Seminar for Transformation Around Anti-Racist Teaching

The Sheridan Center invites applications to a new program to support department efforts to advance inclusive diversity in their teaching, learning, and curriculum development. In this Seminar, three-person department change teams -- consisting of a lead faculty member, a graduate student, and an undergraduate, for example -- will meet over several months to engage with topics such as: How can we become more equitable, inclusive instructors ourselves? How can we build equitable, anti-racist teaching and learning spaces? What are ways to support peers and colleagues in advancing departmental change? How do we know we have been effective at this work? This program will be co-facilitated by Brown faculty members (Monica Linden, Neuroscience; Patricia Sobral, POBS; Jim Valles, Physics) and Sheridan staff (Eric Kaldor; Stacey Lawrence; Mary Wright).

Through the Seminar for Transformation around Anti-Racist Teaching (START) program, teams will:

  • Examine their own positionalities as instructors and learners.
  • Engage in core concepts and frameworks in inclusive and anti-racist teaching and academic change work -- e.g., definitions of concepts, evidence-based frameworks, theories of change, navigating buy-in and resistance, sustainability.
  • Enhance the syllabus and learning activities for a course taught by faculty team member (to be taught AY21-22), to enhance equity and students’ sense of belonging. This could be a new course, an existing course re-design, or a significant module/unit within a course. Foundational courses (i.e., introductory courses) are encouraged, but all courses are welcome.
  • Collaborate with departmental leadership and department's DIAP committee to identify a feasible change project that the team would carry out collaboratively. Examples of potential projects include: 
    • establishment of a workshop series facilitated by change team members
    • development of an intergenerational learning community
    • facilitation in a curriculum mapping exercise to understand how DIAP-related topics are introduced, practiced, and reinforced throughout the department’s academic plan.


Synchronous meeting times (via Zoom, all EST) are listed below, and we ask that START Fellows commit to attending these meetings on the program application:

January 2021 Institute: How can we become more equitable, inclusive instructors ourselves?
Wednesday, January 13, 10:00 AM - Noon and 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Thursday, January 14, 10:00 AM - Noon and 1:00 - 2:00 PM

Spring Term 2021: How can we build equitable, anti-racist teaching and learning spaces?

Wednesday, February 3, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Wednesday, March 3, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Wednesday, April 7, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Summer Term 2021: What are ways to support peers and colleagues in advancing departmental change?
Wednesday, May 5, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Wednesday, June 9, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Wednesday, September 8, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Fall Term 2021: Sharing plans and outcomes with campus community

October Date and Time TBD

For assessment of the program, we would also request that team members give feedback on key outcomes of their participation and suggested improvements. This information will be outlined in full to program participants, but may include brief surveys, interviews, and examinations of project products and outcomes (e.g., syllabi, re-designed curricular pathways).

Benefits and Outcomes:

Beyond the benefits to the individual and department, this Seminar offers the following to individual participants, as START Fellows:

  • Each faculty or graduate student member of the change team will receive a research stipend (faculty) or award (graduate student) at the amount of $1,000, paid at the end of the Spring Term 2021. Payable as a stipend or award, the expectation would be that these funds would be used at the discretion of the team, to (partially or fully) carry out the change project and fund any personalized professional development needed. If parts of projects focus on anti-Black racism, the university also offers additional seed funding beyond what this project provides.
  • If an undergraduate serves as a member of the team, the stipends are allocated to Sheridan’s reimbursement of the student for hourly UTA work during the January Institute and Spring and Summer Terms, processed through the department, at the department’s standard UTA rate. (University guidelines for UTA work, such as the weekly hourly limit, should be followed.) SPRINT funding from the College may also be available over Summer 2021.  


Applications are due on Monday, December 7. (Please note that December 7 is an extension of the previous deadline, Nov 30.) Please submit one application per team, as an attachment to [email protected].

A complete application includes brief responses to questions 1-6, plus a letter as described in item #7:

  1. Names and contact information for up to three team members, as well as a brief (1-2 lines) rationale for their inclusion on the team. At least one team member should be a faculty member who will be teaching the new/revised course.
  2. Please acknowledge commitment to the program expectations named above.
  3. In what Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion-related work, in relation to teaching and learning, have proposed team members already engaged?
  4. What are preliminary ideas of outcome your team will be trying to achieve, through participation in the group in AY20-21? 
  5. What assets do team members bring to this community? (In other words, are there resources or knowledge areas that you would be willing to share to build our collective expertise?)
  6. Is there anything else that would be helpful to know about team members to ensure your full inclusion in this initiative?
  7. Please upload a brief letter of support, co-signed by the DDIAP Committee Chair and department chair (if not serving as a team member).

Up to 6-8 teams will be selected (depending on team size), and teams will be notified in mid-December.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Disciplinary diversity
  • Demonstrated need and commitment to the work, e.g., well-articulated rationale for engaging in the program and department’s opportunity for participation in this work
  • Commitment from the department chair and DDIAP Committee chair
  • Mindfulness about equity of DEI work allocation in the department
  • Clarity in application about potential for team cohesion (e.g., part history of engagement together) to derive and sustain the benefits of the work
  • Preference will be given to teams that have an intergenerational component (e.g., a faculty-graduate student-undergraduate team; or two faculty working with a student)