Introduction to Diversity Teaching Lab

Three years ago 15 faculty, staff and administrators joined together to form the first Diversity Teaching Lab (to understand more about "Teaching Labs" in general please visit the Collaborative Teaching Lab web page). Our goal was to create a place where a group of people committed to digging more deeply into the the dynamics of diversity on our campus. In our classes, in our academic divisions and in our general campus community. We wanted to move beyond the general diversity related training we had all been exposed to and move more deeply into the places we felt stuck, afraid and under prepared to address the issues we all experienced on a regular basis.

We new this work would require trust and commitment. Thus, we formed a group of fifteen people who agreed to meet every other week for two hours. We agreed to meet for the entire academic year. We agreed to take risks, be honest and respect our common desire to engage issues of equity and social justice in a more straight forward way.

We are now beginning our third year of the Diversity Teaching Lab. Some members have moved on, some have joined us for the first time and six of us have continued to share and grow together for all of this time.

A sample of topics covered in the second year of the lab is offered below.

Diversity Teaching Lab Topics of Interest

Classroom Issues

  • Barbara’s hiring interview teaching exercise
  • Taking risks when the heat is on.
  • How to open the question of "difference" in a class.
  • Gay and Lesbian issues in class/on campus
  • Music and the other Arts: A doorway to understanding
  • Diversity.
  • Creating an atmosphere of "others" in the classroom.
  • Physical difference in classroom. Dress, smell, speech.

Cultural/Institutional Issues

  • Diversity Courses/outcomes assessment
  • Andrea "O": Reality of building a "D" course.
  • Diversity hiring practices at Everett and elsewhere
  • Teaching Tolerance (tolerance.org)
  • Privilege

Diversity Expanded

  • Disability Services

Nature/Nurture

  • Diversity and Identity deconstructed
  • Biology of Race
  • Racial Identity Development Possible books:
    • "Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?"
    • "Cultural Response Patterns."

*Categories, wording, and "idea person" are only the best of recollection. Let’s massage this list in whatever ways it needs massaging. Because someone brought up an idea does not commit them to leading an activity on the topic, though that option remains open.