Thursday, February 08, 2018

#ALISE2018 : A Critical Dialogue: Faculty of Color in Library and Information Science

Monica Colon-Aguirre, Nicole Cook, Renata Chancellor, Joe Sanchez, Bharat Mehra, Vanessa Irvin, Tonia Sutherland, Renee Hill, Amelia Gibson 

This session is based on a 2017 paper of the same title.

Prompts for each speaker will be the same.

Tell us about a time when you experienced discrimination as a faculty member.
  • Backhanded compliments in student evaluations.
  • Micro-aggressions. 
  • Comparisons that are racist.
  • Harassing emails because of someone’s research focus
  • Question: Are our associations and institutions ready to support faculty who are being harassed because of the faculty member’s diversity?
  • Inappropriate questions from students and faculty.
  • Colleagues who do not openly support a faculty member of color and do not confront people who aggressive towards faculty of color.  Support needs to be open, loud, constant, continuous. We need our colleagues to not be cowards.
  • When a faculty member of color’s story is not believed.
  • Comments about appearance.
  • Being challenged in class and on student evaluation because the faculty member’s intelligence is not acknowledged.
  • Needing to conform to the decorum of the majority.
  • Inappropriate assumptions based on a person’s last name.
What do you want the rest of the world to know about the experiences and/or needs of faculty of color?
  • “It was that traumatic that I can’t forget it.”
  • Realize that faculty of color are not being too sensitive.
  • That it takes a lot of work to educate individuals one at a time so those people can provide the support and protection that is needed.
  • It is everyone’s job on the faculty to understand the situations that are having a negative impact on faculty of color.
  • The stress is real and it can cause illness.
  • Retention is an issue.  
  • The initiatives that are bringing faculty of color into academia do not assure retention.
  • Faculty of color tend to follow research agendas which may require more work due to the level of community engagement require.  That may mean that the person may have fewer publications when going through tenure review.
  • Faculty of color are expected to over perform in order to be seen as equal.
  • “We are enough.”
  • You cannot just hire one person from a diverse background.  That person will be seen as a token and that person does not adequately represent the diversity in the community. Develop cohorts who can support each other.
  • Be willing and able to listen to people of color who are speaking up and placing information in the public forum.
  • Don’t just invite people of color for photos. Invite people of color to be a part of your research team (co-PI).
  • If you are researching diverse populations, do that work with faculty from those diverse populations.  
  • LIS associations need to do more than talk about diversity. Can they do something to broaden the diversity of the associations? 
  • That faculty of color need communities of support inside and outside of academia.
  • Know that some faculty will be unable to change so they are fully accepting of faculty of color.
  • Faculty of color need to keep themselves safe, sane, and healthy. Respect that need.
  • Support for faculty of color needs to begin when they are doctoral students.
Edited for types and reformatted: Feb. 11, 2018

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