D&I Live at 5: #BlackInTheIvory
D&I Live at 5 is a living room conversation about how diversity and cultural perspectives shape life decisions and higher education. This particular discussion will focus on the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory. Host Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at UNL with special guests T. Elon Dancy II, director, Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh and Kirsten Edwards, associate professor and associate department chair at the University of Oklahoma will discuss their experiences as black scholars within the institution of higher education.
The topic is inspired by Joy Melody Woods and Shardé M. Davis, friends and colleagues, who created the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory.
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[00:00:09.210]My name is Dr. Marco Barker
[00:00:11.160]and I serve as Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion
[00:00:14.620]and Associate Professor of Practice
[00:00:16.560]at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:00:18.950]My pronouns are he, him and his
[00:00:22.100]and welcome to our kickoff series for a D&I Live at 5.
[00:00:27.480]Live at 5 is really meant to be a living room conversation
[00:00:31.690]where we explore how topics of diversity
[00:00:34.710]and cultural perspective
[00:00:36.250]and how those shape our life decisions,
[00:00:38.670]and certainly shaped higher education.
[00:00:41.340]Our pilot D&I Live at 5, first aired on April 29th,
[00:00:45.517]and when we were talking about finding your purpose
[00:00:47.930]with Dr. Karnell McConnell-Black.
[00:00:50.430]And so today's conversation is actually inspired
[00:00:53.430]by the trending #BlackInTheIvory
[00:00:57.040]and I'll share a bit more about that, just a second.
[00:00:59.730]But a few logistics,
[00:01:01.370]at the bottom of your screen,
[00:01:02.500]you have a Question and Answer button.
[00:01:04.510]We invite you to submit questions during today's segment.
[00:01:09.100]We have Jerri Harner,
[00:01:10.250]the Executive Assistant
[00:01:11.250]in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
[00:01:13.020]who is monitoring Zoom.
[00:01:14.690]One quick note is that once you post a question,
[00:01:17.740]once it's noted,
[00:01:18.640]or once it's addressed,
[00:01:20.030]that question may no longer appear
[00:01:22.060]in the Question and Answer dialog box.
[00:01:25.420]Additionally today's segment
[00:01:27.250]is being recorded live with captioning.
[00:01:30.340]And so you may activate the captions
[00:01:32.740]at the bottom of your screen.
[00:01:33.810]There is a button labeled CC for Close Caption,
[00:01:36.160]and you may select that
[00:01:37.570]in order to be able to view captions.
[00:01:41.060]So today's topic is inspired, as I mentioned,
[00:01:43.940]by the #BlackInTheIvory.
[00:01:46.720]it was founded by two black women's scholars,
[00:01:49.890]Dr. Shardé Davis, who's an Assistant Professor
[00:01:52.650]at the University of Connecticut
[00:01:55.180]and PhD student, Joy Melody Woods,
[00:01:59.010]who is in Communication Studies
[00:02:00.990]at the University of Texas at Austin.
[00:02:04.310]The hashtag went viral relatively quickly.
[00:02:07.630]It was meant to capture.
[00:02:09.460]You had black academics, professionals, students
[00:02:13.240]sharing their experiences of discrimination,
[00:02:15.800]racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia,
[00:02:21.220]other forms of oppression through this hashtag.
[00:02:24.510]The Boston Globe actually described the hashtag as,
[00:02:27.257]"A rallying cry for black academics."
[00:02:30.503]It's actually described on the Twitter page as
[00:02:36.127]"Amplifying the voices of black academics
[00:02:39.717]"To speak truth about racism and academia."
[00:02:44.670]The handle @blackandtheivory that's on Twitter
[00:02:47.830]has been created for black academics
[00:02:49.970]to certainly share their experiences
[00:02:52.710]for others to be able to have some insight,
[00:02:55.300]some glimpse into the experience of black academics.
[00:02:58.500]Also, I'm really calling for action
[00:03:01.750]of how we address the experiences of black academics,
[00:03:05.910]and how we support and lift black academics,
[00:03:08.450]especially black women in the academy.
[00:03:10.880]And so, I wanna say a special thank you to Joy Melody Woods,
[00:03:14.750]who was willing to reach out to me
[00:03:17.890]to certainly remind me
[00:03:18.950]about the importance of citing and recognizing
[00:03:21.700]the work of black academics
[00:03:23.070]and especially black women.
[00:03:24.770]And so, it allowed me
[00:03:26.790]to really take a look at our materials
[00:03:28.490]and make sure that we were reflecting that.
[00:03:30.107]And so, thanks for Joy for certainly speaking up
[00:03:34.210]and I think it's so important for us
[00:03:36.020]to be sure that we recognize if we have missed a step
[00:03:39.000]that we address it corrected
[00:03:40.630]and certainly move forward accordingly.
[00:03:44.196]#BlackInTheIvory I thought was a great mechanism,
[00:03:48.910]great medium in terms of again,
[00:03:50.360]sharing these glimpse of experiences,
[00:03:53.100]but they are just glimpses, right?
[00:03:54.650]And they don't necessarily capture the experience
[00:03:58.210]over a lifetime,
[00:03:59.560]over a career.
[00:04:00.650]And so it was really important to think about
[00:04:03.500]how do we create space
[00:04:05.190]to be able to have those conversations
[00:04:07.410]of what it means to navigate
[00:04:09.510]as being black in the ivory over your career.
[00:04:12.510]And so this Live at Five,
[00:04:14.520]I thought I would ask
[00:04:16.300]some former doctoral colleagues of mine
[00:04:18.650]to join me for this conversation
[00:04:21.280]about what our careers
[00:04:24.130]and what our experiences have been,
[00:04:26.280]since starting our PhD journey,
[00:04:28.210]which we all started at the same place
[00:04:30.350]of Louisiana State University.
[00:04:32.890]And so, you may hear some references to that,
[00:04:35.700]throughout today's conversation.
[00:04:37.020]And we're very proud alarms of our Alma mater.
[00:04:40.750]I have invited Dr. Kirsten Edwards
[00:04:43.190]and Dr. T. Elon Dancy to join me.
[00:04:46.320]And as I've mentioned, we go way back.
[00:04:47.930]I actually know Elon from a high school competition.
[00:04:51.870]We won't go that far back in today's conversation,
[00:04:54.610]but, way back.
[00:04:56.410]And he was so instrumental in recruiting me to LSU,
[00:05:00.440]which is where I met Kirsten,
[00:05:02.750]who I think was an advisor at the time,
[00:05:04.460]Kirsten, I think, advising,
[00:05:06.885]and then she later joined the PhD program
[00:05:09.980]and so we had a mutual colleague.
[00:05:12.380]This certainly connects us.
[00:05:13.790]And so, we had a chance last year
[00:05:16.590]to actually we meet at Dr. Dancy's house
[00:05:19.570]and sit on his sofa and laugh and joke,
[00:05:24.370]but also discuss our experiences with our careers,
[00:05:28.870]which has truly been some overlapping,
[00:05:30.870]some sort of shared similarities,
[00:05:32.510]but also some distinct differences too.
[00:05:34.240]And so, part of that is inspiring today's conversation.
[00:05:37.730]So, with that, let me say a little bit about our guests
[00:05:40.410]and then we'll dive right into today's conversation.
[00:05:43.640]Dr. Edwards is at the University of Oklahoma
[00:05:46.441]where she is the Linda Clarke Anderson
[00:05:49.590]Presidential Professor and a Faculty Fellow
[00:05:51.940]in the Office of the Vice President
[00:05:53.430]for Research and Partnerships.
[00:05:55.440]She is an affiliate faculty member
[00:05:57.130]for African and African American studies,
[00:05:59.290]Women's and Gender studies,
[00:06:00.800]and the Center for Social Justice.
[00:06:03.750]Her scholarship merges philosophies of higher education,
[00:06:07.550]college curriculum and pedagogy
[00:06:09.350]with a particular focus
[00:06:10.930]on the ways that socio-cultural identity
[00:06:13.700]and context influence teaching and learning
[00:06:16.340]and post-secondary education.
[00:06:18.370]Dr. Edwards pronouns are she, her, hers.
[00:06:22.510]Dr. Dancy is at the University of Pittsburgh.
[00:06:25.080]Yes (laughing) we certainly lived her.
[00:06:27.930]Dr. Dancy is at the University of Pittsburgh
[00:06:30.300]where he is the Helen S. Faison Endowed Chair
[00:06:33.960]and Director for the Center for Urban Education.
[00:06:37.650]As the education sociologist and again,
[00:06:39.690]and once you hear from him,
[00:06:42.170]you'll hear more about how he thinks about the world
[00:06:44.660]from a sociological perspective.
[00:06:47.050]He studies educational settings
[00:06:48.820]as sites for social identity development.
[00:06:51.510]His research focuses on the issues of access and equity
[00:06:55.110]along educational pathways as informed by race,
[00:06:58.550]gender, class, and other sociopolitical vocations.
[00:07:02.980]Dr. Dancy's pronouns are he, him, his.
[00:07:06.960]I should note, yes (laughing).
[00:07:09.960]I should note that,
[00:07:11.840]both Kirsten and Elon are co-authors
[00:07:15.170]with Dr. James Earl Davis at Temple University
[00:07:19.090]on the article that was shared with all registrants titled
[00:07:21.717]"Historically White Universities and Plantation Politics:
[00:07:25.017]"Anti-blackness and Higher Education
[00:07:27.157]"In the Black Lives Matter Era."
[00:07:30.610]it's really a revolutionary way to think about,
[00:07:34.390]for black academics to think about themselves
[00:07:37.230]in terms of the context and their relationship
[00:07:39.320]with existing structures of higher education,
[00:07:41.530]that can be problematic.
[00:07:42.660]So we chatted a little bit about this about a week ago.
[00:07:45.980]And, I think both of our guests sort of sees this article
[00:07:50.130]as their sort of own preamble
[00:07:52.330]of how they began to think about higher education.
[00:07:55.720]And so while this conversation it's not about the article,
[00:07:58.610]I think you may see some remnants
[00:08:01.430]of some of those ideas and thoughts certainly play out,
[00:08:04.860]in today's conversation.
[00:08:05.710]So, as a quick reminder,
[00:08:07.770]you may submit questions again throughout the segment
[00:08:10.970]via the Q&A button at the bottom of the Zoom window
[00:08:15.190]and so we certainly encourage that.
[00:08:17.564]So, Kirsten and Elon, thank you both
[00:08:20.420]for agreeing to be part of today's conversation.
[00:08:22.890]I'm really looking forward to it.
[00:08:25.920]Thank you for having me.
[00:08:32.720]I forgot I was not on mute.
[00:08:37.210]It is completely okay.
[00:08:40.070]When it comes to Kirsten Edwards I do not stop her.
[00:08:42.470]So I'm gonna, (laughing)
[00:08:44.260]when she needs to talk I'm gonna let her talk.
[00:08:48.340]So, you know,
[00:08:49.173]we have talked about our experiences in the academy
[00:08:52.380]since being at LSU,
[00:08:54.770]since being PhD students.
[00:08:58.020]And certainly, there's not been a lack of experiences
[00:09:01.560]and certainly a lack of sharing,
[00:09:02.830]whether it's the two of us or all three of us,
[00:09:05.680]or the two of you being able to sort of catch up and share.
[00:09:09.940]I'm really interested, like why do you think
[00:09:12.350]that the hashtag itself started to trend,
[00:09:16.450]it became really popular, remains popular.
[00:09:19.520]Why such a response to the hashtag?
[00:09:25.951]Whoever wants to take it first.
[00:09:28.030]I was about to say,
[00:09:28.863]"You wanna start brother Dancy?
[00:09:30.568]Sure if you like.
[00:09:31.690]Sure, sure, sure.
[00:09:32.890]So first, thank you Marco for inviting me here.
[00:09:36.670]Indeed, a great colleague, a friend,
[00:09:39.950]and you could have invited anyone to do this,
[00:09:43.110]probably anyone associated with the #BlackInTheIvory,
[00:09:46.650]but you invited us
[00:09:48.875]and I'm very grateful to be here.
[00:09:50.810]So, the way I think about the popularity of the hashtag
[00:09:57.070]is about, it's offering a space to bear witness
[00:10:02.500]and to offer a space for testimony.
[00:10:05.110]So I think it's important as we think about the hashtag,
[00:10:08.480]to also situate it within time.
[00:10:11.890]So it has emerged following the death of George Floyd
[00:10:16.970]and then the ensuing rebellions.
[00:10:21.340]And we can think about those rebellions,
[00:10:23.950]which have happened globally
[00:10:25.680]as global forms of bearing witness,
[00:10:30.200]you know, where people have gathered to raise their voices,
[00:10:33.910]you know, in the name of Black Lives Matter
[00:10:36.520]and in the name of a perceived injustice.
[00:10:40.970]And what I think that gets us thinking about,
[00:10:44.880]not only forms of state violence
[00:10:48.190]that are playing out in policing,
[00:10:50.620]but also to think about state violence
[00:10:52.690]playing out through other institutions,
[00:10:54.790]one of those being education.
[00:10:56.990]And I think that's one of the, you know,
[00:10:59.680]intellectual contributions that Kirsten and I
[00:11:02.760]are making in the Plantation Politics piece
[00:11:05.240]about the ways that education institutions,
[00:11:08.900]also our vehicles for state violence.
[00:11:12.950]And so, many of the kinds of subjugation,
[00:11:18.370]the kinds of discrimination
[00:11:20.760]of the very real outcomes of death
[00:11:24.740]that people are talking about
[00:11:27.360]in and around the George Floyd case,
[00:11:29.490]we can also think about, you know,
[00:11:32.670]corollary moments in education.
[00:11:35.690]So, it provided an opportunity.
[00:11:38.560]it's strong enough, what happened to George Floyd
[00:11:41.440]in this current moment of collective uprising,
[00:11:46.010]to also provide an opportunity
[00:11:48.470]for us to gather and bear witness and testimony
[00:11:53.490]about the higher education situation for black people.
[00:11:59.700]Kirsten thoughts (mumbles)?
[00:12:02.090]So again, thank you, Marco.
[00:12:06.230]In this moment,
[00:12:07.063]I'm just thinking about how appreciative I am
[00:12:10.160]for my doctoral education that impact primarily,
[00:12:14.050]maybe not just the curriculum,
[00:12:16.360]but the relationships that I built in the community
[00:12:19.331]that a decade later, I still have.
[00:12:24.420]So thank you for this beautiful reminder, Marco,
[00:12:27.180]for inviting us here.
[00:12:30.230]And I just wanna, I wanna agree with Dancy.
[00:12:33.880]I wanna agree with Elon about,
[00:12:37.180]I was gonna say the same thing.
[00:12:38.350]It's a testimony.
[00:12:39.640]I wanna add one particular nuance to it.
[00:12:42.730]So yes, absolutely.
[00:12:44.140]It's a bearing witness, its testimony,
[00:12:47.190]but I also wanna situate the idea of testimony
[00:12:50.740]within the black resistance,
[00:12:52.600]the historical black resistance tradition.
[00:12:54.660]So this is how black people make themselves known,
[00:12:58.040]seen, understood as human.
[00:13:01.490]And I also wanna, and I'm gonna situate it
[00:13:03.750]particularly within the U.S. black resistance tradition
[00:13:07.250]only because, recently I've been in conversation
[00:13:10.330]with some of my black Caribbean colleagues and friends,
[00:13:15.150]and being real deliberate about how we nuance,
[00:13:18.270]how different ideas for communities do resistance.
[00:13:23.457]So I don't wanna conflate in this moment.
[00:13:26.210]I don't wanna the conflation work,
[00:13:27.910]but so I will do the particular.
[00:13:30.050]If you think about U.S. black resistance historically,
[00:13:33.888]pre and post enslavement,
[00:13:36.580]testimony has been a fundamental strategy
[00:13:39.570]because part of the enslavement
[00:13:42.480]and part of Jim Crow was the refusal of the state
[00:13:47.870]to give black people credence and testimonial fascia.
[00:13:52.040]So we understand like in the courts of law,
[00:13:55.500]black people couldn't give testimony on their own behalf,
[00:13:58.980]or even on anyone else's behalf.
[00:14:00.740]Their accounts were not seen as legal tender,
[00:14:04.550]their accounts weren't seen as--
[00:14:06.460]We were structurally and legally barred
[00:14:09.680]from giving our testimony.
[00:14:11.100]So you see, even in that historical tradition,
[00:14:14.640]the significance of what's colloquially understood
[00:14:19.020]as the slave narrative.
[00:14:20.160]A narratives autobiographies of the enslaved,
[00:14:22.860]or of the formerly enslaved,
[00:14:26.930]because of the kinda legal structural silencing
[00:14:34.950]of black people, being so--
[00:14:38.260]Black people in the U.S. context in particular
[00:14:40.730]being so fundamental to the maintenance of white empire,
[00:14:47.320]how it manifests and white empire here in the United States.
[00:14:52.160]So I think that going back what Dancy says,
[00:14:55.440]it makes a whole lot of sense that in this moment,
[00:14:58.370]in this particular flashpoint,
[00:15:00.620]that is part of the long trajectory of white empire
[00:15:03.820]in the United States.
[00:15:05.120]That one of the first mechanisms that gets deployed
[00:15:09.812]is a testimony of practice,
[00:15:13.550]is the assertion of one's testimony and one's experience
[00:15:17.310]as legitimate and valid and true.
[00:15:20.760]I mean, I think that last part about the validity
[00:15:24.720]and 'cause it's sometimes, you know,
[00:15:27.390]while we study these issues
[00:15:29.140]and we understand these issues
[00:15:30.570]when we're experiencing them,
[00:15:32.470]these for me, like I have those moments where is it just me?
[00:15:34.760]Like, am I, maybe it's me.
[00:15:36.400]Like maybe it's me and maybe I'm overthinking it
[00:15:39.476](laughing) and maybe I'm not.
[00:15:40.687]And so, this whole idea about testimony
[00:15:43.220]and being able to see
[00:15:44.370]that there are other people who are in it, right?
[00:15:47.510]Like who are experiencing it,
[00:15:50.080]does absolutely bring validity
[00:15:52.100]to what each of us experienced.
[00:15:55.050]And so, absolutely, absolutely.
[00:15:58.540]So I wanna sort of go to Elon for a minute, who,
[00:16:03.120]and I think it's better to say this,
[00:16:04.450]who has, I would say effectively
[00:16:08.410]and swiftly rose in the ranks
[00:16:12.310]and earning full professor and tenure
[00:16:15.890]at a relatively young age.
[00:16:19.900]And I won't share your age on our segment today,
[00:16:23.066]but has really--
[00:16:23.992]How do you (mumbles) relatively?
[00:16:25.103]How do you do that?
[00:16:27.220]The stats, the statistics show (laughing).
[00:16:32.850]It was young (mumbles).
[00:16:34.900]It was young, yes.
[00:16:36.150]It was young.
[00:16:36.983]Yes, yes, yes, absolutely.
[00:16:39.120]To be an endowed professor,
[00:16:41.410]endowed chair, now leading a center,
[00:16:45.850]and I know we've talked, chatted briefly about
[00:16:48.870]that probably some of your experiences were not surprising.
[00:16:54.588]But I can imagine there may be some
[00:16:57.080]that were more challenging than others possibly.
[00:16:59.970]And so I'm really interested in particular,
[00:17:04.040]and again, given,
[00:17:05.600]even given all of your scholarship on identity
[00:17:08.730]and the construction of identity
[00:17:10.250]and race, all those factors,
[00:17:13.170]what were some of your most unlikely challenges
[00:17:17.470]or maybe most challenging moments in your career
[00:17:22.680]or moment in your career?
[00:17:26.620]Yeah, so there are several challenging moments
[00:17:31.200]and it's the, I don't know--
[00:17:33.920]Whether or not I frame them as likely or unlikely
[00:17:36.980]is actually a side of learning for me.
[00:17:41.170]So I think perhaps when I began my career,
[00:17:46.930]I had a theoretical understanding
[00:17:48.800]about what black people experience.
[00:17:50.320]But I probably thought as I look over the whole of my life,
[00:17:56.430]that I might have gotten to be an exception,
[00:17:59.890]you know, if I worked really hard,
[00:18:03.325]that some of the experiences
[00:18:05.295]that black people have within, you know, white U.S. empire,
[00:18:12.570]that those were somehow not touched me,
[00:18:14.900]that I could sort of outwork what was a prophecy.
[00:18:19.690]That did not happen.
[00:18:20.927](Marco and Elon laughing)
[00:18:21.760]That did not happen.
[00:18:24.030]And it reminds me of the James Baldwin quote that, you know,
[00:18:28.853]"You think that you are the only person in the world
[00:18:32.937]"To experience something
[00:18:34.965]"Or that you wanna experience something,
[00:18:36.407]"But then you read, right?
[00:18:38.357]"And then you learn that the things that torment you
[00:18:40.767]"Connect you to everyone who's alive
[00:18:43.077]"Or everyone who has ever been alive."
[00:18:46.790]And that was certainly the case for me.
[00:18:50.690]So, because you don't get--
[00:18:53.220]There is no black person, I think,
[00:18:56.010]gets to full professor at the same time
[00:19:00.690]that it's understood that they're in a--
[00:19:02.403]That it's early career for them
[00:19:04.636]without great a challenge.
[00:19:07.510]I've never heard, even just what it means for black people
[00:19:09.800]to get to full professor.
[00:19:11.150]You look at the data on who is a full professor
[00:19:14.630]within higher education.
[00:19:16.070]You are not gonna see many black people.
[00:19:18.190]And if you uncover the narratives,
[00:19:21.400]I know, for instance,
[00:19:24.000]like Sydney Freeman and Crystal Chambers
[00:19:26.640]have recently published a piece
[00:19:27.850]in their review of higher education
[00:19:29.360]that is sharing the narratives
[00:19:31.540]of like black people who got to full professor
[00:19:34.860]before they were, I don't know if it's 40 or 45
[00:19:39.800]and what it does,
[00:19:41.440]is it narrates the experiences that they had,
[00:19:44.560]the various forms of repression and subjugation.
[00:19:48.550]And so, you know, as I read,
[00:19:51.433]I came to understand these challenges,
[00:19:53.190]not as unlikely, but as, likely.
[00:19:56.650]And, you know,
[00:19:57.930]as I think about what I experienced in my institution,
[00:20:03.120]you know, let me say that I have a career.
[00:20:08.130]The way that my career has unfolded
[00:20:11.180]is not by happenstance.
[00:20:12.380]Like I am nurtured by a community of black scholars
[00:20:17.480]who insisted that I was gonna have a career.
[00:20:19.460]And that's ultimately why I'm here.
[00:20:20.860]I think over and above my own institution,
[00:20:23.840]my doctoral institution,
[00:20:26.420]I don't know where I would be
[00:20:29.580]if it were not for the constellation of academics
[00:20:32.430]that I tapped into nationally,
[00:20:34.430]because they really insisted
[00:20:36.370]that I was going to have a career
[00:20:38.810]and in their teaching of me
[00:20:41.560]and their mentoring of me,
[00:20:43.730]that is why I've accomplished what I've accomplished
[00:20:46.730]and I think that's very important,
[00:20:47.730]but, you know, there were experiences
[00:20:50.710]that I certainly read as discriminatory,
[00:20:53.260]and I may just highlight one of them
[00:20:55.830]in terms of logics of merit, the way that--
[00:20:58.310]Because ultimately decisions about tenure and full
[00:21:01.554]are inevitably conversations about merit.
[00:21:05.740]And we know how challenging meritocracy can be,
[00:21:09.400]our understanding of who deserves
[00:21:11.200]and the way we narrate what is quality,
[00:21:16.630]what is enough.
[00:21:18.350]And you're curious to, you know this,
[00:21:21.170]you know, I hate even to this day,
[00:21:22.570]I hate serving on tenure and promotion committees
[00:21:27.030]because I have never been in a conversation about that,
[00:21:32.240]particularly around black scholars
[00:21:34.290]that did not ask questions
[00:21:37.390]that I felt were presumptive
[00:21:43.280]about the deservedness of black scholars
[00:21:49.260]to be promoted to full professor
[00:21:51.070]or to be tenured
[00:21:52.720]and the assumptions about what's quality or not.
[00:21:55.230]So for instance taking a look
[00:21:56.940]and there are examples of this
[00:21:58.250]coming out of the University of Virginia.
[00:22:01.040]But you know, that's been,
[00:22:02.300]that's gotten a lot of national attention
[00:22:04.840]where a faculty were, they were making certain judgements
[00:22:08.730]about whether or not something was meritorious,
[00:22:11.460]because he had actually published it
[00:22:13.510]in a journal that focuses on black men.
[00:22:15.440]He's a black man
[00:22:16.420]and therefore the publication itself is not quality.
[00:22:20.550]And there's just so much wrong with that.
[00:22:21.990]So what we can't read that journal
[00:22:23.880]as a scholarly peer reviewed journal
[00:22:27.709]to what we're assuming is that,
[00:22:33.450]quality actually follows where it is public.
[00:22:36.360]So there's not a read of that piece
[00:22:38.640]in order to determine whether or not
[00:22:40.530]it is advancing the discipline or not.
[00:22:43.040]Like there's an assumption
[00:22:44.000]that where a piece is published means that it is quality.
[00:22:46.850]And I must say
[00:22:47.683]that some of the most unrigorous pieces that I've read
[00:22:52.140]that I actually don't feel advances the discipline at all
[00:22:55.600]have been published in journals that were associated
[00:23:00.320]with very, very low acceptance rate.
[00:23:03.990]On the other hand, there are pieces
[00:23:05.710]that have been entirely important
[00:23:08.170]to my own development as a scholar.
[00:23:10.020]And I would argue to development
[00:23:11.590]of how we understand black people in higher education
[00:23:14.240]that were not published in particular places
[00:23:18.530]that have advanced the discipline so much
[00:23:21.160]that you can not even have the conversation
[00:23:23.470]without citing to these pieces.
[00:23:25.270]So the inability to read those nuance
[00:23:28.460]in a particular kind of, like coterminosity,
[00:23:31.560]which is like centralizing,
[00:23:33.850]what is quality based on?
[00:23:35.480]Where it is, how it shows up?
[00:23:38.590]I think is a problem.
[00:23:40.840]And you know, that I think many black scholars,
[00:23:44.600]no matter what they do,
[00:23:45.860]I've also seen black scholars
[00:23:47.500]who published in really canonical ways.
[00:23:50.640]Everywhere people say you're supposed to be published
[00:23:54.930]and I've seen committees still raise questions about merit
[00:23:58.740]and about appropriateness
[00:23:59.880]as though the place where they published
[00:24:02.950]is now more tainted
[00:24:04.140]because they have actually published there.
[00:24:08.040]So those are examples of
[00:24:10.450]I think the kinds of experiences that many of us have.
[00:24:13.650]I was, you know, I was no different than that,
[00:24:17.367]but I was able to weather the storm.
[00:24:18.970]So sorry for that long answer.
[00:24:20.630]That's a big, that's a big question.
[00:24:23.172]I knew it would be.
[00:24:25.030]I probably should have said Kirsten first.
[00:24:28.846]No, I'm just kidding.
[00:24:32.043]Kirsten, is there a moment that stands out for you?
[00:24:36.302]No, I think--
[00:24:37.990]Not, no, there are many moments--
[00:24:41.160]And not in my career where I felt like,
[00:24:43.940]when I felt like I knew.
[00:24:45.300]I don't wanna you put, make it feel (mumbles).
[00:24:47.220]I knew that it was, that I was,
[00:24:50.800]there were structural violences
[00:24:57.420]towards me as a black woman.
[00:24:58.920]I mean they fit into everything
[00:25:00.710]that Dr. Dancy just mentioned.
[00:25:03.770]I mean, of course gendered nuances to those of course,
[00:25:09.330]but the same kinda large ideas they send
[00:25:12.750]about merit, worthiness, deservedness.
[00:25:16.590]Questions like wherever a question could be raised,
[00:25:19.330]the question is raised.
[00:25:20.660]I remember one, and Dancy would remember this
[00:25:24.460]one point in my one annual review
[00:25:30.700]where I had done particularly well in the publication arena.
[00:25:34.690]Had published several pieces that year
[00:25:37.270]and there was a concerted effort on a part of leadership
[00:25:43.300]to just discredit line by line.
[00:25:44.960]Like in my annual review
[00:25:45.950]was literally line by line of discrediting
[00:25:48.640]of the value, of the quality of each piece
[00:25:53.890]to the point where they were trying to make relationships,
[00:25:58.190]you know, like trying to surmise
[00:26:01.930]if there was a
[00:26:06.222]more personal, as opposed to professional relationship
[00:26:09.190]with editors of journals and things like that.
[00:26:12.670]So yeah, so summarize it to say,
[00:26:15.010]just as a large question of deservedness
[00:26:17.861]and, what is the word I'm looking for?
[00:26:21.490]I'm sure Dancy just said it, but this suspicion,
[00:26:25.100]like you are always suspect as a black scholar.
[00:26:29.170]Like your, the quality of your work,
[00:26:32.360]the labor that you put forward,
[00:26:34.180]everything is always under scrutiny,
[00:26:37.420]is always suspect
[00:26:39.530]about whether or not it's legitimate and not real.
[00:26:42.603]And that's been like a hallmark of my career.
[00:26:46.240]Yeah, I mean, I think it really is--
[00:26:48.676]If I may Marco, this just reminds me
[00:26:50.770]to the discourse around affirmative action
[00:26:55.350]for black students.
[00:26:57.360]So you, if you are admitted to an institution,
[00:27:01.240]it's because you're black, you're never merit.
[00:27:03.650]So for people who are sort of anti affirmative action,
[00:27:06.730]opposed to affirmative action,
[00:27:08.380]there are always these assumptions
[00:27:09.410]that black people don't merit admission,
[00:27:12.700]or that they took a more deserving white person's space.
[00:27:17.760]And then, you know,
[00:27:19.470]black applicants point to all of these areas of merit
[00:27:27.060]But that is silenced underneath the judgment
[00:27:31.350]that you didn't get it,
[00:27:32.350]you don't merit it,
[00:27:34.090]based on the way that they may narrowly define a merit
[00:27:36.890]and that you got in 'cause you were black.
[00:27:38.360]In this case, like when I listened to Kirsten
[00:27:40.010]talk about the experience with journal
[00:27:41.890]and I think about this professor,
[00:27:43.528]most recently at the University of Virginia,
[00:27:48.060]who was denied and then it was reversed
[00:27:50.190]because of all of this, I believe,
[00:27:51.670]of this national scrutiny.
[00:27:54.350]There it's not quality, right?
[00:27:56.790]You don't merit it,
[00:27:58.610]or you didn't merit publication,
[00:28:00.420]you got into the journal because you are black.
[00:28:03.370]And we must understand, you know,
[00:28:05.320]some sort of form of nepotism taking place,
[00:28:09.520]but definitely not a rigorous peer review.
[00:28:14.900]I think it's, yeah, really interesting the ways
[00:28:18.710]and that scrutiny happens
[00:28:20.617]and the level of questioning that happens,
[00:28:24.340]and how that questioning is tied to some sort of system
[00:28:28.410]that is often presented as objective (laughing)
[00:28:33.380]that it's completely just riddled with subjectivity, I mean.
[00:28:39.817](Marco and Elon laughing)
[00:28:41.169]And so it certainly bears the question, you know,
[00:28:44.750]part of some of the pre submitted questions, you know,
[00:28:46.650]get at the, how do we do it differently, right?
[00:28:49.340]And so I think to the point about what's valued,
[00:28:53.240]how are things reviewed,
[00:28:55.700]even to be able to criticize the criticisms, right?
[00:28:58.610]So what's getting critique
[00:29:00.550]and why are those the points of critique I think have to,
[00:29:04.630]all that it has to be now,
[00:29:06.130]are re-questioned, reviewed, reconsidered, all of that.
[00:29:10.166]So again, as a reminder for those who have questions,
[00:29:13.810]you can place those
[00:29:14.660]in the Question and Answer segment box below.
[00:29:19.910]And so, Jerri, do we have a question from participants
[00:29:24.020]before we go to another pre-submitted question?
[00:29:27.350]We do have a question.
[00:29:29.840]The question is,
[00:29:30.673]"I'm curious about the difference, if any,
[00:29:33.797]"Between the experiences of black faculty
[00:29:37.777]"And black administrators.
[00:29:40.767]"Is there any?
[00:29:42.597]"I'm questioning this because part of the,
[00:29:44.597]"Mostly what you see the #BlackInTheIvory posts
[00:29:48.247]"Seem to come from teaching/research faculty."
[00:29:56.980]That's a really good question.
[00:29:57.880]So, (laughing) no,
[00:30:01.350]I think all of us have certainly had administrative posts.
[00:30:06.950]And so anyone wanna start?
[00:30:11.493]Well, I'ma start
[00:30:12.830]just because I think mine is, will be briefer
[00:30:15.040]because Dancy has much more experience than me
[00:30:17.389]in this arena.
[00:30:18.450]So I'm just gonna say mine and then let him blossom it.
[00:30:23.860]But, (laughing) I will say this.
[00:30:25.990]So, I do, I think the way--
[00:30:29.810]Okay, this is what I wanna say,
[00:30:31.240]as a black woman who's been a faculty member primarily,
[00:30:33.630]but who has also done administrative labor.
[00:30:36.450]What I experienced was that,
[00:30:40.040]while the way in which,
[00:30:43.000]like the intricate violences manifested
[00:30:47.390]may be slightly different or in different arenas,
[00:30:50.835]the underlining ideologies were the same.
[00:30:57.660]So the underlining perception of me as property
[00:31:05.950]and the underlining perception of my labor as,
[00:31:11.573]I said this before,
[00:31:12.450]I may have said this shoot to you, Marco
[00:31:13.820]but I know I've said this to Elon that women, black women,
[00:31:18.610]the work and scholarship,
[00:31:20.225]the labor and the scholarly labor of black women,
[00:31:24.700]people see as candy on the street.
[00:31:27.120]Like you just pick it up at your wheel.
[00:31:29.070]Like people just think that it's just,
[00:31:31.600]like whatever black women labor to produce,
[00:31:35.720]gets picked up and taken over
[00:31:38.010]and consumed at other people's leisure
[00:31:41.360]because there's a presumption of black women in particular
[00:31:45.980]as and black people writ large,
[00:31:50.490]as just available for public consumption.
[00:31:54.620]And so I saw that plate that's,
[00:31:57.080]that basic ideology play itself out in both arenas.
[00:32:02.760]So whether it was, you know,
[00:32:05.910]my ideas as a scholar,
[00:32:08.530]just being taken up as somebody else's,
[00:32:12.361]are, you know, camouflaged or, you know,
[00:32:16.899]I've had conversations with--
[00:32:23.100]As a scholar had like, you know,
[00:32:24.590]you know how you have collegial conversations
[00:32:26.630]with other scholars
[00:32:27.880]and you know you're just shooting out ideas
[00:32:32.450]and you're just working mulling over,
[00:32:33.810]you know, theorizing together.
[00:32:35.620]And then I find that my theorizing
[00:32:37.980]that I did with that, you know,
[00:32:40.360]white male scholar that helped him think through an idea,
[00:32:43.450]magically shows up in his scholarship
[00:32:46.340]with no acknowledgement.
[00:32:47.840]I've seen people, you know, different intellectual,
[00:32:51.510]I'll just say this as to not get too particular,
[00:32:53.870]but different intellectual products be just taken,
[00:33:00.600]and taken up and that's on the scholarly end.
[00:33:03.040]The same thing has happened as an academic.
[00:33:05.930]And I think it kinda gets blurred for black women
[00:33:08.060]because so much service expectation
[00:33:10.590]is placed on black women for a gift place
[00:33:13.170]that service are identified as service
[00:33:17.270]when the amount and quality of the labor
[00:33:20.500]is indicative of an administrative post.
[00:33:25.290]But because it's so easily consumed,
[00:33:27.610]it gets identified as service or a scholar service
[00:33:31.150]as opposed to an administrator's labor.
[00:33:33.820]So I hope that was clear.
[00:33:35.380]I think the same ideology plays itself out.
[00:33:40.240]It just plays itself out in particular arenas,
[00:33:43.490]depending on what, where you're located in the academy.
[00:33:48.020]Yeah and I wanna meet him.
[00:33:50.361]And then Marco, you might also want to participate
[00:33:54.490]in this conversation too, you know,
[00:33:56.020]as someone who has held a number
[00:33:58.110]of administrative positions,
[00:33:59.585]I would certainly agree with that.
[00:34:02.237]And you both, as I've lived experience,
[00:34:04.750]I've been both a faculty member and an administrator
[00:34:08.400]both at the same time even.
[00:34:11.460]I certainly have read the literature
[00:34:13.600]around black administrators and black faculty
[00:34:17.800]and black students too.
[00:34:19.620]Like there are mirrorings of our experiences
[00:34:24.520]when we look across black populations,
[00:34:27.770]in historically white institutions.
[00:34:30.980]You know, so whether or not
[00:34:32.230]we're talking about issues of access
[00:34:36.830]or we're talking about issues of retention,
[00:34:39.540]if we're talking about issues of promotion,
[00:34:44.530]Even in many spaces that we're talking about,
[00:34:47.050]you know, some of the findings
[00:34:48.390]I'm thinking about Roland Fryers,
[00:34:49.630]work around naming, you know,
[00:34:52.500]the kinds of aesthetic kinds of judgments
[00:35:00.610]that we make on people
[00:35:02.260]that's not so much about the content
[00:35:05.270]or about their qualifications,
[00:35:07.260]but about whether or not we think they're black
[00:35:09.930]just from the vita alone
[00:35:12.780]and you know, what that would tell us
[00:35:14.710]about who gets hired and who does not get hired.
[00:35:18.040]You know, we can think of instances
[00:35:20.010]where that happens in administration
[00:35:23.460]and when we think about faculty.
[00:35:26.530]Very important, I think,
[00:35:27.910]to pay attention to the idea of tokenization.
[00:35:32.430]So, when our voices as faculty and administrators
[00:35:39.750]seem to become most valuable to the institution
[00:35:43.580]and on what is it not seen as valuable
[00:35:46.410]as a way to articulate what is rooted actually
[00:35:51.030]in a historical kind of property relationship
[00:35:54.490]between, you know, the plantation and in black people.
[00:35:58.310]So even as I'm sharing this,
[00:36:00.580]I'm thinking of, you know, faculty and administrators
[00:36:04.150]as within different rooms of the slave estates.
[00:36:06.760]So there's going to be these fundamental characteristics
[00:36:09.730]of the enslavement
[00:36:11.570]that are going to play out in our experiences,
[00:36:13.610]but the ways in which they play out,
[00:36:17.707]would be, you know, might sort of lean
[00:36:21.740]to how we are organized within that state,
[00:36:27.820]but also want to highlight, again,
[00:36:30.170]something that my colleague Kirsten was saying
[00:36:32.060]around the labor,
[00:36:32.990]because I know that that's an important conversation
[00:36:34.930]that we have in the Plantation Politics piece,
[00:36:38.980]and that is the notion of unseen labor.
[00:36:42.390]So when I read the literature around black administrators,
[00:36:46.710]I often encounter narratives about burnout, right,
[00:36:51.420]narratives of unseed labor,
[00:36:54.450]narratives of exhaustion,
[00:36:57.360]narratives of you know uncompensation
[00:37:01.210]or under compensation.
[00:37:02.670]And when I read the narratives from faculty,
[00:37:06.930]it's much the same.
[00:37:09.130]And that is always troubling for me
[00:37:11.900]because one of the arguments
[00:37:13.960]that we make in this piece
[00:37:16.560]are the ways that black people
[00:37:19.650]are not understood as laborers.
[00:37:22.530]Or the way that labor is not a characteristic
[00:37:25.080]or a natural characteristic for the slave,
[00:37:28.030]which is quite the interesting--
[00:37:31.140]It was quite the interesting irony
[00:37:33.180]given that people tend to talk about enslavement as labor,
[00:37:36.660]as unpaid labor,
[00:37:37.570]but the state didn't define laborers as white people,
[00:37:42.070]black people, although we labored, labored as property.
[00:37:46.000]And what that also does
[00:37:47.880]is it excludes us from the, you know,
[00:37:51.530]the state framings of laborer,
[00:37:53.960]because they're also excluding you
[00:37:55.670]from state framings of human beings and of citizens.
[00:37:58.530]And, so that when these findings
[00:38:02.690]both in administration and faculty show up
[00:38:06.410]in terms of unseen labor or unrecognized labor,
[00:38:10.260]I think the challenge that that presents
[00:38:12.960]for colleges and universities
[00:38:14.840]is a need to really dislodge this association that exists,
[00:38:23.990]that is between black people and property.
[00:38:28.944]Can I say one final--
[00:38:30.660]Yeah, go ahead.
[00:38:32.240]As I was listening to Dancy talking,
[00:38:34.240]it just kinda came to my mind.
[00:38:36.970]I also think that part of the reason
[00:38:38.650]why you may see more public outcry
[00:38:42.923]or public testimony
[00:38:44.310]and like these social media platforms from faculty
[00:38:47.620]are people in the scholarly area of academia,
[00:38:52.410]as opposed to the administrative
[00:38:53.840]is because there's a historical,
[00:38:57.310]even amongst white people,
[00:38:59.250]there's a historical precedence around like public,
[00:39:04.110]being publicly vocal as a scholar.
[00:39:09.430]And particularly if you have tenure,
[00:39:11.790]although I think black people are always precarious
[00:39:13.990]and you should not put all your eggs in the tenured active,
[00:39:17.860]because if the empire is coming for you,
[00:39:21.500]the empire will come.
[00:39:23.660]And sadly we've seen that play itself out
[00:39:25.980]in multiple kinds of ways.
[00:39:27.970]But I do think yet in still, in a broad way,
[00:39:30.720]tenure does provide a certain kinda protection
[00:39:35.630]to name these things in ways that administrators
[00:39:39.590]may not feel the same kind of protection.
[00:39:41.730]So it's not that they necessarily,
[00:39:43.180]I feel they're experiencing different
[00:39:44.760]or are fundamentally different things,
[00:39:47.850]but that being a scholar or a faculty member
[00:39:52.050]creates more opportunity to be vocal about it.
[00:39:56.583]I think, that was really important points, I think.
[00:39:59.080]Is to whether we're talking about permission,
[00:40:01.280]who gets access opportunities,
[00:40:03.500]who gets promoted, who doesn't.
[00:40:06.640]All of those are--
[00:40:08.280]Certainly there are those similarities
[00:40:09.620]and I think the point, again being made,
[00:40:12.090]that the ideology is the same
[00:40:13.640]while it may be acted out in different ways
[00:40:18.120]or look differently
[00:40:19.820]because of the two groups certainly exists.
[00:40:22.480]So there was, I wanna go to a point
[00:40:24.663]that was sort of emerging around tokenism
[00:40:28.150]and committee work and service.
[00:40:32.350]And so there was a pre-submitted question
[00:40:35.430]before we maybe go to one more submitted question
[00:40:38.900]from the audience,
[00:40:39.733]but there was a question just around, you know,
[00:40:43.210]what is the right balance?
[00:40:45.520]And I think this question came from an administrator,
[00:40:47.560]but what's the right balance
[00:40:48.820]that you wanna be able to have perspectives
[00:40:52.110]from faculty of color in particular,
[00:40:55.720]or black faculty specifically,
[00:40:57.800]perspectives on a committee,
[00:41:00.550]but also be respectful to allow faculty
[00:41:04.370]or an administrator to be able to do the work
[00:41:07.520]that is important to their career.
[00:41:10.710]What is that balance between, I guess,
[00:41:12.600]service and work outside of sort of primary, you know,
[00:41:19.970]teaching and research?
[00:41:26.500]And I know Elon,
[00:41:27.333]you had sort of started down this road between tokenism
[00:41:31.040]and when someone's invited to contribute
[00:41:34.667]and when they're not (laughing).
[00:41:35.850]You wanna speak more about that or Kirsten?
[00:41:40.840]So I had a chance to look at that question that I was,
[00:41:45.690]I think I'm probably reading it in a couple of ways.
[00:41:49.150]The first way I was thinking about that question
[00:41:52.170]is for black people.
[00:41:53.640]So I'll take that up first.
[00:41:55.040]Like black people who are asked to do administrative work,
[00:41:58.580]like black people are asked to be associate deans.
[00:42:03.740]black people are often asked to do associate dean work,
[00:42:07.790]before they are full professors,
[00:42:10.640]which does not lend itself
[00:42:13.350]to a particular kind of structural support
[00:42:15.450]or even political support that may be necessary.
[00:42:18.710]It can actually add precarity.
[00:42:20.170]And I think the, some of the logics
[00:42:23.660]that often undergird the selection of black people
[00:42:28.810]for associate dean shifts
[00:42:31.490]have to do with the need to look diverse,
[00:42:36.490]but also to get the work done that you want to get done
[00:42:41.960]while not necessarily bringing over
[00:42:46.260]the kinds of rewards
[00:42:49.680]or recognition that that kind of work demands.
[00:42:53.480]So my reason for sharing that is that
[00:42:57.870]that gives, I think, black people something to think about
[00:43:00.290]in terms of whether or not
[00:43:01.650]you accept these kinds of administrative positions,
[00:43:06.070]to be thinking deeply about what you want
[00:43:08.290]and what you need in your career
[00:43:10.710]and understanding that may not align with the institution.
[00:43:16.190]What will happen is that they'll give you some expectations
[00:43:19.450]and if that's something you want to happen
[00:43:21.570]within those expectations,
[00:43:23.680]you have to make it happen,
[00:43:25.110]which means, you have to be strategic,
[00:43:28.030]very strategic in how you spend your time
[00:43:30.240]and think about the ways
[00:43:31.550]that you can actually integrate forms of work,
[00:43:35.780]such that you might be able to meet
[00:43:37.460]some sort of administrative expectation
[00:43:39.650]and also meet an academic expectation.
[00:43:45.530]So there, especially if you know,
[00:43:48.030]for professors who are becoming associate deans,
[00:43:50.450]and important, I think to maintain scholarship,
[00:43:55.640]to remain a scholar.
[00:43:58.160]That's not only important for, you know,
[00:44:01.090]as I think about our case,
[00:44:02.010]it's not only important
[00:44:02.900]because who I am is a philosopher, is inquisitive.
[00:44:07.570]So I have questions that are deep within me
[00:44:09.730]that seek to make meaning of the world,
[00:44:12.430]but also I have a politic with institutions quite frankly,
[00:44:16.780]where I need options to keep my options open.
[00:44:22.640]And so, if you want to ever get out of a place, and this
[00:44:28.720]I'm not speaking about my current, you know, institution.
[00:44:31.070]So, (laughing) you know, the thing about (mumbles) saying
[00:44:34.260]that Dancy wants to get out of the institution right now.
[00:44:37.600]What I'm saying,
[00:44:38.433]if you are at an institution where that you want to leave,
[00:44:41.820]if you want to be mobile, you need to write your way.
[00:44:43.923]Sometimes you have to write your way out
[00:44:46.130]as a faculty member.
[00:44:48.310]And we have to understand that mobility,
[00:44:51.800]particularly of enslaved people did not exist.
[00:44:57.230]Like the idea that you would be mobile
[00:45:01.210]was understood as, you know, defiance.
[00:45:04.980]As too much like a human being and it was punishable.
[00:45:08.930]I mean, their whole like fugitive slave acts around,
[00:45:13.230]you know, and thinking about the mobility
[00:45:15.610]is something that needs to be contained.
[00:45:17.210]And so, if I'm resisting that,
[00:45:19.430]I'm also trying to do whatever keeps me mobile.
[00:45:24.552]Because if it gets difficult,
[00:45:27.360]quite frankly, for me to survive,
[00:45:30.680]at one you know, one kind of estate
[00:45:33.490]that you wanna be able to go to another,
[00:45:36.880]just because you may be able to, you know, survive better.
[00:45:40.450]So that's one way that I'm thinking about that question.
[00:45:44.110]I think for faculty who are not administrator,
[00:45:48.610]but asked to serve on committees,
[00:45:51.850]I think the institutions have to read the literature
[00:45:55.190]and believe it so that,
[00:45:57.500]but believe what is found across such studies
[00:46:01.520]that black professors are often overburdened
[00:46:06.970]that they're often taxed.
[00:46:08.630]So I'm thinking about Padilla's 1994 piece
[00:46:13.980]that's well cited about the cultural taxation
[00:46:16.360]of faculty of color.
[00:46:17.670]And to maybe think about how you approach an invitation,
[00:46:22.060]like how often do we just offer black faculty
[00:46:26.930]who are also most likely to be tenure tracked
[00:46:28.830]and not tenured,
[00:46:30.220]these committee appointments,
[00:46:31.930]but not actually dialogue with them
[00:46:34.230]about whether or not they're interested in it,
[00:46:36.130]whether or not it can be sort of supported
[00:46:41.350]along with their other commitments.
[00:46:44.480]I mean, there are a number of questions that can be asked
[00:46:48.250]that center our faculty members agency.
[00:46:52.170]I think, you know, it's important
[00:46:53.600]without hopefully not making a decision
[00:46:55.690]for individual faculty that,
[00:46:59.010]but usually I see where committee work
[00:47:01.130]can be kind of most rich when it is aligned
[00:47:06.100]to the scholarly interests of the faculty member
[00:47:09.350]or the teaching and interests of the faculty member.
[00:47:11.670]And, but usually the institutions never sort of
[00:47:14.280]comes with that kind of consciousness
[00:47:16.710]about who faculty are.
[00:47:17.960]So what I would say there
[00:47:19.400]is that you have to come to that conversation
[00:47:22.740]about committee work
[00:47:23.580]with a certain kind of consciousness
[00:47:25.370]that centers the faculty members interests.
[00:47:29.800]And that is also open and honest
[00:47:32.680]about how that faculty member is being reviewed annually
[00:47:37.400]and, you know,
[00:47:38.757]and over the course of a tenure time period,
[00:47:43.460]tenure track time.
[00:47:46.070]Kirsten, something, anything to add?
[00:47:50.440]One is, I wanna kind of piggyback on what Dancy said
[00:47:53.160]about getting these administrative offers pre getting full,
[00:47:57.730]like while you're still associate.
[00:48:00.250]I wanna acknowledge that for black people
[00:48:03.620]and particularly black women,
[00:48:04.530]I've had this conversation
[00:48:05.510]with several of my black women colleagues
[00:48:07.490]about how we kinda get stuck in these tracks for mobility,
[00:48:10.890]like, which are about mobility.
[00:48:12.180]Like either you write yourself out
[00:48:14.430]and be able to be mobile,
[00:48:15.650]or you do the administrative tracking
[00:48:17.880]and administrative track gets you opportunities
[00:48:20.540]outside the institution.
[00:48:22.370]But it becomes a, it's like really a trap.
[00:48:24.290]It just gets you kind of trapped.
[00:48:25.850]And so one of the academies and neither one of them,
[00:48:28.450]neither one of them are useful--
[00:48:29.790]Are helpful for your personal growth
[00:48:32.240]or your personal life and they both have risk.
[00:48:38.166]But I wanna also acknowledging that in saying that,
[00:48:42.440]I know, I wanna recognize the financial need,
[00:48:47.660]like financial needs.
[00:48:49.030]So often black people are presented
[00:48:51.330]with these administrative opportunities.
[00:48:53.520]And regardless of if we're in middle-class profession,
[00:48:55.970]you don't know what our class background is,
[00:48:58.440]and you don't know what kinda financial situations
[00:49:01.610]that we are dealing with
[00:49:03.790]and you get offered these administrative positions
[00:49:07.140]that seem like it's a financial--
[00:49:12.390]It'll shift you financially,
[00:49:14.240]especially when you're in an institution
[00:49:15.487]that's not tryna pay you equitably.
[00:49:19.780]So for instance, there are multiple ways
[00:49:21.300]the university can financially support you.
[00:49:27.260]Few of those ways get directed towards black people.
[00:49:31.840]And so for instance, as an example,
[00:49:34.330]I worked on a campus wide awards committee
[00:49:40.430]where we were doing analysis
[00:49:42.760]for like the high level campus awards
[00:49:48.440]that often came with like a financial compensation,
[00:49:52.350]either in perpetuity
[00:49:53.630]or at least for a period of time,
[00:49:54.980]like thousands of dollars.
[00:49:56.510]And it was very clear,
[00:49:57.360]the demographics of the people who often got those awards
[00:50:00.020]and who were--
[00:50:00.853]And those awards were often nominated
[00:50:02.230]at the departmental level.
[00:50:03.270]So these are departments (mumbles)
[00:50:05.150]about who's quality enough to go up for these awards.
[00:50:08.360]They were very rarely black people.
[00:50:10.500]So if black people wanna get access to more financial gain,
[00:50:14.750]often they're presented
[00:50:15.680]with these labor intensive administrative posts.
[00:50:19.370]But as Dancy has told me,
[00:50:20.690]since I was a pre tenure faculty,
[00:50:22.987]"Always despise the free lunch."
[00:50:25.730]So real clear
(Marco and Dancy laughing)
[00:50:27.360]about what it is that you're getting yourself into.
[00:50:29.580]Like the carrot may look really shiny,
[00:50:32.020]but like Dancy said, get your work, you know,
[00:50:35.220]like you have to--
[00:50:37.090]And I'm saying that with attention to financial need,
[00:50:42.010]which is often ignored when it comes to black people,
[00:50:46.500]our black and brown people in the academy.
[00:50:49.520]Like the administrative stipend can seem real tempting,
[00:50:54.720]especially when that doesn't seem
[00:50:55.810]to be any other options in the institution
[00:50:58.170]for you to raise your economic stability
[00:51:03.550]but be careful and be wise and move circumspectly.
[00:51:08.050]The other thing I would say is,
[00:51:13.598]if you're a non-black administrator,
[00:51:16.920]if you know, if you're trying to decide
[00:51:19.880]how to equitably think about diversity
[00:51:24.480]or perspectives on a committee,
[00:51:26.040]but you don't wanna over X black faculty,
[00:51:28.610]black and brown faculty,
[00:51:31.650]really consider it like what is it that you need?
[00:51:34.830]Because a lot of times,
[00:51:38.540]what people wanna do with black people,
[00:51:40.430]and this goes back to this idea of black people,
[00:51:43.540]where people wanna do with black faculty,
[00:51:46.150]is they want to, our black faculty are administrators,
[00:51:49.080]what they wanna do is they wanna get free labor
[00:51:51.700]for something they would have to comparable requests,
[00:51:54.600]they would have to pay for it for outside consultant.
[00:52:00.660]But like, if you wanted this level of labor
[00:52:02.930]in let's say, your strategic planning for the university,
[00:52:09.150]you would have to hire an outside consultant agency
[00:52:11.690]to do that and pay them thousands of dollars.
[00:52:13.700]But now you wanna have a diversity strategic plan,
[00:52:18.090]but you wanna get, round up your black faculty
[00:52:20.420]to do that labor for free.
[00:52:21.740]So consider compensation.
[00:52:23.240]That's basically what I'm saying.
[00:52:24.530]It's like, if you ask any black people to do this labor,
[00:52:27.960]are you compensating them
[00:52:29.100]for the level of labor and expertise
[00:52:30.650]that they're providing you
[00:52:32.140]Or you just think that it should come for free?
[00:52:34.430]And I said, the last thing I'll say is this.
[00:52:36.520]And this goes back to our piece
[00:52:37.980]that we wrote on Plantation Politics with Dr. Davis,
[00:52:43.200]in the end, we argue for black divestment
[00:52:47.180]in the institution.
[00:52:48.250]And black divestment,
[00:52:50.100]I mean, we're drawing on Marimba Ani in this
[00:52:52.610]and black divestment comes in lots of different forms.
[00:52:55.810]You can be in and out of the institution
[00:52:57.560]as Harney and Moten discuss.
[00:52:59.320]There's multiple ways you can divest.
[00:53:01.820]But one of the ways
[00:53:02.653]I've been thinking strategically about divestment
[00:53:04.930]is not getting caught up in.
[00:53:08.120]So for a long time, as a black woman,
[00:53:09.880]I felt obligated to participate
[00:53:14.060]in anything that had a diversity,
[00:53:16.720]like any service on campus
[00:53:18.270]that had a diversity focus on it.
[00:53:20.140]Like I felt like it was my responsibility
[00:53:22.240]that I have to be part of, you know,
[00:53:25.010]this was a community responsibility.
[00:53:27.240]And what I've learned as I've grown as an academic
[00:53:30.310]is that there are very few things
[00:53:34.580]that the institution will sanction.
[00:53:38.800]That will actually lead to transformation.
[00:53:41.870]That will actually lead to institutional transformation.
[00:53:44.320]So I have to ask myself, is this labor?
[00:53:48.520]So I have two barometers now.
[00:53:50.760]One barometer is,
[00:53:52.260]is this labor actually going to fundamentally change
[00:53:55.610]the lives of black and brown people on this campus
[00:53:57.840]are writ large.
[00:54:00.010]Will that be publicly on the surface or fugitivity?
[00:54:04.220]Like can I use this opportunity to siphon resources from it,
[00:54:07.430]like do this undercover, you know,
[00:54:08.917]and get resources for the most vulnerable?
[00:54:12.310]Are, is there actually an opportunity
[00:54:16.013]that this institutionally sanctioned activity
[00:54:18.730]is gonna fundamentally, structurally change
[00:54:21.354]what's happening at this institution
[00:54:23.060]for the betterment of black and brown people?
[00:54:25.260]That's one thing.
[00:54:27.220]The second thing is,
[00:54:29.140]is this gon' put coin in my purse?
[00:54:32.330]Like is it gon' substantially change my financial situation?
[00:54:37.779]If the activity does not meet those two criteria,
[00:54:41.720]then why am I expending my regularly depleted energy
[00:54:48.320]to participate in it.
[00:54:49.580]And you, and sometimes things look really good.
[00:54:53.120]Like the service looks good.
[00:54:54.260]And also, I think is--
[00:54:55.313]I'ma say this to black women,
[00:54:58.220]black and brown women,
[00:54:59.770]that we are often--
[00:55:01.550]Because we're so--
[00:55:03.570]Because we have a tradition,
[00:55:04.890]I'm not gonna say, you know, it's centralized,
[00:55:06.710]but because there's a tradition
[00:55:08.100]within black women's community to collectively strategize
[00:55:12.010]and to collectively labor,
[00:55:14.380]often those diversity efforts on campus
[00:55:19.520]are the places where
[00:55:22.420]collective black and brown women commune
[00:55:27.140]and you can feel as if,
[00:55:30.080]because that's where your community is,
[00:55:32.480]that that's where you need to be.
[00:55:33.680]You might feel like if you don't participate in something
[00:55:36.710]that you are not,
[00:55:40.640]you're not connected to the community,
[00:55:42.450]or you're not, you're betraying the community.
[00:55:46.380]And some people haven't gotten wise,
[00:55:48.600]you know, some people haven't gotten free
[00:55:50.350]from institutional barometers of success.
[00:55:54.040]So some people have still bought into the assumption
[00:55:57.420]that things with diversity on it
[00:55:59.880]that have institutional sanction
[00:56:01.860]are important markers of success.
[00:56:06.050]Either people in your community.
[00:56:07.760]I mean, you have to get to the place in yourself
[00:56:10.660]where you're making clear distinctions
[00:56:15.040]about what is worth your very precious labor
[00:56:21.650]regardless of what people have to say about that.
[00:56:26.175]And I think what's important for institutions to recognize
[00:56:30.230]is that we're, particularly historically white institutions
[00:56:33.750]are no where near what could be understood
[00:56:37.110]as a critical mass of like faculty,
[00:56:40.090]usually and administrators.
[00:56:42.200]So if we're so,
[00:56:44.290]I think the language that's often used in the field
[00:56:48.600]Then there is also an over laboring that we need to assume
[00:56:54.210]is happening just by virtue of the small numbers.
[00:56:58.130]And even as I think about the moment where we are now,
[00:57:01.560]so, in this current moment of George Floyd rebellions,
[00:57:09.450]you know, there've been a number of statements
[00:57:10.920]that have been issued across higher education institutions.
[00:57:13.870]And, I don't know if this is the case for Kirsten,
[00:57:16.900]I don't wanna speak for her,
[00:57:17.733]but for me, if I let them, you know,
[00:57:21.490]institutions would run me into the ground
[00:57:24.310]with the invitations that I've gotten already.
[00:57:28.830]So there are multiple units across the universities
[00:57:35.840]that email at the same time, you know,
[00:57:38.850]I am, I have the administrative positions,
[00:57:41.410]I am directing a center,
[00:57:43.410]but I'm also chairing the dissertations of many students
[00:57:48.060]who want to push a critical analysis and education.
[00:57:51.127]There are also white students
[00:57:53.150]wanting to push a critical analysis and education,
[00:57:55.850]but because, so the faculty is so underrepresented
[00:57:59.450]within the entire school of education,
[00:58:01.750]all of those students within that school
[00:58:04.700]are often coming to the same faculty.
[00:58:08.170]And if there are students in other areas of the school
[00:58:11.730]doing research that they think is even loosely relevant,
[00:58:14.910]you'll get called.
[00:58:15.743]And then there are other academic units
[00:58:17.680]across the university, other academic schools
[00:58:20.620]that are also seeking you for committees,
[00:58:23.450]for those students,
[00:58:24.330]because those students either, you know,
[00:58:27.140]no one on the committee feels comfortable enough
[00:58:31.300]or confident enough to supervise a student's research
[00:58:34.620]that is asking particular kinds of questions.
[00:58:37.950]And then they're all sort of organizing faculty collectives
[00:58:41.060]and statements that people are writing,
[00:58:43.300]where they also feel that they need, you know,
[00:58:45.750]a particular kind of like expertise
[00:58:49.140]or particular kind of interest area.
[00:58:50.670]And what that adds up to is a lot of labor.
[00:58:54.880]A lot of labor that the institutional mechanisms
[00:58:58.330]associated with review and merit,
[00:59:02.650]really are limited in being able to count for.
[00:59:08.040]So we have to be clear.
[00:59:10.160]So that's something I offer for institutions,
[00:59:12.560]but what I think I would offer
[00:59:13.700]for individual black faculty is--
[00:59:17.150]No, I think, well,
[00:59:17.983]I often stay in individual black faculty,
[00:59:19.470]but for students institutions too,
[00:59:21.250]that we have to be able to say no,
[00:59:23.000]because that's a part of agency
[00:59:24.920]and we have to be able to say no without retribution,
[00:59:27.291]without fearing retribution, if we say no.
[00:59:30.520]And speaking of labor, we are at time.
[00:59:32.440]I know we could spend a great deal of time
[00:59:35.830]being able to talk more about this.
[00:59:38.360]And so, for our audience,
[00:59:41.130]we will be planning to record a private Q&A session
[00:59:45.730]where we follow up with our guests
[00:59:48.500]and answer more of your questions that were not addressed,
[00:59:52.570]either the pre-submitted questions
[00:59:53.770]or those submitted through this particular segment.
[00:59:55.877]And so we will absolutely make that available
[00:59:59.818]to those of you who had questions.
[01:00:02.280]At this time I wanna thank Elon and Kirsten
[01:00:06.580]for always being amazing,
[01:00:08.130]but certainly being available
[01:00:11.020]to be a part of this experience.
[01:00:13.130]For your reference,
[01:00:14.220]we are placing a link to the feedback form in the chat.
[01:00:18.480]And, we hope that everyone takes a minute
[01:00:21.380]to at least copy and paste that particular link
[01:00:23.950]into your web browser
[01:00:25.410]so that you can complete the evaluation feedback,
[01:00:27.560]is really important to us.
[01:00:28.720]As we continue on with this particular series,
[01:00:32.950]you will also receive,
[01:00:33.900]for those registered,
[01:00:34.733]would also receive a copy of the registration
[01:00:37.010]in their email as well.
[01:00:38.570]And so, I want to, again,
[01:00:41.750]thank our audience for joining us for D&I Live at Five,
[01:00:45.050]and again, a special thank you
[01:00:46.610]to Dr. Edwards and Dr. Dancy
[01:00:49.850]for again, being great colleagues.
[01:00:52.970]I know that this work is difficult,
[01:00:55.720]navigating these spaces can be difficult,
[01:00:57.740]but I think what was spoken throughout this
[01:01:00.133]is that being able to have a community
[01:01:02.020]that is there with you is so important and so critical.
[01:01:06.638]So, I'm so grateful to have both Elon and Kirsten
[01:01:10.510]as part of my community in this work.
[01:01:13.410]So thank you both for being able to do that.
[01:01:15.860]Again, we follow up,
[01:01:17.415]we've already provided information
[01:01:20.220]of how to contact Dr. Dancy and Dr. Edwards.
[01:01:23.640]And so again, thank you and enjoy your evening.
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