Lunchtime Series on Diversity and Inclusivity in the Classroom

An A&S lunch time series to provide space for discussion among interested faculty across departments about topics related to inclusivity as well as other topics we encounter in the classroom in A&S. We’ll discuss issues that come up in discussing selected topics, as well as share potential strategies for dealing with issues we identify. Faculty facilitators will provide a short intro as a jumping off point for the discussion, as well as short readings or resources for the discussion.

Upcoming Lunchtime Series Topics

FALL 2020: Gender Pronouns in the Classroom and the Office
  • Facilitators: Ellen Riggle (GWS), Rachel Farr (PSY)
  • Date: TBD (rescheduled from Spring 2020)
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD

She/Her/Hers, They/Them/Their, He/Him/His, Ze/Hir/Hirs. These are all pronouns that may be preferred by individuals in describing their own gender Identity or being referred to by others (and there may be other preferred pronouns). Pronouns take the place of nouns and when singular and personal may be gendered (female, male) in the English language. Being thoughtful about how we use pronouns is a way of signaling support for the authentic identity of individuals we interact with. Using pronouns consistent with the gender identity or pronoun preference of an individual shows respect for that person. But what if I make a mistake and use the wrong pronoun? How will I know what pronoun to use? What if someone does not want to reveal their preferred pronoun? What do I do if other people intentionally or unintentionally use the wrong pronouns to describe a person? Respecting preferred pronouns and modeling for others how to respect preferred pronouns is important to supporting the health and well-being of our students and colleagues. Rachel Farr, Assistant Professor in Psychology, and Ellen Riggle, Professor and Chair of Gender and Women's Studies, will facilitate a discussion of pronoun use in the classroom, in the office, and in any professional (or personal) interaction. 


Previous Lunchtime Series Topics

March 4, 2020: Diversity and Inclusivity Syllabi Statements
  • Facilitators: Kristin Monroe (ANT), Mellissa Stein (GWS)
  • Time: 12:00 — 1:30 
  • Location: 245 POT

The practice of including diversity statements on classroom syllabi is increasingly common in higher education institutions across the U.S. A diversity statement is a paragraph or section in institutional, department, or course language that welcomes the range of human representations, including race, class, gender, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. In addition to signaling the instructor’s commitment to inclusive pedagogy, instructors can also use the diversity statement to set expectations for civil discourse, encouragement for varying opinions, and standards of behavior both within a course or discipline and during controversial campus events. At root, the diversity statement signals the instructor’s--and wider institution’s--belief that all students have value and bring unique perspectives worthy of consideration. By underscoring respect for differences in intellectual exchange, diversity statements can show support for students feeling marginalized and model equity as part of the learning process.


Graduate Inclusive Pedagogies Syllabus Statement 

Feb. 12, 2020: Civility in the Classroom
  • Facilitators: Michelle Sizemore (English), Brenna Byrd (Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • Time: 12 — 1:00
  • Location: POT 245

Calls for a return to civility pervade public discourse – journalists, politicians, academics, and commentators of all persuasions bemoan the deterioration of this virtue in our interactions with friends and strangers alike. Critics have blamed slackened censorship, unbalanced news coverage, political polarization, cultural pluralism, and social media’s preference for rudeness, among other causes. At stake in this decline, they argue, is no less than democracy itself. What is civility? Why is it thought to be crucial to the classroom? How can it be fostered, and what are the stakes of doing so? This session will explore the meaning of civility on college campuses and weigh the cases for and against civility in American social and political life. Additionally, we will discuss how civility relates to the concept of inclusivity in the classroom, and how both can be analyzed through the lens of group dynamics. We will then offer practical tips for fostering a cohesive classroom community that addresses both.


Civility on college campuses:

Community building and group dynamics:

Oct. 1, 2019: Using Students' Stories to Build Empathy Among Students
  • Facilitators: Rosie Moosnick (APP) with Meghan Clemmons (SOC), Alexis Nelson (PS), and Tom Webb (PS).
  • Time: 12 – 1
  • Location: POT 318

Much public discussion, following the 2016 election and the 2018 mid-term election, described differences between rural and urban voters, highlighting racial, cultural, and geographic gaps between them, transforming them into political foes, and promoting intolerance despite significant economic and existential commonalities. These commonalities are especially apparent on college campuses, where students of many sorts meet and interact, making college campuses especially promising spaces for overcoming racial, cultural, and political divides. Since identities inform how students experience college at the same time as they evolve through the college experience, we ask, can these identities contribute to overcoming political, racial, and geographic chasms and to a more constructive public sphere and increased tolerance?      


- Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History

Carlos Doesn’t Remember

- The Rural Higher-Education Crisis

When it comes to college enrollment, students in Middle America—many of them white—face an uphill battle against economic and cultural deterrents.

Jon Marcus and Matt Krupnick

September 27, 2017

Sept. 4, 2019: Linguistic Diversity in the Classroom
  • Facilitators: Jennifer Cramer (LIN), Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby (MCLLC), Brenna Byrd (MCLLC), and Rusty Barrett (LIN).
  • Time: 12-1
  • Location: POT 245

While many faculty easily recognize the racial, ethnic, class-based, and other forms of discrimination their students face, they often lose sight of the linguistic discrimination in which they themselves may participate. Indeed, biases about the languages or dialects that people speak seem to be some of the last “acceptable” forms of discrimination; they go generally unnoticed by everyone except those who are subjected to them. In this lunchtime discussion, we’ll address these forms of discrimination and discuss ways to mitigate their impact on students in your classes.


March 21, 2019: Discussing Science and Evolution in the Classroom
  • Facilitators: Julia Ravenscroft (ANT), Heather Worne (ANT), Jim Krupa (BIO), Jeremy Van Cleve (BIO)
  • Time: 12:30-2
  • Location: POT 318

Readings sent via email to participants

Feb. 26, 2019: Discussing Race and Migration in the Classroom
  • Facilitators: Cristina Alcalde (GWS) and Anastasia Curwood (AAAS and History)
  • Time: 12:30-2
  • Location: POT 318

We’ll discuss, among other issues participants bring up, topics connected to the short readings “Teaching and the N-word” and “I'm undocumented. It's time to reveal what that actually means”


Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected