

    Subjects of Desire is a culturally significant, provocative film that deconstructs what we understand about race and the power behind beauty.

    Push Out
    Black girls are over-represented along the entire exclusionary school discipline, including, but not limited to, suspension, expulsion, referrals to law enforcement and arrest. Across the nation, girls of color have described experiencing discipline in response to their expressions, presentation, and/or identity, instead of in response to an actual threat to school safety. Pushout: The Criminalization Of Black Girls In Schools, is a feature length documentary that takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupts one of the most important factors in girls’ lives – education.

  • Write:

    Read Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise and frame your reflection of the Summer Collective Learning Series Read and Watch/Listen materials through Angelou’s words.

    In addition to, or instead of using poetry as a framework for your reflection, respond to the following prompts:

    • What issues were raised in the reading, watching, and listening materials? What challenges do Black women and girls face?
    • How does black feminist thought enable critical thinking about these topics?
    • How does understanding the specificity in the lived experiences of Black women and girls make room to be more inclusive in teaching and in preparing educators?
    • Relative to my current position as faculty, staff, or a student, what about the experiences of Black women and girls, should I be mindful?
  • Engage:

    August 10th on Zoom at 11 am, with lunch to follow!

    Zoom Registration Link

    RSVP for Lunch

April 2022: Safe Spaces

  • Introduction:

    Affinity groups are vital to the success of people with minoritized identities by providing safe spaces that consist of people who share an identity. Within the safe space of affinity groups, members are able to de-shackle from the social pressures of representing a whole community and discuss shared joys and challenges. Yet, if belonging and inclusion are the goals, how do safe spaces and affinity groups work toward or against that goal? What are affinity groups and safe spaces anyway? Finally, what purpose do they serve in educational environments? Join us for April’s Collective Learning Series on Safe Spaces, where we will explore what role safe spaces and affinity groups play in creating belonging and inclusion.

  • Read:

    In the 2016 Atlantic article, The Fine Line Between Safe Space and Segregation, the author explores the ways in which colleges across the U.S. have been trying to do a better job of making students who have traditionally been underrepresented on campus feel welcome and included. Some of their attempts, however well-intended, garner as much ire as support. While many see the creation of safe spaces for black students, LGBT students, and other minorities as a positive step toward helping them navigate campus, others see it as resegregation and a step backward.

    The Fine Line Between Safe Space and Segregation (PDF)
  • Watch/Listen:

    In this podcast, educator and education consultant, Ayodele Harrison, describes what affinity groups did for him personally and professionally, as well as the importance of structure and sensitivity to reasons why individuals show up in affinity space. Although the audio quality of Teacher Voice: Affinity Groups Podcast is iffy, a transcript is available below. In this conversation among a diverse group of educators, they discuss what affinity groups mean for their identity development and for their students.

    Teacher Voice: Affinity Groups Podcast (Transcript)
  • Write:

    In the conversation around affinity and safe spaces, positionality is a crucial cornerstone. What about this author’s positionality impact perspective on affinity groups and safe spaces? Why would individuals who experience privilege be uncomfortable or feel stifled by affinity spaces? Review this blog post, The Bias Against Difference, to help with your reflection.

  • Engage:

    Join us Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in-person at 1pm, or virtually at 6pm to engage with us and the EHD community!

March 2022: Stereotype Threat

  • Introduction:

    Everyone knows that tropes and stereotypes exist for a variety of racial, ethnic, and gendered groups. Stereotypes are generalized inappropriate associations about a category of people connected to some attribute. Stereotypes can function in subtle and overt way, creating a narrative that is steadily delivered through educational environments, pop culture, and sociopolitical education. The internalization of this narrative creates what we term as stereotype threat. When people must work to suppress thoughts about negative stereotypes or worry that their performance may confirm stereotypes, the effort and associated emotions may divert mental energy and can significantly impact cognitive load available for working and learning. Please join us for the March Collective Learning Series, where we will be looking at the sources of and solutions to Stereotype Threat.

  • Read:

    When members of a stigmatized group find themselves in a situation where negative stereotypes provide a possible framework for interpreting their behavior, the risk of being judged in light of those stereotypes can elicit a disruptive state that undermines performance and aspirations in that domain. This situational predicament, termed stereotype threat, continues to be an intensely debated and researched topic in educational, social, and organizational psychology. In the review Stereotype Threat, the authors explore the various sources of stereotype threat, the mechanisms underlying stereotype-threat effects (both mediators and moderators), and the consequences of this situational predicament, as well as the means through which society and stigmatized individuals can overcome the insidious effects of stereotype threat.

  • Watch:

    Listen to the Hidden Brain Podcast: How They See Us and read the podcast transcript.

    Stereotypes are all around us, shaping how we see the world – and how the world sees us. On the surface, the stereotypes that other people hold shouldn’t affect the way we think or act. But our concerns about other people’s perceptions have a way of burrowing deep into our minds. This week, social psychologist Claude Steele explains the psychology of “stereotype threat.”

  • Write:

    The extra pressure to avoid confirming a negative stereotype has been shown to undermine academic performance. As an educator, what are some ways to structure your course/classroom to interrupt projected and internalized stereotypes?

  • Engage:

    Join us for the March 29, 2022, Engage Session in-person at 1pm, or virtually at 6pm to engage with us and the EHD community!

February 2022: Critical Race Theory

  • Introduction:

    While Race is socially constructed, the impact of systematic racism in the United States is evident in housing, education, health care, and the penal system (as just a few examples). Critical Race Theory provides a framework through which to examine these vast inequities. In the span of less than 18 months, Critical Race Theory has gone from a legal framework to a household term, but what is it exactly? How did it make the leap from academia to local school board meetings? What does it have to do with education? Join us for February’s Collective Learning Series on Critical Race Theory, where we will explore what this framework means on a national and local level, as well as for all of us at EHD.

  • Read:

    Dixson, A. D., & Rousseau Anderson, C. (2018). Where are we? Critical race theory in education 20 years later. Peabody Journal of Education, 93(1), 121-131.
    This article explores the territory that has been covered since the publication of Ladson-Billings and Tate's 1995 article, “Toward a Critical Race Theory in Education.” We organize our review of the CRT literature is organized around what we are calling CRT “boundaries.” We identify six boundaries for CRT and education: 1) CRT in education argues that racial inequity in education is the logical outcome of a system of achievement presided on competition; 2) CRT in education examines the role of education policy and educational practices in the construction of racial inequity and the perpetuation of normative whiteness; 3) CRT in education rejects the dominant narrative about the inherent inferiority of people of color and the normative superiority of white people; 4) CRT in education rejects ahistoricism and examines the historical linkages between contemporary educational inequity and historical patterns of racial oppression; 5) CRT in education engages in intersectional analyses that recognize the ways that race is mediated by and interacts with other identity markers (i.e., gender, class, sexuality, linguistic background, and citizenship status); 6) CRT in education agitates and advocates for meaningful outcomes that redress racial inequity. CRT does not merely document disparities. We suggest that these core ideas provide a framework for analyzing the work that has been done in education in the past and a way to determine what might be left to do.

  • Watch and Listen:

    Youtube: Dr. Prudence Carter, Professor of Education at UC Berkeley succinctly explains Critical Race Theory and how it has been conflated with critically teaching race in k12 classrooms.

    Youtube: In a telling and honest interview with Critical Race Theory opponent, Christopher Rufo, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill unpacks the circular argument against CRT.

    Podcast: The fourth episode in Southlake podcast addresses how Critical Race Theory became the “boogeyman” target for the backlash against our collective racial reckoning in 2020. While all six episodes support a more thorough understanding of the cultural historical context of the fight over equity work in education, episode 4 triangulates some of the most salient issues.

  • Write:

    Reflect on the reading, videos, and podcast:

    Where did you first hear of Critical Race Theory? Despite existing for decades as an academic framework, why has it become a household term in the past 12 months? Go beyond answering superficially and think about historical, cultural, and political reasons why. Regarding the ways in which Critical Race Theory applies to education, how can the framework from the Dixson & Rousseau Anderson (2018) literature review support equity work in across programs in EHD?

  • Engage:

    Join us February 22, 2022, in-person at 1pm, or virtually at 6pm to engage with us and the EHD community!

November 2021 - Gender Identity

  • Introduction:

    Both gender and language are socially constructed ideas that influence how we perceive and interact with others. While sex is assigned at birth, gender identity describes how a person relates to masculinity, femininity, or other descriptors. It can seem easy to make assumptions about people’s gender identities based on how they dress or act, but these assumptions can be harmful and perpetuate incomplete ideas about what it means to be a woman, man, or another gender. These assumptions can particularly harm members of trans(gender), non-binary, or gender non-conforming communities as they seek to find space where they feel affirmed in their gender identities.

    Pronouns are one aspect of language that often is associated with gender – for example, she/her/hers pronouns are more feminine while he/him/his pronouns are more masculine. Part of being an ally/advocate is creating environments of respect where people are referred to in the ways that feel most authentic and accurate for them. Understanding and using pronouns thoughtfully is one way to create these spaces.

    This month’s Collective Learning Series will provide opportunities to learn about gender, pronouns, and some tangible ways to create respectful environments for trans and gender non-conforming people through our language.

  • Read:

    What are Personal Pronouns and Why do They Matter? and How do I Use Personal Pronouns?

    These pages are a great place to start the conversation. is a website that shares information about using proper personal pronouns as a sign of respect. These pages are also helpful for bringing family members and friends into the conversation about pronouns.

    Some Definitions- Trans Student Educational Resources

    Part of being an active advocate for the LGBTQ+ community is understanding language and terminology. While this page has a lot of information, you can focus on the definitions under the “Summary” and “Basic Terminology” sections. You can always return to this page later to learn more!

  • Watch:

    Neither He, Nor She, But Me

    In this talk, “Hannah Fons focuses on gender identity as fluid, not fixed, and existing on a spectrum. Just as there are a multitude of ways to express one’s identity as a cisgender (i.e, not transgender) man or woman, there is not one way to be trans, to navigate a trans identity, or to conceive of trans people.”

    Can you Choose Your Own Pronouns? – MTV Decoded (6:37)

    This video takes a fun and comedic approach to pronouns, explaining why pronouns are important, how to use them, and includes examples of how pronouns might show up in everyday interactions.

  • Write:

    As you read the pages from, think about how often you use pronouns in your daily life.

    • How have you or your colleagues/friends thought about pronouns in your work or daily interactions?
    • What kind of questions still remain?
      You can review this resource from the National Institutes of Health for some thoughts and ideas. We’ll review many of these ideas in our ENGAGE session later this month!

    What are some of the emotions that Hannah expressed in the TED Talk? How did it feel to listen to Hannah’s story? Are there any emotions that Hannah shared that you could relate to?

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

September 2021 - The Mentor, the Protégé, and the Relationship

  • Introduction:

    Mentorship has a wide spectrum of definitions and applications: formal and informal mentoring; mentoring for young children, adolescents, junior career professionals; and adults seeking personal growth. Generally, mentoring can have benefits such as improved career outcomes, greater satisfaction, engagement, and organizational commitment, as well as inclusion and retention. Additionally, individuals who have been mentored, are more likely to pay it forward by mentoring others.

    This month’s Collective Learning Series has three streams related to mentor/protégé relationships:

    1. Faculty Mentoring, for participants interested in engaging in mentorship as a protégé for personal or professional growth
    2. Workplace Mentoring, for participants interested in engaging in creating psychological safety in mentoring programs; and
    3. Student Mentoring, for participants interested in engaging in further study of mentoring students, particularly students who have been historically marginalized.

    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 small groups.

  • Read (Faculty Mentoring):
    • How to Find a Mentor as an Adult: In this 2019 blog post, Tracey Anne Duncan challenges the doxa that mentors are always the older, wiser, more senior professional. The author offers five action items to identify needs and seek out mentorship to further personal and professional progress.
    • Facilitating Faculty Success: People are not born knowing how to be successful in their work. They learn how to be successful through access to information and opportunities, and especially challenges and opportunities to learn from low-stakes failures. People also learn through the examples of others whom they would like to emulate and think they could emulate. It is to a department’s advantage to provide the conditions in which faculty can do their best work. Although departments hire faculty who have survived an elaborate process of selection in graduate school for their intellectual skills, some areas of professional development may have been relatively neglected or may not have been addressed because they were not appropriate for the individual’s position as a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. Because of those lacunae, most faculty benefit from opportunities to learn a wide range of skills not included in their disciplinary education or apprenticeship. Moreover, retention of all faculty is enhanced when institutions have communicated the value of the faculty and expressed support for them by providing professional development opportunities
  • Watch/listen (Faculty Mentoring):
    • Reverse Mentorship: In this brief video, Patrice Gordon introduces the idea of more senior, seasoned professionals seeking mentorship from junior staff, to further equity and social justice in their organizations, and making better leaders.
    • Brene Brown with Patrice Gordon: A more in-depth conversation between Brene Brown on her podcast, Dare to Lead, and Patrice Gordon, an Executive Coach and Personal Development advocate specializing in Inclusive Leadership, Reverse Mentoring and Women’s Development Programs. They discuss Reverse Mentoring, which asks, “Whose views do we not have represented here?”
  • Write (Faculty Mentoring):

    To support your reflections, consider writing, recording, or drawing your responses

    • On what skills would you want mentorship? How might you seek that? What are some potential or actual barriers?
    • How can reverse mentorship be beneficial for an organization?
    • What might reverse mentorship look like in academia/higher ed?
  • Read (Workplace Mentoring):
    • Seeking Quality Mentors: Exploring Program Design to Increase Mentor Participation: The purpose of this 2019 study is to explore the causal relationship between mentoring program design and mentor participation. Results indicated that offering time in work significantly increased a mentor's willingness to participate and a mediation analysis revealed that time in work increased an individual's likelihood to participate through the mechanism of perceived organizational support.
    • Psychology of Workplace Mentorship: In this 2020 article, after briefly reviewing established research on workplace mentoring relationships, the authors introduce five relationship science theories from outside organizational psychology and organizational behavior that provide new insight into the psychology of workplace mentoring: attachment theory, interdependence theory, self-expansion theory, Rhodes’ model of formal youth mentoring, and the working alliance. The authors then discuss several unique features of workplace mentoring that should be considered when applying these relationship science theories
  • Watch/listen (Workplace Mentoring):
    • Michelle Obama Project: on Mentorship part 1 Working Women: In this podcast, we listen in on a discussion about mentorship between Michelle Obama and her friend and former boss Valerie Jarrett about personal growth in the workplace.
    • Mentorship and Workplace Equity Takes Work: The speaker in this TedTalk is CEO and Founder of The Mentor Method, an enterprise platform helping companies keep and develop their diverse talent using the proven power of mentorship. Black Enterprise recognizes her as one of DC's top 5 black women in tech. In this actionable TedTalk, Janice Omadeke shares her insights on the importance of defining mentoring, and viewing mentorship less as behavior, and more as a relationship.
  • Write (Workplace Mentoring):

    To support your reflections, consider writing, recording, or drawing your responses

    • How does positionality impact mentoring?
    • How can mentorship improve workplace equity?
    • What are some ways organizations can operationalize mentorship as a relationship?
    • What are some action steps you can take to improve workplace equity?
  • Read (Student Mentoring):
  • Watch/Listen (Student Mentoring):
    • Mentors: through research, in practice, and on reality TV: Kimberly Griffin is a Professor in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy Program (Student Affairs Area of Specialization). She also serves as the editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. In this TedTalk, Professor Griffin, uses Tim Gunn as an example of effective mentorship, and relates it to academia, before then providing suggestions for younger folks seeking a mentor.
    • Pass the Torch: Jean Roades is an American psychologist and author, Frank L. Boyden professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In this podcast interview between Michael Sargent, host of Tatter and social psychologist, and Dr. Rhodes, they discuss equity issues in mentoring.
  • Write (Student Mentoring):

    To support your reflections, consider writing, recording, or drawing your responses

    What can teacher education programs do to model the mentorship they/we want to see our preservice teachers engage in with their future students?

  • Engage:

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

    • September 28; 1:00-2:00 pm; Holloway Hall
    • September 28; 6:00-7:00 pm; Zoom

April 2021 - Microaggression: The Unseen Student Barrier

  • About: Microaggression

    Microaggressions are all too often overlooked, but their impacts are felt just the same. Microaggressions proceed to be one of the most prevalent forms of oppression and racism experienced by Black students in Predominately White Institutions (PWIs), including the University of Virginia. The Student Voices of Injustice (SVOI) ( project is a media-centered project, led by Sasha Miller-Marshall of Motivate Lab, created to elevate Black students' voices at the University of Virginia. This project highlights the noticeably different and negative college experience of Black students when compared to their non-black counterparts. The SVOI project explicates how racialized interactions, like microaggressions, often go undetected due to their nuanced and often palatable nature yet prove to be insidious and damaging for students in these environments. By acknowledging and identifying these acts of injustice on college campuses, institutions, administration, faculty, and even students can work to actively combat their presence in the classroom and the university setting at large. In connection with the Student Voices of Injustice project, this month's DEI Professional Learning Series will focus on three different types of microaggressions, the impact of microaggressions on students in university classrooms, and resources faculty and staff can use to support each other and students as they combat microaggressions.

  • Read:

    “Am I overreacting?” Understanding and Combating Microaggressions
    This article defines and provides examples of different types of racial microaggressions. It describes the experience of an assistant professor who encountered racial microaggression during diversity training. Author Gina Garcia expresses, “while I have experienced blatant racism and sexism in my predominantly white institution situated in a mostly white urban city where 2% of the population shares a common racial/ethnic/cultural experience with me, I spend most of my time processing these types of daily microaggressions, wondering if I am imagining them. I often ask myself, “Am I overreacting?” “Did that just happen?”

    Racial Microaggressions on the College Campus: What Faculty Should Be Doing
    Professor Keonya Booker describes racial microaggression on a college campus and what faculty can do about it. Despite an increase in diversity training and sensitivity programs, the instances of racial microaggressions are on the rise. The college campus has always been a source of activism, civic awakening, and identity development, but the current, strained political climate of the country has affected racial tensions, animosity, and antagonism in an unnerving way. In light of this, faculty are no longer charged with solely being content experts in their respective disciplines; they also must be skilled in constructing learning environments that are welcoming and supportive of students from underrepresented groups.

    How to Respond to Racial Microaggressions When They Occur
    The R.A.V.E.N. framework is particularly useful when responding to microaggressions that occur in public (physical and online) spaces. The R.A.V.E.N. is a five-step approach that entails 1) Redirecting the conversation or interaction, 2) Asking probing questions, 3) Values clarification, 4) Emphasizing your own thoughts, and 5) offering concrete Next steps.

  • Watch and Listen:

    Microassaults (3 mins) - Watch
    This video is an excerpt from Microaggressions in the Classroom produced Dr. Yolanda Flores Niemann. It acts as an introduction to microassaults.

    Microinsults (7 mins) - Watch
    This video is an excerpt from Microaggressions in the Classroom produced Dr. Yolanda Flores Niemann. It acts as an introduction to microinsults.

    Microinvalidations (2 mins) - Watch
    This video is an excerpt from Microaggressions in the Classroom produced Dr. Yolanda Flores Niemann. It acts as an introduction to microinvalidations.

  • Write:
    1. Whose experiences, norms, values, and perspectives influence an institution’s laws, policies, and systems of evaluation?
    2. What is your response/reaction when microaggressions happen to students around you?
    3. What changes can you implement to address/reduce microaggressions students experience at UVA?
    4. Can you identify microaggressions? What process do you use to identify microaggressions?
  • Engage:

    Join us for our Engagement

    on April 27, 2021
    3:00 PM
    Zoom -

March 2021 - The Power of Privilege

  • About: The Power of Privilege

    Privilege is power. In recent years, elite colleges and universities have worked to make inroads in recruiting and admitting students from disadvantaged backgrounds, a group that Dr. Anthony Jack refers to as the The Privileged Poor (2019). In his book, Dr. Jack exposes how admission into prestigious collegiate environments isn’t enough. He contends that universities must creating infrastructures and scaffold support for these students, in order to demystify the invisible processes that undergird privilege. Dr. Jack’s book demonstrates how privilege works across economic, racial, and social lines, how students face multiple and intersectional hidden disadvantages upon enrolling in these leading academic environments, and how university cultures and policies must adapt to truly support the success and thriving of their disadvantaged students. In connection with our annual Walter N. Ridley Lecture, this month’s DEI Collective Professional Learning Series will focus on understanding privilege in academic environments and what it means to truly empower and support all students, no matter their background.

  • Read:

    Read Dr. Jack’s article, “(No) Harm in Asking: Class, Acquired Cultural Capital, and Academic Engagement at an Elite University.”
    He discusses the roles of socioeconomic status (SES) and class play in undergraduates’ engagement of authority figures. Given disparate pre-college experiences, students will internalize certain messaging that powerfully impacts the way they may relate to professors, administrators, etc. and shows how these interactions can hamper or shape their success.

    Read The Atlantic’s “Why Aren’t College Students Using Career Services?”
    This article discusses how students who may most benefit from career services may lack the knowledge and wherewithal to consult, on a personal level, adults in power. Without knowing the power of personal connection and lacking the social capital to harness in their backgrounds, these students continue to face an uphill climb, even with the power of a baccalaureate degree.

  • Watch/Listen:


    On Diversity: Access Ain’t Inclusion (13 min)
    Youtube Tedx Talk: Dr. Anthony’s Jack’s Ted Talk reveals how and why students from distressed public-school environments vs. what he calls the “privileged poor” (low-income students coming from boarding, day, and preparatory independent schools) both struggle and explains what schools can do differently if these students are to flourish. He urges colleges to grapple with a simple fact: access is not inclusion.

    The Open Mind: The Case for Economic Affirmative Action (29 min)
    PBS Video: Dr. Jack discusses his new book The Privileged Poor: How Elites Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students.


    “'A mirror on America': How the U.S. college admissions scam reveals pervasive inequality in society” (12 min)
    CBC Radio Interview: In 2019, Actresses Lori Loughlin, left, and Felicity Huffman were among dozens of people indicted in a sweeping U.S. college admissions bribery scandal. Dr. Anthony Jack asserts that the U.S. college admissions scandal reveals systemic abuses of privilege within American society. During the interview, Dr. Jack pushes us to consider a necessary reckoning with the "myth of meritocracy" — the belief that students made it into college because of hard work, rather than because of their privilege and how that conversation manifests for low-income students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Write:

    To support your reflections, consider writing or drawing your responses.

    1. Upon reflection, think about a time where you have experienced privilege. What were the circumstances? How did you use that privilege? How did it make you feel?
    2. Now, shift to thinking about a time where you have encountered facing a hidden disadvantage (e.g. “not knowing what you didn’t know”). What were those circumstances? How did that incident impact you? How did it make you feel?
    3. What are ways in which you can engage a more transparent approach of radical access in your teaching, advising, leadership, or research? What might it look like for you to consider the intersectional nature of privilege in your particular position?
  • Engage:

    Join us for our Engagement

    on March 23, 2021
    3:00 PM
    Zoom - Registration Link

February 2021 - UVA Culture and Its Impact on Our Work

  • About: UVA Culture and Its Impact on Our Work

    Culture has a significant impact on the quality of the workplace and academic life. Understanding and unpacking factors impacting the quality of work is essential towards building a sense of inclusiveness and equity. We must consider how the university's history and the current socio-cultural dynamics are at play in our work and academic lives. This month’s DEI Collective Professional Learning Series asks us to unpack contextual factors impacting our work.

  • Read:

    Read the University of Virginia’s Racial Equity Task Force Report (2020). This report contextualizes and frames the issues in the Twenty-Three Ghosts performance. This performance will be the central engagement for our engagement on February 23, 2021.

    Read White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement by Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism (2018). DiAngelo provides 11 rules of engagement for white people when talking about race and racism.

    Review and read the University of Virginia’s Equity Center Voices of Equity website. This website houses 50 years of documents addressing racial inequity at the University of Virginia written by students, faculty, staff, and working groups analyzed them for common themes. They created an interactive library format to share our findings and start a conversation.
    Additional supportive readings

    • Eagan Jr., M. K., & Garvey, J. C. (2015, November 1). Stressing Out: Connecting Race, Gender, and Stress with Faculty Productivity. Journal of Higher Education, 86(6), 923 - 954.
    • Settles, I. H., Buchanan, N. T., & Dotson, K. (2019). Scrutinized but not recognized:(In) visibility and hypervisibility experiences of faculty of color. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 113, 62-74.
  • Watch:

    (8 minutes) Please watch Twenty-Three Ghosts, written by Paz Pardo and performed by Thallis Santesteban, before our monthly DEI "engage" on February 23, 2021. The session will focus on this performance.

  • Write:

    To support your reflections, consider writing or drawing your responses.

    • What is this character working towards, and why? How do your objectives and motivations as faculty, staff, and students align with this?
    • What aspects of UVA systems and culture support your work? What aspects hinder your work? How might your colleagues experience these aspects differently from you, particularly considering social identity and power?
    • In what areas of student support might your colleagues take on more work than you? In what areas of your work are you taking on more work than your colleagues? How do your position and the intersections of your social identities impact this assessment?
  • Engage:

    February's Engage session happened on February 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM

January 2021 - Sense of Belongingness: Teaching Workshop

  • About: Sense of Belongingness

    College students' sense of belonging matters because it is related to their academic success and emotional wellbeing. Although there are more research and emphasis on the sense of belonging in K-12 educational environments, higher education leaders have increasingly begun to emphasize the sense of belonging in college student populations. The success of college students is related to whether or not they feel welcomed in specific college environments, such as classrooms. Sense of belonging is associated with several things, including college students' engagement and persistence, course grades, and academic motivation. College students who feel that they belong in your classroom are more likely to succeed.

  • Read:

    Ahn, M. Y., & Davis, H. H. (2020). Four domains of students' sense of belonging to university. Studies in Higher Education, 45(3), 622-634.

    Gopalan, M., & Brady, S. T. (2020). College students' sense of belonging: A national perspective. Educational Researcher, 49(2), 134-137.

    Johnson, E. (2020, January 2). Students' Sense of Belonging Varies by Identity, Institution. Insider Higher Ed Retrieved January 3, 2021, from

    Smith, A. (2018, June 26). First-Generation College Students More Engaged Than Peers Insider Higher Ed Retrieved January 3, 2021, from

  • Watch and Listen:

    Watch: (19 minutes) Inalienable Rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Belonging by Terrell Strayhorn TEDx (YouTube)
    When students don't feel like belong in your classroom, they will likely be less engaged (i.e., not participating in class discussions, group activities, and not paying attention during lecture). A student who lacks belonging may even skip your class more often than students who feel a sense of belonging there or be prone to show up to class late. Students who lack belonging may choose to sit in the back of the classroom or away from other students. Regarding language, students who don't feel like they belong may use "other" terminology when describing other students in their class. For example, "students in this class seem to like the subject we are studying," versus "students in our class….". If you hear one of your students talking as if they are not a part of your class, that is a pretty strong indicator that they don't feel like they belong.

    Watch: (7 minutes) Encouraging a Sense of Belonging.
    In this video, Stanford psychologist Gregory Walton explains how a relatively small psychological intervention can improve student achievement and workplace environments.

    Listen: (26 minutes) Conceptualizing 'Sense of Belonging' Among Students From Historically Minoritized Racial Groups Within Higher Education.
    Colvin Georges Jr. talks with Dr. Nidia Ruedas-Gracia about what it means to have a sense of belonging and discusses her research in this area. They also discuss how a sense of belonging affects college students from historically minoritized racial groups.

    Listen: (53 minutes) Cultivating a Sense of Belonging. Leading Out of the Woods Podcast host Matthew Woods
    Terrell Strayhorn joins Matt Woods to discuss his research and provide steps to our listeners so they can cultivate a sense of belonging with their students in their classrooms.

  • Write:

    "It's hard to put into words what sometimes you pick up in the ether, the quiet, cruel nuances of not belonging—the subtle cues that tell you to not risk anything, to find your people and just stay put." - Michelle Obama.

    1. Reflect on the above quote by Michelle Obama.
      • What does it mean to you?
      • What does the “cruel nuances of not belonging” look, sound, and feel like in our collective spaces?
    2. For many students, staff, and faculty, engaging or participating can be risk-taking because a sense of belonging has not been fully cultivated. What structures must be in place for you to cultivate a sense of belonging?
  • Engage:

    Engage for Faculty, Staff, and Students

    The January Engage occurred on January 26, 2021

November 2020 - Unpacking Microaggressions

October 2020

  • About: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Professional Learning Series

    October is the introduction to the Office of DEI's Collective Learning Series. Dean Bob Pianta and Associate Dean Robert Berry will kick off the learning series by unpacking diversity, equity, and inclusion at the macro-level by providing insights to their lens on issues related to DEI. The intent is to reflect on the definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion and create space for dialogue on these concepts.

  • Read:
    1. While this reflection is published in a medical journal, the intention of including this reading is to spark your own reflections within your own context around DEI.
    2. This reading unpacks a code of conduct of inclusion and diversity in nursing. What will a code of conduct of inclusion and diversity look like in our School?
    3. While this reading has a STEM focus, it helps understand why diversity without inclusion is not enough.
    4. This reading pushes us to see the impact that inclusion has on diversity.
  • Watch/Listen
  • Write:

    The Office of DEI invites you to start a DEI journal or create a space where you can reflect and unpack your thoughts. The reading and the pre-recorded session may be helpful with your reflections and thought. It is not necessary to provide answers to all of the questions below; instead, the questions should offer insights into your reflections and thoughts.


    • Reflect on your personal diversity. Please consider aspects of your personal diversity that can be seen and heard and those that cannot. What aspect of your personal diversity makes you proudest?
    • In what ways does your personal diversity (racial, ethnic, and cultural background) impact your work?
    • Does your personal diversity (racial or ethnic identity) enter your process of making daily decisions? If so, how?


    • Have you ever felt different and/or not included in a group setting because of your personal diversity? How did it affect you?
    • Have you ever been invited to participate in a group but not allowed to participate fully? What is that like?
    • Imagine being part of our School community but feeling like you are not able to participate fully. What policies and practices impact moving the School to invite faculty, staff, and students to the table and enable inclusive participation?


    • Have you or have you ever witnessed someone being treated unfairly because of their personal diversity? How did you respond?
    • What are some steps you will take towards equity in our School and community?
    • What practices and policies do you see the School must engage to ensure that all community members thrive?

    Padlet Board for Reflections

  • Engage:

    October’s session was hosted on October 27. Feel free to review the slides from this session.