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Introduction to Systemic Racism + Interrupting Scientific Racism • FIRST Workshop Series

May 26, 2021

Dr. Emily Drew (Willamette University) and colleagues from Crossroads Antiracism Organization and Training host a series of three afternoon workshops (~12 hours total).  Seats are limited and attendance at all three sessions is expected. Davidson faculty/staff members interested in participating must express interest no later than 05.21.21 at tinyurl.com/crossroads21.

Introduction to Systemic Racism (two half-day sessions 05.26.21 and 05.27.21 from 1:30 pm-5:00 pm EST)
Overview:  The idea that oppression, and in particular, racism, is not only a matter of individual prejudice but a systemic, institutional problem of power is foundational to the Introduction to Systemic Racism workshop, and requires structural intervention to dismantle.  The workshop is designed for institutions who want their staff and faculty as well as their leadership to understand the systemic nature of racism and the role institutions play in its maintenance.

This workshop: 1) introduces a framework for understanding what systemic racism is and what is its relationship to white dominant culture in the USA;  2) begins exploring how the values of white dominant culture operating through US institutions replicate patterns of intersectional oppression that advantage white people disproportionately and that harm people of color regardless of intent; 3) invites participants – both individuals and institutions – to consider how they are upholding via institutional practices and norms – – often in unintentional ways – systemic racism, and 4) begins unpacking what the long-term strategic work of dismantling institutional practices upholding systemic racism will require of the institution and its stakeholders.  Participants to this workshop will gain shared language and frameworks with which to grapple not only their unwitting legitimization of systemic racism but with what committing to the work of dismantling racism and of cultivating antiracist culture and practice in their institutions will require.  They will be introduced to a strategic methodology that can assist them to organize the work of dismantling racism in the institutions in which they are invested.

Interrupting Scientific Racism Through More Effective Science Education (one half-day session 06.16.21 from 1:30 pm-5:00 pm EST)
Overview:  Science has played a significant role in constructing and maintaining racial ideology in the United States.  Therefore, it is essential that STEM faculty members think critically about how the legacies of racism and scientific racism affect and constrain current discussions in science and tacitly shape the questions that modern scientists ask.  This workshop explores the role science has played in reproducing racism and the racial worldview, including through science education.

Menali Sheth in “Grappling with Racism as a Foundational Practice of Science Teaching” (2018) argues that, “while current science teacher education frameworks designed to support high‐quality teaching have the potential to promote equitable science learning, they do not substantively engage with how racism organizes science teaching and learning.”  Therefore, recognizing and addressing racism in science education is an essential building block for crafting alternative futures for the field.  The workshop’s goal is to equip STEM faculty members with tools to become more effective educators that empower students with an anti-racist approach to disciplinary knowledge and skills.

Participants will:  1) ask questions about and collaborate with colleagues to examine the role of white supremacy in shaping their discipline; 2) explore the implications of this history, the “disturbing resilience” scientific racism, on scientific endeavor today; 3) examine the “racial worldview” of their own science education and uncover its manifestations in their own curriculum; 4) develop one addition/change in their course content that addresses scientific racism; 5) think critically about the role of science in knowledge production and its racialized impacts; 6) consider the ethical implications of science education not addressing racism and envision the significant role for science education in antiracist interventions.



May 26, 2021