Seminar for Transformation Around Anti-Racist Teaching

The Sheridan Center invites applications to a 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 (Emily Qazilbash, Education; Kellie Forrester, Economics; Jim Valles, Physics; Monica Linden, Neuroscience) and Sheridan staff (Eric Kaldor; Stacey Lawrence; Mary Wright, Sociology).

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 a faculty team member (to be taught AY23-24), to enhance equity and students’ sense of belonging. While existing course re-designs are encouraged (or a significant module/unit within a course), this could be a new course. Foundational courses (i.e., introductory courses) are particularly 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:  
    • facilitation of a department town hall
    • 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.

Commitment:

Synchronous meeting times are listed below, and we ask that START Fellows commit to attending these meetings on the program application. We also ask that teams schedule a second meeting each month (at a time of their choosing) to carry out the work of the project. Estimated meeting time for the Spring Term is 20 hours but, of course, this will vary by project and team members. While the January Institute will meet via Zoom, the Spring Term meetings will be fully in person.

January 2023 Institute: How can we become more equitable, inclusive instructors ourselves? How can we build equitable, anti-racist teaching and learning spaces?
Tuesday, January 17, 10:00 AM - Noon and 1:00 - 2:00 PM (via Zoom)
Thursday, January 19, 10:00 AM - Noon and 1:00 - 2:00 PM (via Zoom)

Spring Term 2023:
How can we build equitable, anti-racist teaching and learning spaces? (continued)
Wednesday, February 8, 2:00 – 4:00 PM (in SciLi)
Wednesday, March 8, 2:00 – 4:00 PM (in SciLi)

What are ways to support peers and colleagues in advancing departmental change?
Wednesday, April 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM (in SciLi)
Wednesday, May 3, 2:00 - 4:00 PM (in SciLi)

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 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 2023. 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. 
  • For each team, the Sheridan Center will make an award to an undergraduate of $1475 for work conducted during the January Institute and Spring Term. (University guidelines for UTA work, such as the weekly hourly limit, should be followed.) The undergraduate must be eligible to be employed by the university as a student worker (e.g., enrolled in Spring Term 2023). SPRINT funding from the College may also be available over Summer 2023.  For questions, please contact [email protected].

Application:

Applications are due on Friday, October 21. 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. Please upload a brief letter of support, co-signed by the DDIAP Committee Chair and department chair (if not serving as a team member). The chair's letter should express a commitment to offering the revised or new course in AY23-24.
  2. Provide 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. If the new/revised course is primarily an undergraduate-level course, at least one team member should be an undergraduate.
  3. Please acknowledge commitment to the program expectations named above.
  4. In what Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion-related work, in relation to teaching and learning, have proposed team members already engaged?
  5. What are preliminary ideas of what team will be trying to achieve, through participation in the group? Please describe activities and outcomes or both the course revision and the department change project around teaching, learning, advising, or mentoring. (Examples of past change projects include hosting a department town hall or a reading group; more examples are listed above.) We anticipate that these ideas may evolve through engagement with START colleagues so preliminary thoughts are welcome.
  6. 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?)
  7. Is there anything else that would be helpful to know about team members to ensure your full inclusion in this initiative?

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

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., past history of engagement together) to derive and sustain the benefits of the work
  • Preference will be given to teams that address a foundational course with an undergraduate team member

2021 START Teams

Chemistry
Classics
Hispanic Studies
Mindfulness Center
Music
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

2022 START Teams

Archaeology and the Ancient World
Comparative Literature
Earth, Environment, and Planetary Sciences*
English
Math*
Neuroscience*
Theatre Arts and Performance Studies

*Funded by HHMI