Webinar Resource Roundup, Part 2

Here is our next Resource Roundup, answering four questions we received during our August and September webinars around the topics of freedom of speech, organizational DEI audits, reparations and more. 

We received several questions that touched on the themes of free speech, hate speech and accountability. We want to share some resource that dive into these topics:

Q: Our unit is embarking on a policy and process audit this fall to identify bias in our practices and policies (everything from how we select student leaders, language used, housing assignment processes etc). Are there resources that exist that will help us on this journey of analysis? I want to be cognizant to not place the burden on our staff of color to identify the bias, but rather that all staff are educated to recognize bias.

Q: Reparations to black and indigenous communities is viewed widely as one of the most crucial forces for combating the insidious white supremacy that undergirds all of our institutions. What could universities’ role in reparations programs look like?

A number of universities are exploring their roles in reparations including:

Q: What explains the delays in reacting to demands for change in government or educational institutions?

While there isn't one singular reason for the delays, examining the reactions and responses within the characteristics of White Supremacy Culture can help provide some insights. Specifically, perfectionism, defensiveness, worship of the written word, only one right way, fear of open conflict and paternalism all showed up in moments during the process of responding. Some delays were impacted by people feeling the pressure to have the "perfect" response and needing to carefully draft a written statement that perfectly captured their values, beliefs and addressed everything (which reflects worship of the written word). Others were deeply impacted by fear of open conflict and wanting to minimize the public attention.

Further, governments, higher ed, nonprofits and businesses have been reacting to demands for change. Reaction is an inherently delayed response after something has happened. We think it's important to be having conversations about how to shift to a place of more proactivity which will allow larger institutions to be prepared to respond to issues as they arise in the moment in addition to investing in upstream efforts to create the contexts and conditions that embody anti-oppression. We encourage you to engage with the work of Dr. Damon Williams and Dr. Katrina Wade-Golden which offers ideas and ways to be more proactive. 

We would also like to uplift a model of dialogue that we think would be a useful tool in this kind of work. Here are some resources about deliberative dialogue:

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