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Anti-Racist Toolkit: Transforming Knowledge to Action

In response to the worldwide uprisings against racism in summer 2020, ODI’s Diversity Training & Education (DTE ) unit released an Anti-Racism Toolkit. The toolkit provided entry points into the work of anti-racism for the University of Maryland campus as we saw rapid culture shifts across many areas of the University. Student activism and demands increased, calling for more concrete actions to support Black and Brown students and to challenge the many manifestations of racism on our campus. Programming across campus provided space to process and understand the legacy of racism in our country and abroad. We hope that the Anti-Racism Toolkit provided a starting place for individuals who may not have engaged with these topics before and a building block for folx who wanted to go deeper.

To continue this momentum, we are launching programming to offer our campus additional insights into the practice of anti-racism in our classrooms, workspaces, and daily lives. Each program in this series addresses key questions related to central themes of the toolkit: why we are still facing this problem today and how we can break the cycle. For each program, we have also listed a number of readings, podcasts, and videos from the Anti-Racism Toolkit. We highly recommend engaging “Suggested pre-reading” resources prior to the program to maximize your learning. “Resources to dig deeper” are also listed for individuals interested in further exploration.

We will also be hosting learning communities in conjunction with this programming for those who want to engage in a shared, group-learning process. Read more about learning communities.

Currently, we are no longer accepting submissions for learning communities but will continue to offer them in future semesters.

Stay tuned for more from ODI on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Program 1: Anti-Blackness in Thought and Practice

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Speakers:
Dr. Chinyere Oparah, Provost and Dean of Faculty at Mills College
Dr. Sarah Mayorga, Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University

Description: Venmo reparations, #BlackLivesMatter yard signs, solidarity statements and black squares. In the past few months, people have been grappling with and fumbling through the long overdue conversation on racism in our country. Much of this conversation revolves around “anti-Blackness.” But what does anti-Blackness mean, and how does anti-Blackness work systemically? What does anti-Blackness look like beyond slavery and police brutality, and why does it continue to persist? What role does the university play in breaking the cycle of anti-Black ideologies and practices? In the first program of the Anti-Racism Toolkit programming series, we attempt to grapple with these questions and more with scholar-activists shaping the conversation.

Suggested pre-reading:

Resources to dig deeper:

Program 2: Decolonization is Not a Metaphor: Pedagogy & Praxis

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Speakers:

Dr. Janelle Wong (moderator) - Professor, American Studies & Asian American Studies (University of Maryland)
Dr. Rossina Zamora Liu - Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (University of Maryland)
Dr. Bayley Marquez - Assistant Professor, Department of American Studies (University of Maryland)
Dr. Ayush Gupta - Associate Professor (Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) and Associate Research Professor in Physics (University of Maryland)

Description: In recent decades calls to decolonize curriculums, classrooms and minds grow more and more urgent. In this panel discussion, we take this conversation further—what does the work of decolonization actually require of us as instructors, scholars and leaders? What would happen if we saw higher education within the context of a long legacy of settler colonialism? And why has this language been so easy to co-opt? Join us in the second installment of the Anti-Racism Toolkit programming series, “Transforming Knowledge to Action.”

Suggested pre-reading:

Resources to dig deeper:

Program 3: Healing Justice and the Possibilities of Liberation

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Speakers:

Dr. Van Bailey (moderator) - Director, Bias Incident Support Services (University of Maryland)
Erica Woodland, LCSW - founder, National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN)
Yashna Maya Padamsee - co-founder of RadOps

Description: When crises happen, we are often told “healing” is needed, but what would this actually look like? Many have experienced tremendous loss, pain and exhaustion not just over the past year but for generations. Though conversations about self-care and mental health have increased in higher education, many of us still feel burned out or disillusioned when it comes to the fight against racism and oppression. What practices might we need to adopt or leave behind to truly set ourselves on a pathway to healing? Join panelists to explore the crucial role “healing justice” plays in liberation for us all.

Suggested pre-reading:

Resources to dig deeper: