Welcome to our module on Inclusive and Equitable Teaching Practices. I'm really excited today to introduce you to three experts we have at University of Michigan's campus; Dr. Stephanie Hicks, Dr. Whitney Peoples, and Dr. Stephanie Rosen. Today, they're going to share with us some insights as to their thoughts and thinking around inclusive and equitable teaching practices in higher education, how that can help create a more socially just university. I'll start with a simple question for all of you, maybe not too simple. Why have you focused part of your career on inclusive and equitable teaching practices in higher education? What brings you to your interest in this? We'll start with Stephanie Hicks. Thank you. I should give a short introduction. My name is Dr. Stephanie Hicks, and I am a lecturer in the program on intergroup relations at the University of Michigan, which is Social Justice Education Program that is housed both in the College of Literature Sciences and the Arts, and student life so we're a joint program and we support undergraduate and graduate students in facilitating dialogues with their peers around race and class, and gender, and a host of other social identities and justice issues. I think what brings me to this work is partly experience, and of course, formal training. I completed my graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and I was in an education policy program, specifically a social foundations program in education policy. In that space, I was working with a bunch of brilliant scholars and activist, and scholar activists. I was able to think about the connection between teaching as a political practice and pedagogy with that meant for what was happening in the classroom, and it's also when I was introduced to two intergroup dialogue. I thought my interest in policy shifted from thinking about specific urban education policy to thinking about what it means to be a socially just college educator and what that actually looks like in practice, and what that means in a place as complicated as a university. But also, it was just great to work with the students that I was working with. Working with students from a range of different backgrounds and students who reminded me of my own background coming from an urban space in the South side of Chicago, lots of other students of color, lots of other working class students, lots of other first-gen students. I was able to just combine worlds to help students think about their transition from some of those places into the academy, but also have my own transition in the academy myself. I think that's a bit of the how or maybe that's a bit of the why, and the how is that I get to develop and to teach intergroup dialogue programs and so I really get to work with students who are interested or maybe becoming interested in creating a more socially just world. I get to help them figure out how to do one piece of that which is start to learn a bit more about their own social identities, how they intersect with each other, how that impacts their experience, and then talk to other students productively about that, and figure out how they might then work together across difference towards a more just space. My doctoral training is in Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and so I think at the core of that work there is an attention to questions of equity and of justice. That was an important part, not only of what I taught, but also the way that I was trained to teach. Some of the things that we talk about in women's and gender studies it's, you do yourself and your students a real disservice if you go into that not thinking not just about the what but the how. I think that was a really important piece for me, but I'll backup a little bit more and say it was a really important part of my own experience as a student. I was all set to go to law school, I'll share with you-all. That was my trajectory. I come from a family of lawyers, I really understood that as a primary means of doing justice work in the world, and I was raised in a family where justice work was central. Civil rights work, social justice work, and so I thought through and through I was an opinionated kid and what you did with that is that you went to law school. Then I think in high school and in college, I encountered teachers that were able to open up new pathways for me and able to help me think about the range of ways that I might think of doing justice work and equity work in the world, and the classroom was a key site of that exploration. I did a doctorate in Academic Humanities, English Literature. Throughout my educational journey, I was really shaped by folks working in feminist and queer theory, and especially folks whose pedagogy was a key part of their scholarship, something that when you said really resonated with the way I think about this. But those teachers who recognized that a framework of a safe space was built on false premises, but we're invested in creating a space for transformation. Those were the teachers who shaped me and that's, I think, where I saw myself starting to go as I got deeper and deeper into higher education. I found my way to other types of critical theory like critical race studies and disability studies always through a feminist queer theory as a starting point. Now that I've come to the University of Michigan, I worked in a library. I am in a role related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and accessibility in particular. I'm not in the classroom teaching people, teaching undergraduate or graduate students as I once was, but I certainly am doing pedagogical work. A lot of the work that I do in this role is educating peers, in particular trying to follow the work that's happening in disability studies, in disability activism, disability justice, and then doing the work of translation to make that meaningful to people in higher education, and libraries and library and information science. That's what my work looks like nowadays, and a little bit about how I got to where I am. I think for me something I'm really excited about is, one, it's what Stephanie named though. This series in the library on anti-racist pedagogy is an example of that. For me, I am really excited about the work I get to do with faculty training them around equity focused teaching and around anti-racist teaching. That feels really exciting for me. I will tell you, in my own doctoral training on how to teach was scarce. We had some basic things and I find that that's really the case with a lot of faculty, a lot of instructors, is that you get maybe one semester or you get like a crash course in something at the beginning of your teaching career in the summer. But a really sustained practice of professional development or faculty development around teaching, isn't a standard part of most doctoral education. Certainly, some people have it but not everyone. A part of what I do is, I work with faculty on their courses and I do training, and help them have access to some of these frameworks like inclusive teaching, equity minded teaching, anti-racist teaching. That feels really important as a broad thing that I do on a regular basis. Another thing I'm really excited about I'll share is, I've been working with two faculty members in the School of Public Health; Dr. Melissa Query and Dr. Paul Fleming, who are working on a couple of different MOOCs or massive open online courses. But also in particular, I've been working with them on one called the ART Project. It is health equity through anti-racist teaching or ART. I'm excited about it because it's a different medium for talking about anti-racist pedagogy and anti-racist teaching. This is something I train people on and do face-to-face or Zoom-to-Zoom as it were these days, trainings all the time, and they really challenged me to help them build something that was totally online and that was asynchronous. It's challenging me to think about what are the best modes of engagement around these conversations, but it's also allowing us to think expansively about an asynchronous online course. How do we create points of connection for people? How do we really put anti-racist teaching forward? It's not just a theory, but it really is an embodied practice, and it is one that is best done in community. How can we encourage people to invite colleagues into this work with them to help them identify and connect with people, both at their institutions and elsewhere that are doing this work? That feels very exciting to me, both because the content is a core part of my training and my work, and it is really close to my own heart, but also just the way that we're now thinking I think more expansively about how we get information out there, how we bring people to these frameworks, and to practices that promote equity and inclusion, and just outcomes and experiences for students. That feels really exciting for me. I guess I want to start perhaps with disability justice because it is very historically specific, and I'm not sure that it is bringing the meaning that I mean with it when it travels in different circuits. There's different ways of disability activism, and the late 20th century wave of activism in the US and the UK coalesced around a civil rights approach to protecting disability rights and against disability discrimination. But using a legal framework of civil rights also meant coalescing around a single issue framework because that's how the law works and these things. That was setup to benefit people who can most benefit from the law, people who would have everything they need if it weren't for their disability. That left out people living in poverty, people who are incarcerated, people who are targeted by state violence, who are trans, who undocumented. There's a new wave of disability activism that responds to that problem and that's called disability justice, and it insists that we can't pull these things apart, that we need intersectional analysis and coalitional activism to address the way ableism works with racism and colonialism, and heteropatriarchy. Disability justice is that new wave of activism and it has all implications, and it's setup around this manifesto of 10 principles of what it's all about. You'll rarely hear me use the language of inclusive teaching. I will often talk about equity focused teaching, I will often talk about anti-racist teaching, feminist pedagogies, social justice pedagogy, and partly I stay away from inclusion because I think Stephanie was like, you're noting. I worry about the flattening of difference or the erasure of difference. Sometimes when we talk about inclusive pedagogy, we drop some of the critical approach to difference so that we understand that there are some identity categories, some modes of embodiment, some differences that are absolutely fundamentally connected to historical forms of oppression and exclusion, and marginalization; legal exclusion marginalization, but also things that are not just about what is legal and illegal and really wanting to be able to think about a staple, for example, of inclusive teaching or equity focused teaching in a classroom space is often ground rules or norms of engagement. This is something that you'll often see used. This is to give students a sense of what are the boundaries of ethical and civil discourse, and respectful discourse in the class, how will we navigate disagreement, and I think these are really important. But I often hear people say, well, ground rules are so that we can include all voices in the classroom. My students were talking about socialization, and I think one of the most useful parts of social justice pedagogy and of anti-racist pedagogy's that allows us to critically examined institution so we don't again just take it as it is, it's a tool to think about, how is this thing used? What are of its parts? How is it used? Who does it benefit? How does it do that? Who does it sanction? Who does it exclude? How and why does it do that? I love that section, I love that part of my courses because the students are reminded that educational spaces or institutions, the place that we're in at the moment is that and so we get to ask, how is it socializing us and to what end? It's not only one thing is happening at a time. We have multiple social identities and so we're being socialized in multiple ways to fit or not fit in multiple systems of oppression. There's a lot of different things going on, but even getting to raise those questions with the students and figure out how they're making sense of it, I think it's part of what we want to do because the students themselves can start to understand or continue to explore the different path they've traveled to come to this university space. There's a lot of wisdom in that. When they start to uncover their own personal histories and they start to talk about them with each other, a lot of what Whitney said, rise to the surface. Everyone didn't travel the same path to get here, and not everyone's understanding of why they're here is the same. That means something. It can be someone's individual story, but those are connected to larger structures. There's a reason why these stories are different. I think one of the gifts of ways that we get to engage these different types of pedagogy is that they allow us to critically examine these institutions and we first get to figure out what is not just here and then we get to think creatively about where we want to go if in fact we want to change that and some other ways, that brings up conflicts because there's not one understanding of what a just university would look like or that one is fully and totally possible. But it's like this flat thing that's going to be altogether just for everyone in the same way. What various people are going to understand as just and as liberatory is not what other folks are going to understand and there's real reason for that. Yeah, I appreciate the question and I think that the ways that we teach get to help us probe that with the folks that we work with. I think back in 2006, Chris Bell wrote an article called Introducing White Disability Studies to say everything that we call disability studies so far in the academy could actually just become white disability studies because that's what it has been. Melissa Thompson who's an activist who does a lot of work online, started the disability to white hashtag in 2016. That's been going on. But there's also work in the academy to re-center different lineages within the field of disability studies. Work by Gina Kim and Sam Shock, they have an article in which they trace lineages of black feminist thinking that are absolutely foundational to what we need in disability thinking right now, including all questions of care that's Stephanie Hicks was bringing up. I love that they said that this article was a labor of love because they wrote 30 pages to make this known in an academic way so that the next time a scholar needs to cite a black woman with a disability studies, they don't need to spend like two or three pages explaining why they need to do that. That was already true, but that article makes it acceptable within a scholarly discourse, which I guess is part of the problem that you prompted us with in the beginning of the academic institution. I guess one last thing thinking about how to find these pockets of liberation within an institution. Preparing for this conversation, I was thinking a lot about my background in teaching and work I've done within classrooms, and how that's not what I do now and how I miss the space of possibility. But I think I do find it in the relationships that I'm still able to develop with young and upcoming scholars, and also the peers at the same institution and I think creating opportunities to nurture other folks development, and creating more space for them to flourish in their work, and for their work to be accepted within the institution, that's one place I find this as well. Can I just follow up on too, Stephanie Rosen, and say, I really appreciate you in talking about your workout side of the classroom because I think we often miss. When we talk about inclusive teaching, or equity focused teaching, or anti-racist teaching, etc, we're thinking about the very traditional classroom space and a traditional instructor, and that's certainly important and it can be a centerpiece. But there are so many sites of learning. In a college or a university, students are learning and teaching constantly in the classroom, outside of the classroom, on the quad, in the library in the dorms, and so I love the idea that there are practitioners, there are folks that are doing this work, that are responsible for this work, that are also outside of the classroom because I think one of the things for me in higher ed is really trying to disrupt silos, and there is a clear silo between the academic affair side and the student affairs side. But that's not how students experience the university. That's not how they move through the space. For me, silos are almost always connected to structures of hierarchy and inequitable power relations, and folks right about that in higher education space is also about that divide between student affairs and academic affairs. I just wanted to name. Stephanie Rosen, I really appreciate you naming a space beyond the classroom. It's like, how do you still experience these connections and still do this work beyond just training faculty to do it? But then, how did you find space for it for yourself?