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The Office of Faculty Development

Teaching Racial & Social Justice Series

The Office of Faculty Development is proud to sponsor a new Teaching Racial and Social Justice Series (TRSJ), consisting of monthly workshops designed to challenge our teaching practices. This series is in line with the University's increased efforts towards Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and is meant to create a space for important conversations around systemic race and social injustice, including in the academic realm

TRSJ Zoom Link(opens in new window)      FDEV Podcast on TRSJ(opens in new window)

Supporting Students with Culturally Sustaining Assessment

(Tuesday, April 27th 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Assessment is crucial to our work and understanding if students are meeting learning outcomes. As educators we all have some connection to building and facilitating assessment, but how much thought do we put into it? Are we assessing the right things? Have we developed appropriate outcomes? Are we considering who Chico State students are and what they bring to our campus? This session, led by Paul Bailey and joshuah whittinghill, will provide opportunities to explore these questions and more. In addition we will reflect on our assessment practices and how they impact student learning experiences.

Participants will: ​

  • Critically analyze relationships between their assessments and possible inequitable student outcomes. ​ ​

  • Explore development and facilitation of assessments. ​

  • Understand how traditional assessment practices may further marginalize oppressed student groups.  ​

  • ​Begin to develop an assessment about students' capital.

Data Displays and Interpretation: Linking the Practices of Our Fields to Social Justice Issues

(Tuesday, April 13th 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

A liberal arts degree is valuable not just because the holder has knowledge of a variety of fields but because they have a sense of the vital connections between them. Each content area asks students to interpret and analyze visual presentations of data, whether that involves spectrometer readings, financial trend graphs, or maps. The skills involve more than following a step-by-step set of procedures, and so the open-ended approach lends itself to connections with other areas. We instructors can then make the choice to build our students’ capacity in reading displays from our fields by using displays that communicate information of a social justice nature.  Participants will be invited to

  • Analyze data displays as a group and enumerate the skills and tools used in interpretation

  • Apply a similar process to a data display from their own coursework

  • Find or create a social justice-themed data display that engages the approaches from their field and create a short activity or assignment for use in their class.

Explore the Google Slides (Google Slide) shared during the presentation.

Personal Stories to Understand Power and Privilege

(Wednesday, March 24th 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.)

You are invited to share and explore how your personal stories -- and those of your students -- help you understand power and privilege. In this workshop, we will use your personal stories to dive deeper into the topics. The workshop, led by Dr. Browning Neddeau, includes brainstorming ways to weave personal stories of power and privilege into the courses you teach. The workshop welcomes individuals to a space where open and honest conversations about power and privilege can ignite transformative teaching practices that lift all students.

Participants will be asked to:

  1. Identify their personal stories of power and privilege.

  2. Reflect on how personal stories of power and privilege potentially drive pedagogical approaches.

  3. Discuss ways to integrate personal stories of power and privilege into their courses.

Cultivating Humanizing Pedagogy in Constricting Institutional Contexts

(Friday, February 19th 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

This session, led by Dr. Annie Adamian, aims to contribute toward expanding the possibilities for teaching and learning toward racial justice in constricting institutional contexts. More specifically, we will discuss how classroom communities have a responsibility to engage with humanizing teaching practices that BIPOC communities deserve and have a human right to experience, by:

  • Drawing from critical race theory and exposing how the U.S. legal system protects and serves historically white institutions with policies and practices rooted in the language of “race and equality,” instead of “racism and equity,” creating constrictions and constraints for students and teachers working toward racial justice.
  • Examining and confronting race-neutral U.S. policies and practices that perpetuate race evasiveness and the expansion of white supremacy, resulting in racially hostile campus climates for BIPOC communities.
  • Discussing how engaging with humanizing pedagogy requires strategic maneuvering while teaching and learning in contradictory ways at the nexus of oppression and liberation, which consequently positions teachers and students working toward abolishing systems of oppression as fugitives.
  • Contesting the call for “safe spaces” in classrooms that result in catering to White comfort and innocence, and instead cultivate “brave spaces” that seek to collectively name and take action toward eradicating all forms of oppression and human suffering.

Teaching Law Without Erasing Justice

(Tuesday, December 1st 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

"Teaching Law Without Erasing Justice" will be an interactive session that begins with a brief description of the structural problem of erasing race in legal education, which reflects a greater, system-wide history of oppressing racial minorities through institutional "color blindness." This approach ignores the intentionally racist structures that were baked into the legal system since its founding. Professor Maitreya Badami will offer examples of how critical race theory has sought to shift the focus in legal education from race-neutral analysis to one that incorporates the reality of differential treatment and differential outcomes by race. Prof. Badami will also discuss the complex balance between exposing students to the use of professional language in legal studies while identifying how that language removes the specificity of race-related experiences and concerns. After establishing this framework, Prof. Badami will invite participants to:

  • Identify ways in which their own disciplines utilize race-neutral language in a way that supports systemic racist structures
  • Challenge discipline-specific language while still satisfying discipline-specific learning outcomes

Social Structures and Power in Academia

(Tuesday, November 10th 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

The Social Structure and Personality Theory can help us to understand how academic socializing agents use emotional manipulation tactics to maintain a racialized status quo in Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Hierarchical systems uphold the racialized, gendered and elitist norms that prevent large-scale changes in outcomes for Black, Brown, and Poor students. Publicly, however, focuses on new resolutions and reform policies present great illusions of structural change. Calls for deference and respectability reproduce emotional and material sanctions when the marginalized resist oppression. Educational power agents then re-stigmatize those who attempt change, while simultaneously fostering tokenism to uphold current power structures.

This workshop, facilitated by Dr. Lesa Johnson, will help participants:

  1. Identify the systemic structures that maintain a racialized status quo in Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs),
  2. Challenge their perspectives when establishing and writing university policy, and
  3. Devise or improve teaching practices that fight institutional racism.

Pedagogy of Anarchy

(Tuesday, October 20th 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

Anarchy is a popular buzzword these days, but what does it actually mean and how can you harness the power of anarchy in your classroom to create a more just and equal classroom? This workshop, led by Dr. Lindsay Briggs, will talk about how the main tenets of anarchism can be operationalized in teaching pedagogy to create an equity based classroom environment where all students can feel comfortable and valued in sharing their perspectives. 

How to Be An Antiracist: A Pedagoagy Discussion

(Friday, September 25th 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

The Office of Faculty Development is partnering with the Book in Common initiative to offer a FDEV workshop led by Dr. Nandi Crosby based on How to be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi.

We encourage all faculty to participate, whether you already have a plan to use Kendi’s book in your classrooms (so you can share ideas with others) or you have not had a chance to consider a way to adopt the book in your course (so you can get ideas from this discussion).