The conference Anti-racism and Diversity in Academia
On the 28th of May we organized a full-day conference ANTI-RACIST STRATEGIES IN TEACHING, LEARNING, RESEARCH AND INSTITUTIONAL LIFE as a cooperation between scholars gathered in the local group of Antirasistisk Akademin and the student collective Gender Troublemakers.
This conference aimed at exploring sites of structural, institutional and other forms of racism in academic life and developing strategies to dismantle sometimes blatant, other times more subtle and hidden, forms of discrimination and racism in academia.
The questions that we wanted to address during a full day of lectures, panels and a workshop were:
How can we teach in an anti-racist way? What does an anti-racist learning require? How might we create and sustain learning spaces in which we can explore difficult issues in critical ways? How does one become an anti-racist scholar? How do we engage with anti-racism in research and how can we write critical research applications that also are successful? How can anti-racism help us create more diverse curricula and reading lists? How can we identify and address the privilege that leads to “cloning cultures” in academia? What are the best strategies for creating an academia that reflects the diversity of society?
Some pictures from the conference day.
The idea for this initiative grew from a longer cooperation between students, faculty and other people active in academia around topics of diversity and anti-racism in academic settings. The cooperation started several months ago with a group of junior teachers and scholars working in Lund and Malmö meeting to discuss racism and anti-racism at universities. As a result of these meetings we have created a network of people working in academia and interested in these issues and organized several events. We have worked in three small groups focusing on the following issues: (1) anti-racist teaching and learning, (2) widening recruitment and participation, (3) anti-racist research will develop their corresponding tools to improve diversity and equality in academia.
The project for which we got funding is aimed at designing and piloting a set of tools for diversity and anti-racism in academia. It will consist in the creation of different tools including workshops and booklets aiming to provide ideas on how to promote equality and diversity in different areas of the academic activities, such as learning and teaching, research, and student/staff recruitment.
The project is composed by three different phases:
- Design of the material
- A conference with lectures and workshops to pilot the material that was hold at the end of May
- Re-design and spreading of the material