Uncomfortable Discussions: Racism and its Intersecting Issues

A workshop series to help you facilitate controversial topics. 

These workshops are for those looking for tools, tips, and practices for facilitating uncomfortable discussions about race and intersecting issues. Eight workshops will be held throughout the Winter 2017 semester.


Can't join us in person? Attend virtually! Register for virtual attendance below! 

Date Event Title Room Virtual Link Registration Recordings*
 1/17/2016  Let's Break the Silence: A Ten-Point Conversation About Racism Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view
1/26/2017 Intersectionality in Theory and Practice Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view
1/30/2017 Teaching Race in the Classroom: Becoming "Color Brave" Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view
2/6/2017 Whiteness, Inc Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view
2/13/2017 How "Black Lives Matter" Challenges American Racist Traditions Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view
 2/28/2017  Teaching Tolerance: Connecting the Past and Present Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view
3/6/2017 The Politics of Identity: Understanding How Group Identification Shapes Classroom Discourse  Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view 
3/14/2017 Addressing Students' Resistance to Discussions of Privilege Halle 109B Click here to register Click here to view

 *Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Faculty Development Center or Eastern Michigan University. 

January 17, 2017 - Let's Break the Silence: A Ten-Point Conversation About Racism
Tuesday 3:30pm-4:45pm
Ana Ferreira - Professor, African American Studies - (Halle 109B)

In order to deconstruct racial fallacies we need to understand the origins, motives, and goals of racist ideology(ies); identify the so-called scientific foundations of social stratification; and demystify racial superiority, whiteness, and entitlement.

 

January 26, 2017 - Intersectionality in Theory and Practice                                                                                                             Thursday 3:30pm-4:45pm                                                                                                                                                                              Beth Currans - Associate Professor, Women's and Gender Studies Dept. and Dyann Logwood - Lecturer, Women's and Gender Studies Dept. - (Halle 109B)

This workshop will introduce intersectionality as 1) a framework for addressing the ways that different forms of oppression and privilege interact in individual lives and 2) an approach to issues we teach about. We will present examples of readings and exercises that participants can use in their classrooms.

 

January 30, 2017 - Teaching Race in the Classroom: Becoming "Color Brave"
Monday 12:30pm-1:30pm
Doris Fields - Professor, Communication Dept. - (Halle 109B)

This workshop will examine the impact of discussing communication and race in a university classroom setting. Discourse adjacent to communication and race in the classroom can lead to successful communication opportunities in the workplace, personal lives and the global community. The workshop, “Teaching Race in the Classroom: Being Color Brave,” will address discrimination, prejudice, and racism in the classroom by using communication strategies to create interracial/interethnic awareness.

 

February 6, 2017 - Whiteness, Inc
Monday 12:30pm-1:30pm
Christine Hume- Professor, English Language and Literature Dept.  and Beth Currans- Associate Professor, Women's and Gender Studies Dept. - (Halle 109B)

This Workshop and discussion will address whiteness as a culturally constructed and economically incorporated entity, which touches upon and assigns value to nearly every aspect of American life and culture. Given the universalizing nature of whiteness, we will focus on the Constructions of Whiteness, White Speech, White Prosperity, White Spaces, and White Imagination. Addressing whiteness offers a chance to refocus typical discussions on race as a holistic system in which all are participants. 

 

February 13, 2017 - How "Black Lives Matter" Challenges American Racist Traditions
Monday 12:30pm-1:30pm 
Mark Higbee-Professor, History and Philosophy Dept. - (Halle 109B)

This will be an interactive discussion, led by 2 or 3 students and myself. We will focus on 4 or 5 events in American history since 1608 that each helped construct the racist foundation of American society. This foundation tragically twisted mainstream American beliefs into the white supremacy ideology that is now challenged by the "Black Lives Matter" movement, which seeks to make America into the land of equality celebrated in national myths.

February 28, 2017 - Teaching Tolerance: Connecting the Past and Present
Tuesday 12:30pm-1:30pm
Mary-Elizabeth Murphy - Assistant Professor, History Dept. - (Halle 109B)

Most people are familiar with the concept that race is a social construction, but scholars of history have proved that race is also an historical construction. This workshop will illuminate how issues of race and power operated in the United States from the seventeenth century to the present day, highlighting both continuity and change over time. Understanding the historical processes of race and privilege in U.S. History is critical to illuminating current issues of inequality and power relations.

 

March 6, 2017 - The Politics of Identity: Understanding How Group Identification Shapes Classroom Discourse
Monday 12:30pm-1:30pm
Heather Neff- Professor, McNair Scholars - (Halle 109B)

While our nation focuses on issues of race, questions of gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and ethnicity often play an overwhelming role in our students’ perceptions of the university experience. How do we display awareness of and sensitivity toward the way these factors shape the learning environment? How do we encourage students to gain a greater understanding of both their shared and divergent challenges? When is it okay to learn about others alongside our students? This workshop will invite participants to share their successes and frustrations in dealing the students’ identities in the classroom.
Adapted White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

 

March 14, 2017 - Addressing Students' Resistance to Discussions of Privilege
Tuesday 12:30pm-1:30pm
Stephen Jefferson - Professor, Psychology Dept. - (Halle 109B)

This workshop will utilize a mixture of lecture and discussion to address its topic. Specifically, I will highlight some common reactions I have personally observed and/or are also described in psychological research on such topics, and I will suggest responses that I believe have been effective in such situations. Finally, we will also discuss potential responses for experiences that faculty attendees might seek help with.