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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, 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. The workshops will be held on Zoom(opens in new window). Please login at in new window)!

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).