SUGGESTED FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES
Invite participants to think creatively about what they can do to address disparities - on campus and off. Taking action is an important part of learning. It helps people feel empowered and energized, provides a sense of closure for the event, and makes the lessons of the video more concrete and relevant. Emphasize that every journey begins with a single step, and even small steps can make a difference. Below is a list of possible action steps for different groups.
Before concluding, congratulate participants and celebrate their commitments to take action. For continuing groups, consider making a chart for individuals or teams to check off their action steps after completion.
Group One: Students, Youth, and Other Individual Participants
- Take advantage of racial awareness workshops and intergroup dialogues.
- Take ethnic studies, U.S. history, and sociology classes taught by faculty of color.
- Identify race-based disparities on your campus and in society: enrollment and graduation rates, hiring and tenure policies, town/gown issues.
- Get informed about both sides of ballot initiatives on affirmative action, school desegregation, or public school funding.
REFLECT / RE-EXAMINE
- Look at who’s included and who isn’t in your classes, your reader/books, study groups, social circles, neighborhood, staff, and faculty. Count the people of color in each context. Are the numbers representative of society? Why or why not? What are the barriers?
- Cultivate experiences that challenge your comfort level and include perspectives different from your own.
- Become an ally to people from underserved communities. Be careful to support, not take over.
- Look deeper at debates over merit and achievement. What assumptions are being made about whites/students of color? About the criteria used to measure who is qualified? What’s being overlooked? Who’s making the decisions?
- Craft a personal “mission statement” for your life and college years that champions racial and economic equity.
- Educate others in your peer group. Make your daily life more inclusive and reach out across racial lines (e.g., Greek life, study groups, local/student government).
- Endorse, volunteer or donate to candidates and campaigns that promote social justice, including staff unionizing efforts.
- Advocate for ethnic studies, minority scholarships, and a stronger institutional commitment to diversity and social responsibility.
- Advocate to your legislative representative for more equitable budget allocations and policies (affordable housing, jobs with benefits, funding for education, living-wage legislation, immigration) that impact people of color.
- Write letters to the editor and call in to your local radio station to speak out about racial myths and inaccurate representations of racial issues.
Group Two: Faculty, Staff and Program Directors
- Participate in racial awareness workshops and intergroup dialogues.
- Ask other campuses or other departments about effective policies and practices.
- Research connections between institutional racism and educational outcomes (e.g., enrollment/graduation rates, SES, recruitment and hiring policies, budget allocations, etc.)
- Explore alternative pedagogic models and canons (highlight women and people of color as experts in all fields).
REFLECT / RE-EXAMINE
- Promote diversity and justice throughout the year, not just at specified times.
- Get to know your students and advisees: What are their vulnerabilities? How are their needs being served?
- Bring diverse perspectives to the table. Do you have a “diversity quorum?”
- Examine institutional barriers such as pre-requisites for majors, grading policies, course offerings, hiring and promotion practices, and departmental/program funding priorities.
- Evaluate the outcomes and efficacy of recruitment and retention efforts, sensitivity programs, and support services.
- Help train and sensitize your peers, faculty and staff.
- Create peer-facilitated dialogues and advising groups for students and faculty of color.
- Teach inclusion by example: organize racially diverse study and project groups; use texts by and about people of color; make assignments that draw upon different knowledge and learning styles.
- Reach out to underserved students: require office hour visits, encourage their academic goals, organize study groups, and sponsor independent study projects.
- Help generate opportunities and “connections” for underserved students and junior colleagues (internships, tutors, advising, mentoring, job/social networks).
Group Three: Administrators and Senior-Level Personnel
- Find out about innovations and diversity success stories on other campuses.
- Study the needs and challenges of vulnerable campus populations. Invite recommendations from a broad cross-section of community members.
- Audit your existing programs and services for students and faculty of color –Where does the burden for solutions lie?
REFLECT / RE-EXAMINE
- Look at where people of color are concentrated on your campus. Explore the institutional conditions that impact advancement opportunities.
- Evaluate your admissions and hiring process. Do the outcomes advance justice for historically disadvantaged populations (e.g., increasing faculty positions vs. moving existing faculty to new positions; using international candidates to inflate student and faculty numbers)?
- Assess the strength, focus and level of diversity commitments: are they high level, diverse, measurable, accountable, funded?
- Renew your institution’s diversity goals. Tie them to concrete benchmarks and funded initiatives.
- Sponsor racial awareness workshops and intergroup dialogues campus wide.
- Mandate diversity coursework as a core requirement for all students.
- Require all departments to set and meet diversity goals for their curricular offerings and hiring and promotion.
- Require diversity training for all faculty and staff and create follow-up mechanisms.
- Increase and protect funding for historically disadvantaged groups.
- Build relationships with community groups. Use your institutional resources to enrich and strengthen the local economy.