Ogechi Nwordu, UDARI Community Engagement Award Update

Posted on August 3, 2021 at: 10:53 am

Healing Us: Cultivating Healing and Change Through Empathic Listening (copyright 2021)

“Healing Us: Cultivating Healing and Change Through Empathic Listening Workshop” was designed to facilitate and foster racial healing among students identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the University of Delaware campus. Healing Us is a structured, process-oriented workshop, inspired by the significant need for community based racial healing initiatives. It uses group therapy techniques and collectivist community-based practices to guide participants through the process of developing empathy for their peers. Healing Us was funded by a community engagement fellowship grant from the University of Delaware Anti-Racism Initiative (UDARI).

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Chrysanthi Leon,First State Second Chance UDARI Small Grants Sub-committee Update

Posted on July 22, 2021 at: 11:45 am

Prison Education: First State, Second Chance

Associates in Art Program(AAP)

Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender Based Violence

Grant report

7/19 /2021

Pathways to Education for Incarcerated People

In Spring 2021, eleven incarcerated students enrolled for credit in courses that will count towards the Associate in Arts degree. This is a significant expansion from the handful of students who have received credit for Inside Out courses in the past and provides a meaningful step forward towards our goal of creating a degree pathway that will include Inside Out, online and in person courses.

This semester, tuition for these 11 students was covered thanks to the generosity of the UDARI committee, Professional and Continuing Studies and the members of our subcommittee.  Instructors taught as volunteers.  Members of the subcommittee have been working with internal and external stakeholders to build this capacity into a sustainable program that can serve students’ needs for degrees and certificates that facilitate their full employment.  The Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender Based Violence has agreed to house First State First Chance going forward, in continued collaboration with the Associate in Arts Program and Professional and Continuing Studies, and is exploring how best to offer certificates for incarcerated students.  Undergraduate researcher Jules Lowman interviewed colleagues across the country to learn how other universities provide education to incarcerated students, the subcommittee as a whole remained active and engaged, and has now turned towards finding ways to staff future courses for incarcerated students and to resources the program.

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Nathan Thayer, UDARI Graduate Student Awards Update

Posted on at: 11:42 am

Project Title: Care-Full Work: Black Lives Matter, allyship, and the academy

This year I received funding from UDARI to support my dissertation research which uses feminist ethics of care as a lens to view the actions and forms of support put to work to implement antiracist politics and goals. This project is three-pronged, looking at newspaper coverage of care and violence at the racial justice protests that unfurled across the US following the murder of George Floyd; interrogating the experiences and strategies employed by university faculty, staff, and students engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work at UD; and, the experiences of students taking a university senior level course centered on race, racism, and antiracism at UD. Due to complications from CoVid-19, data collection on this project was delayed and the findings are still yet to come. However, through the support of UDARI I have been able to develop a course on geographies of antiracism that is heavily focused on student self reflection, as well as student led research projects on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on campus. The course will be offered in Fall of 2021 (GEOG 467). Further, I have been able to access a database containing nearly 8000 newspaper articles detailing racial justice protests from 2017 to the present, including dates, locations, numbers of attendees (not in all instances), and reports of violence committed at protests. I have begun working my way through the data to organize it further. Over the next few months I will begin interviewing DEI involved campus community members for the second component of the project, and will be prepared to start analysis on the newspaper coverage. Additionally, I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on the care-full classroom UDARI sub-committee, which gave me space to further my understandings of caring practices in the classroom which will further inform the third component of my research. I am deeply thankful for the support UDARI has given me on this project.

Jocelyn Alcantara-Garcia UDARI Faculty Fellow Project Update

Posted on at: 11:35 am

Below is a short paragraph/abstract of the project/publication. For reference, among other things, I will touch on the “Chemistry of Dyeing” online workshop, and two other workshops part of a DE Humanities grant. (The First People of the First State: Restoring our Ancestral Knowledge). The publication is going to the Journal of Chemical Education, which is preparing a special issue on Diversity and Inclusion.

I’ll continue working on the white paper on the air. Is white paper because it is so general that you can scribble on the blank/white page? Were they submitted back in the day in the whitest paper? Hypotheses…

Dyed archaeological textiles. Herbal remedies. Improvement of food’s nutritional properties. These are only three examples that were discovered and exploited by Indigenous communities around the globe, many of which still exist today. The scientific method starts with an observation, followed by steps that include a testable hypothesis and experimentation. The three examples provided exemplify that the earliest scientists are of Indigenous origin, as dyed textiles still show their vibrant colors (discovered how chromophores bond); quinone remains used to treat malaria (treated stomach maladies with Cinchona officinalis); and nixtamalized corn continues to feed millions (made readily available niacin, increasing maize’s nutritional value). Indigenous communities tend to live below the poverty threshold and are frequently discriminated and undermined, so this work presents selected discoveries and contributions made by Indigenous peoples as an ally strategy. The work and teaching idea has two main objectives: (1) to showcase “the earliest scientists” by connecting historical background with scientific discovery, and (2) to attract and retain people to STEM fields, using Indigenous knowledge.

Lindsay Naylor, UDARI Faculty Fellow Project Update

Posted on at: 11:30 am

Anti-assimilationist Mentoring Plan

Sub-committee chair: Deconstructing Syllabi

The education system in the United States puts Black, Indigenous, and people of color into what Love names “perpetual survival mode” (2019: 39). The academy and sites of higher education are institutions imbued with power and privilege. The character of success at the university is presented as benign meritocracy, yet in practice, women, and members of the BIPOC community are often excluded. There is a long history of exclusion and lack of support for these groups and those who do have a measure of success in the academy are often forced to adapt or assimilate to a structure that was not built for them. Moreover, for graduate students at predominantly white institutions may be difficult to find a mentor that they see themselves represented in, as the exclusion and underrepresentation of BIPOC faculty remains pervasive. This situation creates a twofold problem: first, graduate students may not establish a strong mentoring relationship that allows them to feel integrated into their program (see: McCallum 2020); and, second, students may end up merely surviving their program, rather than thriving. There are greater structural issues that must be addressed at all levels of the university, and multiple approaches will be necessary. One approach that can be put into practice immediately is considering how we mentor graduate students who are from groups, which have been continuously excluded and are underrepresented in our disciplines. Here, I offer a series of suggestions, including how to better understand student experiences and what steps to take in mentoring practices, which may allow for breaking out of the assimilationist model imposed by the university and considering additional options for mentoring students to be their full selves.

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