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Enhancing Diversity Seminars

The 2021 Enhancing Diversity Seminar Series is designed to engage the campus community in dialogue around topics and issues related to diversity, campus climate, equity, and inclusion. In a virtual format, the Office for Diversity has invited Texas A&M students, faculty, and staff to present their research to the campus community. A list of past Enhancing Diversity Seminars is available here.
 
Because of the diversity in experience, motivation, and knowledge in the campus community, the Office for Diversity offers sessions for participants with a variety of skill levels and knowledge about diversity. To help participants find presentations that match their interests and facilitate their personal and professional development, presenters have indicated experience and knowledge level(s) for their sessions: 
 
  1. Novice - Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity.  
  2. Intermediate - Some to moderate experience, training, and/or personal reflection identifying and recognizing personal bias and prejudices, how power and authority are distributed within organizational systems, and forms of privilege, oppression, and discrimination. 
  3. Advanced - Substantial experience, training, and/or personal reflection resulting in a willingness to engage in respectful discussions and discourse about power, privilege, oppression, and discrimination; the ability to function effectively in a multicultural society; the ability to understand conflict from multiple viewpoints; and the willingness to explore personal bias and prejudices.
 
Presentations are structured to encourage participants to engage in self-reflection and to interact with peers and the presenter(s). Please check with your supervisor to determine whether any presentations count towards your specific training and professional development requirements. 
Spectres from the Past: The Politics of History and Memory
Presenter: Dr. Portia Owusu, Visiting Assistant Professor
College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University
Date: Thursday, April 15
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Location: Zoom details will be provided in the reminder email on 04/14/21
Registration closes at noon on April 13, 2021. 

This presentation considers modes of remembering slavery in African and African American cultural contexts. Its focus is on twentieth century “back to Africa” ideologies and its impact in the lives of individuals who adhered to it. The paper offers a reading of Ama Ata Aidoo’s Dilemma of a Ghost (1965), a play that explores the politics of history in a marriage between an African and African American, to argue that these ideologies historicize slavery in ways that account exclusively for the experience of those in the West. A consequence of this single focus is a misunderstanding of how Africans remember and historicize slavery. It is also fraught personal relationships – underpinned by differences in cultures and modes of memory - between Africans on the continent and those in the diaspora.
 
Audience Knowledge Ranking: Novice – Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity.


 


Enhancing minoritized scholars’ professional visibility
Presenters: Dr. Asha Ganesan, Postdoctoral Researcher & Dr. Adrienne Carter-Sowell, Associate Professor
College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University
Date: Wednesday, April 28
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Location: Zoom details will be provided in the reminder email on April 27, 2021
Registration closes at noon on April 26, 2021.

Being visible is beneficial for career advancement and can enhance positive experiences on the job. Roles as a ghost writer, silent partner, and anonymous donor imply that no negative consequences accompany being present but not accounted for in the workplace. However, research shows being an “invisible” worker matters. Alternatively, being visible also can be detrimental for one’s identities too (McCluney & Rabelo, 2019). Data were collected in a series of studies, using mixed methods, from participants belonging to varying majority and minority groups. Results differentiated between self-reported visibility experiences and (1) willingness to disclose personal information/identities, (2) status among group members, and (3) perceived pain induced by recurring thoughts. In sum, factors related to intersectional identities influence differences in stepping out of a perpetual, professional blind spot. Implications of public “inclusion pledges” will be discussed too.
 
Audience Knowledge Ranking: Novice – Limited or no experience, training, and/or personal reflection discussing racism, privilege, and other social justice issues and identifying personal biases, prejudices, and identity.

Registration for campus and community members

TrainTraq link for registration for Texas A&M Employees