How are universities and their power structures mimicking the hierarchy of corporate structures?
How do we as BIPOC faculty and academic staff strategically confront the corporate cultures (which continue to be predominantly white) while we continue to be devalued and face various obstructions when we truly engage in critical diversity and equity work?
These are some of the framing questions that this workshop will explore.
Institutions continue to have various faculty and administrators, predominantly white, whose primary function is to promote diversity (on various strategic plans and brochures) while obstructing the real work of the diversity workers. Rather than helping BIPOC and justice oriented administrators develop a culture of equity and justice that could move toward the creation of just institutions, the obstructionists actively participate in efforts to block such initiatives to protect white supremacist structures. In fact, corporate toxic practices not only minimize the humanity of faculty and staff, but also drive away some of their best citizens.
In this workshop after the co-facilitators (a faculty and an administrator) highlight red flags related to experiences working in institutions that are suffering from toxic whiteness, they will engage in small group discussions with participants to unpack how white supremacy, toxicity and corporate structures are impacting the participants personally and derailing the DEI work that they really want to do. The co-facilitators will offer collective guidance in creating more justice oriented and equity centered spaces by both recognizing and challenging a culture of toxic whiteness.
Co-Facilitator Dr. Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt’s Bio:
Dr. Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt is the Edith Green Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at Linfield University in Oregon and also co-coordinates the Gender Studies program. She is the author of the monograph, The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant and is also the lead editor with Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya of Civility, Free Speech and Academic Freedom in Higher Education: Faculty on the Margins. As a public intellectual Dutt-Ballerstadt writes frequently critiquing the university in various national publications along with writing more scholarly articles on the intersections of critical race theory, decolonization and transnational feminism. She also mentors both students and BIPOC/BIWOC faculty to navigate various barrier in higher ed. Dutt-Ballerstadt also serves as the editor for Inside Higher Ed’s column “Conditionally Accepted,” a column for marginalized faculty in higher education.
Co-Facilitator Dr. Zack Ritter’s Bio:
Dr. Zack Ritter received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Higher Education, researching racial stereotypes of Asian International Students, worked at American Jewish University as a Career Center Director, University of Redlands as a Assistant Director of Diversity, Harvey Mudd College as Dean of Diversity, and now at Cal State Dominguez Hills as Associate Dean of Students. He has co-edited two books, Marginality in the Urban Center: The Costs and Challenges of Continued Whiteness in the Americas and Beyond; and Whiteness, Power and Resisting Change in US Higher Education: A Peculiar Institution. Ritter has also written on Jewish and Black solidarity movements and is a Diversity Consultant, helping schools, businesses, and organizations imagine how to create Anti-Racist cultures and systems.
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