Responding To Racism on College and University Campuses - Virtual Sessions hosted by UPenn

Date: December 9, 2015 - December 16, 2015
Time: 4-5:30 p.m.
Location: Student Services Building Room 6

Penn Summit on Responding to Racism on College and University Campuses

Shaun R. Harper, Ph.D.

Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education

The Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania is home to Penn Summit, a series of daylong professional development experiences for educators and educational leaders.

Over the past decade, Center researchers have conducted dozens of campus racial climate studies at predominantly white postsecondary institutions across the United States. In response to recent college student protests, the Center is offering a special four-part Virtual Penn Summit that will help higher education administrators and faculty better understand and respond more effectively to racism on their campuses. Educators can register for a single online module or for the full series.

Professor Shaun R. Harper, founder and executive director of the Center, will lead these four modules in the Virtual Penn Summit:

December 7 - MODULE 1: HOW PEOPLE OF COLOR EXPERIENCE RACISM ON CAMPUS - Center researchers will present data from campus racial climate studies we have conducted with students, faculty, and staff members of color at predominantly white institutions across the nation. Specific examples of people?s routine encounters with racial micro-aggressions and overt forms of racism on a wide range of campuses will be furnished. We will also help Penn Summit participants understand the persistence, pervasiveness, and undercurrents of racial problems that students of color are presently protesting.

December 9 - MODULE 2: RACE-CONSCIOUS INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP - This module will focus on what campus leaders must do to more effectively respond to racism on campus. Emphasis will be placed on listening to and feeling what people of color say about their racialized experiences; reflecting on one?s own racial identity and prior racial socialization; and understanding what race-conscious institutional leadership entails. Leaders holding themselves and colleagues with whom they work more accountable for actualizing institutional missions and fostering inclusive campus environments will also be emphasized.

December 14 - MODULE 3: RACE-CONSCIOUSNESS IN CLASSROOMS AND CURRICULA: STRATEGIES FOR COLLEGE FACULTY - Topics in this module will include: creating inclusive classroom environments for students from all racial and ethnic groups; productively raising race questions and seemingly difficult topics in class discussions; making good educational use of racial tensions that arise between students in classroom conversations and in group work; and thoughtfully integrating racial topics and scholars of color into curricula across academic fields. Attention will also be paid to being more self-reflective and race-conscious in one?s approaches to teaching and learning.

December 16 - MODULE 4: STRATEGICALLY IMPROVING CAMPUS RACIAL CLIMATES - In this module, strategies will be presented for assessing and proactively addressing racial climate problems before they erupt in protest, or lead to marginalization and high attrition rates among students and employees of color. Presenters will engage participants in a strategic planning exercise focused on three levels: individual self, organizational unit (e.g., office, department/division, academic school), and the larger college/university campus. This planning exercise will help participants identify immediate and longer-term strategic actions for their specific contexts.

Content for each virtual module will be delivered live via Google Hangout. To bolster engagement, participants will be encouraged to pose questions through Facebook, Twitter, and Google Hangout. Presenters will periodically read and respond aloud to questions posed by persons tuned into the live broadcast.