Dana Thompson Dorsey, University of Pittsburgh
The Equity, Inclusion, and Action Committee held two very fruitful sessions during the 2017 AERA Annual Meeting in San Antonio. The first was Building a Wall of Resistance through Critical Solidarities: Attending to our Personal and Professional Needs and that of Others in the Current Political Climate. The second session was Early & Mid-Career Mentoring for Equity-Focused Faculty: Insights from Senior Scholars on Navigating the Pathways of Academia and included senior scholar-administrators Michael Dantley of Miami University, Frank Hernandez of Southern Methodist University, Judy Alston of Ashland University, and Susan Faircloth of University of North Carolina Wilmington. The first session had 15 attendees while the second had 20, not including the EIA committee members. Both sessions were highly interactive and left attendees wanting more!
The first session was birthed out of an expressed need from faculty and students to address the growing concern regarding the disparaging social and political rhetoric related to racial, ethnic, religious, and gender equity, as well as injustices related to immigration. The EIA committee members organized the session to give attendees an opportunity to share experiences from their professional and personal interactions over the past year, discuss how they have addressed negative encounters through their research and teaching, and offer suggestions about making equity-focused work a priority on their campuses and beyond. Feedback from the first session indicated a need to incorporate more time for sharing of “practical concrete steps that people are taking” in their classrooms, particularly in “teaching practices that help students to develop a critical lens.” Attendees also wanted a means to keep in contact and continue the supportive dialogue, storytelling, and sharing of “interdisciplinary practices” within the classroom.
A majority of participants in the second session agreed that the most useful advice shared was to “be authentic to yourself, create strategic relations, and be transparent” as an equity-focused scholar. Most second-session participants also suggested that the committee consider utilizing a workshop format for the mentoring, given the great insight that the senior scholars had to offer. Overall, the structure of the second session seemed optimal and, as one participant indicated, provided a “great opportunity to have meaningful discussions with a variety of people.” Snapshots of the second session capture the small-group discussions with the senior scholars.
Chair- Melissa A. Martinez, Texas State University
Co-Chair- Dana Thompson Dorsey, University of Pittsburgh
Rhoda Freelon, Spencer Foundation (two-year term; Fall 2016-Spring 2018)
Juan M. Niño, University of Texas at San Antonio (two-year term; Fall 2017-Spring 2019)
Bernard Oliver, University of Florida (two-year term; Fall 2016-Spring 2018)
Rosa Rivera-McCutchen, Lehman College (two-year term; Fall 2016-Spring 2018)
Lolita Tabron, University of Denver (two-year term; Fall 2017-Spring 2019)
As the EIA committee continues to utilize a two-year term for members, we will be looking to replace three members after spring 2018. If you are interested in being a part of the EIA committee for Division A, please contact Melissa Martinez (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dana Thompson Dorsey (email@example.com).