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Dialogue Series

Tufts offers three dialogue series programs, Radical Healing, Unpacking Whiteness, and Intercultural Learning Communities (ILC). By design, they bring together small groups of participants who aim to interrogate their understanding of the construct of whiteness as a global social paradigm. This construct operates in hidden ways that too often gives rise to racism and oppression.

While the series are focused to address issues understood to be applicable to specific audiences (see below), each program is open to all full-time Tufts staff and faculty, regardless of how they self-identify racially or ethnically.

Registration for Radical Healing and Unpacking Whiteness for Fall 2022 is now complete. Please stay tuned for more information about the next registration period for the Intercultural Learning Communities program.

 

Radical Healing

The content of Radical Healing is focused to address issues understood to be applicable to populations who historically have faced racial discrimination and marginalization. At the heart of Radical Healing is knowing that everyone wants to feel included, accepted, and like they belong at work, and that marginalized people deserve to live free of discrimination, racism, and oppression.

Structure & Time Commitment

All sessions are led by a Tufts staff or faculty member who have unique subject matter expertise and training to facilitate these sessions. Our facilitators seek to create a space where people can speak openly with candor about their personal experiences with race, racism, and whiteness. In this spirit, participants are expected to attend and contribute to every session.

Participants are provided with 3-5 readings/videos/podcasts and accompanying reflection questions to complete ahead of each 90-minute session. This structure allows for meaningful personal investigation into the discussion topics.

Questions?

For questions or more information please contact diversity@tufts.edu.

 

Unpacking Whiteness

The content of Unpacking Whiteness is focused to address the experience of those who have racial privilege and who would like to find support in understanding how to practice anti-racism in their daily lives. Anti-racism is an active and ongoing process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes in a way that redistributes power and creates more equitable policies and structures while drawing attention to the lived experiences of those who are on the margins and least likely to have the power and influence to change systemic racism and oppression.

Structure & Time Commitment

All sessions are led by a Tufts staff or faculty member who have unique subject matter expertise and training to facilitate these sessions. Our facilitators seek to create a space where people can speak openly with candor about their personal experiences with race, racism, and whiteness. In this spirit, participants are expected to attend and contribute to every session.

Participants are provided with 3-5 readings/videos/podcasts and accompanying reflection questions to complete ahead of each 90-minute session. This structure allows for meaningful personal investigation into the discussion topics.

Questions?

For questions or more information please contact diversity@tufts.edu.

 

Intercultural Learning Communities

The content of Intercultural Learning Communities provides an opportunity for members of our various communities to come together to further their learning and equip themselves with the skills needed to dismantle the systemic barriers that uphold racism and oppression.

Program Goals

  • To engage in a sustained dialogue that fosters heightened empathy, cultural awareness, and challenges of stigmatized populations
  • To impart concrete strategies to improve interpersonal engagement and cultural appreciation of our diverse body of students, colleagues, and university stakeholders
  • To foster an overall culture of shared responsibility for culturally-informed engagement across divisions/disciplines/ professional hierarchy
  • To develop a highly visible project that directly addresses the university’s strategic priorities, foundational elements, and themes
  • To cultivate change agency skills to address structural inequities, cultivate a climate of inclusion, and inform equitable practices in settings where program participants have direct influence (ex. inclusive hiring practices, programmatic initiatives, classroom instruction/curriculum, supervision/coaching of diverse teams, university policy and leadership practices)
  • To improve the overall sense of belonging among stigmatized populations with the university
  • To develop a sustained network of program participants and program “alum” following completion of program offering, increasing institutional cohesiveness and a shared commitment to inclusion among campus professionals

Structure & Time Commitment

Participants will be in cohorts comprised of two facilitators and fellow participants. These cohorts provide the opportunity to connect colleagues across academic disciplines, departments, divisions, schools, professional roles, social identities, and other aspects of their background. Participants will meet with their cohort for fourteen 90-minute sessions.

Learning Outcomes

Part One: The “Unlearning Process”

Throughout Part One, participants will review readings and engage in dialogue/activities around topics examining social equity, systemic oppression, and cultural competency. The goal of this work will be to cultivate and challenge epistemological foundations among participants. Readings and activities are designed to challenge myths/tropes/narratives that inform oppressive mentalities, increase awareness of conscious and unconscious bias, increase understanding of the structural inequality, and explore the ways in which individuals and systems reinforce or disrupt these narratives, attitudes, inequitable practices, etc.

Key foundations include, but are not limited to:

  • Cycle of Socialization and Normalization/Marginalization of Experience
  • Social Identities & Intersections of Identities
  • Power and Privilege, Prejudice, and Systemic Oppression
  • Manifestations of Marginalization within Higher Education (interpersonal, cultural, institutional/structural)
  • Internalized Dominance and Subordination (Psychological Colonization)
  • Myth of Meritocracy, the American Dream and American Identity
  • Effective Responses to Guilt and Maintenance of Accountability
  • Hegemony and Structural Differences in Power
  • Key Areas of Cultural Competency/Incompetency, Social Stigma and Oppression
  • Collusion, Allyship/Change Agency, and Effective Use of Privilege for Social Change

Part Two: Creating “Brave Spaces”

During Part Two, participants will engage in discussions that examine the everyday experiences of marginalized populations within higher education, explore the factors that influence campus climate, and prepare participants to engage in change agency from their respective locations within the institution. Readings will serve as tools to engage in deeper discussions of the experiences and perspectives among colleagues in each cohort. Participants will be encouraged to share personal experiences, observations, challenges, and histories that illustrate their experiences navigating interpersonal marginalization, privilege, and structural oppression. Participant-facilitators will guide this process and prompt continual self-reflection, critical thinking, and structural analysis that strengthen participant’s overall commitment and capacity to create an equitable and inclusive campus environment. 

Questions?

For questions or more information please contact diversity@tufts.edu.