Dearth of Faculty Diversity Leaves King Award Recipient ‘Neither Thrilled Nor Honored’

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-21 16:17Z by Steven

Dearth of Faculty Diversity Leaves King Award Recipient ‘Neither Thrilled Nor Honored’

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Eric Kelderman

Naomi Zack is one of just six people scheduled to receive a University of Oregon award on Wednesday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But the philosophy professor expressed mixed feelings about what the award means at a university where so few of her colleagues are minorities.

Ms. Zack, who describes herself as multiracial, said there are no women who identify as black in the College of Arts and Sciences and only two women of color, including herself, who qualify as full professors in the entire university. The other woman, she said, is the university’s vice president for equity and inclusion, Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh.

“I am neither thrilled nor honored to receive” the award, Ms. Zack plans to say, according to a copy of her prepared remarks. “I am embarrassed.”

“The absence of African-American senior faculty in what presents itself as a world-class research institution is an embarrassment for all members of our community,” the text reads…

Read the entire article here.

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Both native and foreign: How being of mixed race affects Japanese students

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2016-01-13 15:00Z by Steven

Both native and foreign: How being of mixed race affects Japanese students

The Cavalier Daily
Charlottesville, Virginia

Emily Gorham

I have now entered week five of my three month stay in Japan as an intern for the Ibaraki Christian University’s English department. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about what I’ve termed the gaijin stare — a phenomenon in which, as one of very few foreigners living in the Japanese countryside, I get stares from just about everyone, wherever I go.

This concept got me thinking: what happens when the gaijin stare is misplaced? Japan used to think of itself as a homogenous nation. Some people still think of it this way — though times are certainly changing and interracial marriage is growing increasingly common.

By one statistic, one in every 49 babies born in Japan today is considered “mixed race” — or “haafu,” which natives presumably take to mean half-Japanese and half-foreign. While this number may not sound staggering, it means Japan’s mixed raced demographic cannot be ignored.

After experiencing the gaijin stare myself, I spoke to a few students at the university who are considered “haafu” for their take on racial perception in Japan…

Read the entire article here.

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Brazil’s Federal Universities Approach Racial Quota Implementation Deadline

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-01-07 01:55Z by Steven

Brazil’s Federal Universities Approach Racial Quota Implementation Deadline


Marlenee Blas Pedral, Fulbright Fellow
Comissão Fulbright Brasil

In 2016, Brazil’s prestigious federal universities will be required to confirm that fifty percent of their incoming students come from public schools. Furthermore, slots for self-identifying Black, mixed-race and Indigenous students must correspond to the proportion of the local population.

Implemented in accordance with Brazil’s Lei de Cotas (Law of Social Quotas), these measures seek to ensure that Brazil’s public universities reflect the country’s diverse population. The implementation of these measures represents a big leap, but Brazil still faces many hurdles to making its higher education system more democratic.

More than half of the population in Brazil identified in the census as Black or mixed race, yet only 10 percent of this group made it to the university. In response to these high educational gaps, Brazil’s congress voted in 2012 for a plan to implement the Lei de Cotas…

Challenges in Higher Education

The residual effects of slavery are acute in Brazil, a country where roughly 4 million African people arrived through enslavement, compared to the estimated 400,000 Africans who arrived in the US.

While the US suffered from Jim Crow laws and one-drop rules, Brazil’s aim of branqueamento (whitening) and its push for imaginary “racial democracy” has yielded a different form of racism…

Read the entire article here.

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This poem perfectly captures feelings from a campus protest

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-12-26 16:06Z by Steven

This poem perfectly captures feelings from a campus protest


Blavity Team

What’s it like to be conscious of being love[d] and being hated at the same time? This poet [Ariana Brown] eloquently explains her experience at a campus protest.

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At UNLV, a north-south divide over rebel mascot — but it’s not what you think

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-24 22:36Z by Steven

At UNLV, a north-south divide over rebel mascot — but it’s not what you think

The Los Angeles Times

Nigel Duara, Contact Reporter

The University of Nevada Las Vegas mascot, Hey Reb! (exclamation mark included), warms up the crowd before a basketball game.
(Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

He is all bushy mustache and jutting chin below a pair of beady black eyes. His wide, gray hat perches at a tilt and his skin is the color of early peaches.

His name is “Hey Reb!” — exclamation mark included — and years ago he was supposed to be the end of a mascot controversy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. These days he is the beginning of a new one.

UNLV, like many public high schools and universities, is examining its mascot. The shooting deaths of nine congregants at a black church in Charleston, S.C., at the hands of a man who posed online with Confederate flags prompted U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada to question the appropriateness of Hey Reb!

In response, UNLV President Len Jessup requested that Rainier Spencer, vice provost for Academic Affairs at UNLV and the school’s chief diversity officer, analyze the mascot’s history, a five-month project that led Spencer to some surprising conclusions

Read the entire article here.

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UNLV President Len Jessup says keep Rebel nickname; research concludes no roots in Confederacy

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-24 22:16Z by Steven

UNLV President Len Jessup says keep Rebel nickname; research concludes no roots in Confederacy

U.S. News & World Report

Michelle Rindels, Politics Reporter
The Associated Press

FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2014, file photo, UNLV mascot Hey Reb warms up the crowd before an NCAA college basketball game in Las Vegas. UNLV President Len Jessup says the school needs to keep “Rebels” as its nickname after new research concluded it is not a reference to the Confederacy. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — UNLV is keeping its “Rebels” nickname and “Hey Reb!” mascot in spite of critics who said they should be changed because the imagery harkens to the Confederacy.

Citing newly released historical research that concluded the moniker was not intended as a reference to the Confederacy, the president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas issued a statement Monday saying the school must keep the name and mascot. He said “Rebels” expresses UNLV’s entrepreneurial spirit, and he noted overwhelming support for the term.

“It was coined as our young institution was fighting to establish its own identity, and it has come to represent the very independence and spirit that embodies both UNLV and Southern Nevada,” President Len Jessup wrote in a message to the UNLV community. “It is clear that ‘Rebels’ is central to our shared identity and represents the broadest definition of the term.”…

…UNLV Chief Diversity Officer Rainier Spencer finalized a 60-page research paper on the topic earlier this month, concluding the Rebel name emerged from southern Nevada students’ frustrations in the 1950s that the Legislature wasn’t investing as much in the south as it was in the University of Nevada, Reno.

“The Rebels nickname is not a Confederate reference, as it predates the first appearance of Confederate symbols, which was April 20, 1955,” wrote Spencer, who is also a vice provost and founder of UNLV’s Afro-American Studies Program. “Nevada Southern students were already known as Rebels before the application of those symbols; indeed, the symbols were applied because those students already had a non-Confederate Rebels identity, and also because of the north-south geography of the state.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Intergroup Dialogue: Engaging Difference, Social Identities and Social Justice

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-12-22 04:28Z by Steven

Intergroup Dialogue: Engaging Difference, Social Identities and Social Justice

24 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-81970-1

Edited by:

Ximena Zuniga, Associate Professor in Social Justice Education
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Gretchen Lopez, Director of the Intergroup Dialogue Program and Assistant Professor of Cultural Foundations of Education
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

Kristie Ford, Director of the Intergroup Relations Program and Associate Professor of Sociology
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York

Intergroup dialogue is a form of democratic engagement that fosters communication, critical reflection, and collaborative action across social and cultural divides. Engaging social identities is central to this approach. In recent years, intergroup dialogue has emerged as a promising social justice education practice that addresses pressing issues in higher education, school and community settings. This edited volume provides a thoughtful and comprehensive overview of intergroup dialogue spanning conceptual frameworks for practice, and most notably a diverse set of research studies which examine in detail the processes and learning that take place through dialogue.

This book addresses questions from the fields of education, social psychology, sociology, and social work, offering specific recommendations and examples related to curriculum and pedagogy. Furthermore, it contributes to an understanding of how to constructively engage students and others in education about difference, identities, and social justice.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Equity & Excellence in Education.


  • Part I. Introducing The Practice of Intergroup Dialogue
    • 1. Intergroup Dialogue: Critical Conversations about Difference Ximena Zúñiga, Gretchen E. Lopez and Kristie A. Ford
  • Part II. Intergroup Dialogue in Higher Education
    • 2. “I now harbor more pride in my race”: The Educational Benefits of Inter- and Intraracial Dialogues on the Experiences of Students of Color and Multiracial Students Kristie Ford and Victoria Malaney
    • 3. From Dialogue to Action: The Impact of Cross-Race Intergroup Dialogue on the Development of White College Students as Racial Allies Craig Alimo
    • 4. Fostering a Commitment to Social Action: How Talking, Thinking, and Feeling Make a Difference in Intergroup Dialogue Chloé Gurin Sands, Patricia Gurin, Biren (Ratnesh) A. Nagda and Shardae Osuna
    • 5. Engaged Listening in Race/Ethnicity and Gender Intergroup Dialogue Courses Ximena Zúñiga, Jane Mildred, Rani Varghese, Keri DeJong and Molly Kheen
    • 6. White Educators Facilitating Discussions About Racial Realities Stephen John Quaye
  • Part III. Intergroup Dialogue in Schools and Communities
    • 7. Raising Ethnic-Racial Consciousness: The Relationship Between Intergroup Dialogues and Adolescents’ Ethnic-Racial Identity and Racism Awareness Adriana Aldana, Stephanie Rowley, Barry Checkoway and Katie Richards-Schuster
    • 8. Writing the Divide: High School Students Crossing Urban-Suburban Contexts Gretchen E. Lopez and A. Wendy Nastasi
    • 9. Critical Education in High Schools: The Promise and Challenges of Intergroup Dialogue Shayla R. Griffin, Mikel Brown and Naomi M. Warren
    • 10. Racial Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Critical Interracial Dialogue for Teachers of Color Rita Kohli
    • 11. Supporting Critical Dialogues Across Educational Contexts Tasha Tropp Laman, Pamela Jewett, Louise B. Jennings, Jennifer L. Wilson and Mariana Souto-Manning
    • 12. Speaking Across Difference in Community Dialogue on Affirmative Action Policy Kristen L. Davidson and Michele S. Moses
  • Part IV. Considering Directions for Intergroup Dialogue: Research and Practice
    • 13. Intergroup Dialogue: Research Perspectives Across Educational Contexts Gretchen E. Lopez, Kristie A. Ford and Ximena Zúñiga
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Putting racism, white supremacy, and white privilege in context

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-12-17 00:02Z by Steven

Putting racism, white supremacy, and white privilege in context

Chimes: The official student newspaper of Calvin College
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Joseph Kuilema, Professor of Social Work

A group of students went to write positive messages on snow on cars following the racist comments that were written. Photo Credit Katelyn Bosch

On Sunday, Nov. 22, two members of our community wrote “white power” and drew a swastika in the snow on a car. Many members of our community condemned these actions as hateful and totally incompatible with our mission. In some ways, that’s the easy part. What has been more difficult is to acknowledge that what occurred was not an isolated incident, a freak occurrence in an otherwise loving and inclusive community. While few members of this community openly espouse white supremacy, many members of our community continue to deny white privilege. It must be clearly stated that those who deny white privilege functionally believe in white supremacy, whether they have the courage to write it on a car or not.

In his remarks on the incident, President Le Roy rightly identified the statement “white power” and the swastika with white supremacy and the ideology that shaped Nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa, chattel slavery in the U.S. and the Jim Crow South. He focused on two scriptures, the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11), and Jesus warning that before we remove the splinter in the eye of the other we ought to attend to the plank in our own (Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37-42). He did this largely in the context of not demonizing those who committed these acts, and that is an appropriate concern. Christians should never reduce anyone to the worst thing they have done. None of us stands innocent before the Lord.

However, we should never mention Nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa or the Jim Crow South without identifying the connections to us here at Calvin College and the brutality right here in Grand Rapids

…At the same time, I have to respectfully disagree with President Le Roy’s assertion that we are all racists. I, Joseph Kuilema, am certainly a racist. As a white male, I benefit tremendously from institutions and systems that have been built by and for people like me. This is how the social sciences define racism, not as merely the product of prejudice, explicit or implicit bias, but a system of power based on the invention of the “white race” by people in power. By this definition, we are not all racists…

Read the entire article here.

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Leaving to learn

Posted in Articles, Biography, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2015-12-03 02:37Z by Steven

Leaving to learn

Columbia Daily Spectator

Claire Liebmann

Courtesy of Karl Jacoby

Several years ago while browsing newspaper clippings online, Karl Jacoby, a history professor at Columbia, came across the story of William Ellis—a Texan slave who built a million dollar fortune while posing as a Mexican millionaire in New York, essentially hacking the system of American expansionism and oppression.

Tracking Ellis as he took on different names and personas was difficult: Ellis deliberately introduced falsehoods into the historical record to ensure that his racial passing was accepted by the broader society, but Jacoby stuck with it. Years later, this chance encounter with Ellis’ story would come to drive his personal historical research. Undertaking a yearlong leave of absence, he pursued his interest in reclaiming untold narratives, working on his book The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire.

Jacoby’s academic career is driven by his interest in complicating comfortable historical narratives. This process of reinvention and rediscovery depends on another kind of separation from the establishment: Jacoby’s reliance on his leave of absence as a means of promoting academic innovation…

Read the entire article here.

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Identity Does Not Define Experiences

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-28 21:25Z by Steven

Identity Does Not Define Experiences

The Oberlin Review
Oberlin, Ohio

Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, College senior

To the Editors:

My name is Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura. I take he, him and his. I am a mixed-race Japanese American. I am cisgender and heterosexual; I am from Ohio and a strictly middle-class background. (I received a federal Pell Grant one year and not others because my family is right on the cusp of certain federal guidelines.) My father is an immigrant with no college degree, while my mother has a Master’s degree. (You might be surprised at who makes more money.) I am the oldest and only son of four children. I am graduating in May and have gained tremendously from my Oberlin education.

This introduction is meant to highlight both my social privileges and challenges. (These are in fact relative terms, which means some elements of my identity have simultaneously advantaged me and been used to discriminate against me.) Asian Americans (particularly Midwestern ones and Ohio students in general) make up a fraction of Oberlin’s student body, while students of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indian descents are disproportionately represented, relative to their national populations, in American college campuses. In this country, people generally refer to me as part Asian, whereas in Japan I am overwhelmingly thought of as White. I will graduate from Oberlin with roughly $35,000 in loans (higher than the national average), yet statistics indicate I am better positioned to find a good job and start a family than my peers on this campus who come from low-income backgrounds.

There are many layers to my life story. I straddle the boundary between majority and minority, sometimes enjoying the benefits of one while enduring the hardships of the other…

Read the entire letter here.

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