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ERIC Number: EJ863934
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Telling Our Stories to One Another
Osajima, Keith
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n4 p62-64 Dec 2009
For the past fourteen years, the author has been a campus leader in efforts to diversify the faculty. He has raised diversity issues in search committees, met with candidates of color when they visited campus, served as a mentor to incoming faculty, helped to develop a faculty diversity initiative, and led discussions on retaining faculty of color. The work has produced some successes. On his campus, faculty of color still struggle to feel at home. They tend to be isolated and disconnected from one another and from white colleagues. Several forces contribute to this isolation. Faculty of color are spread across campus; often an academic unit will have only one faculty member of color, or a small group of faculty of color will exist among a predominantly white population of students, staff, and colleagues. This situation leaves many of them isolated and vulnerable to subtle and not-so-subtle forms of racism. Compounding matters, heavy job demands leave faculty members pressed for time. Additional responsibilities commonly placed on faculty of color--serving as diversity representatives on committees, advising students of color--further cut into their time. As a result, faculty of color, like faculty in general, usually have difficulty finding time to make connections. When they do get a chance to meet, their conversations are related to the university and faculty work, which makes it hard to get to know people on a personal level. The author wanted to find a way to build stronger relations among faculty of color. In this article, the author describes Supporting Faculty of Color, a program he pioneered which was designed to work against factors that constrain the development of relationships. Through the power of stories, the Supporting Faculty of Color groups built closer connections between and among faculty of color, which laid the groundwork for meaningful relationships and support. For that reason, the author recommends its inclusion among efforts to achieve faculty diversity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A