Rowan series addresses racism, historical context and paths forward

Rowan series addresses racism, historical context and paths forward


Rowan University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, is sponsoring a five-part virtual series to address the national unrest that has followed the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police.

The series, which is open to all members of the Rowan community and the public, will also address the conditions that led to Mr. Floyd’s slaying and will look forward to solutions that could help resolve racially charged issues – in particular, the treatment of blacks by some police – that continue to roil America.

The We Are Not Ok: Injustice, Action, and Healing Series will focus on educating, supporting and providing resources in light of Mr. Floyd’s slaying and the reaction to it. Each session will offer an opportunity for participants to voice concerns and contribute to the development of action plans that lead to sustainable change.

“Universities are not exempt from facing issues that plague our society and threaten our democracy,” wrote Dr. Monika Williams Shealey, senior vice president for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, this week on Facebook. “We’ve heard the stories and watched the videos that documented the deaths of Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd and we are watching the aftermath playing out in cities all over the country. We hear the calls for justice and Rowan University is responding by hosting a series of virtual discussions aimed at identifying the root causes and persistence of systemic racism and oppression in this country.”

Please join us for all five sessions:

The Match that Lit the Flame: Unpacking Systemic Racism, Policing, and Resistance

3 p.m. Thursday

This session will increase awareness and understanding of the historical context of systemic racism, policing and resistance in America. Participants will develop tools to critically examine recent events within a historical and socio-political context, leaving the session with strategies and resources to help facilitate individual and collective progress.

I Can’t Breathe: Discussion of Racial Battle Fatigue, Trauma, and Self-Care

3 p.m. Monday, June 8

Centered on the voices of students, faculty, and staff of color in an effort to increase awareness and understanding of racial battle fatigue and trauma participants in this session will explore coping mechanisms that improve their overall well-being and strategies that facilitate collective care.

Speaking Truth to Power through Pedagogy: Anti-Racist Teaching in Higher Education

3 p.m. Thursday, June 11

This session will build upon faculty members’ awareness of systemic racism while exploring anti-racist pedagogy and its application across disciplines. Participants will engage in critical self-reflection in order to effectively implement anti-racist pedagogy in their classroom. Finally, they will explore critical components to designing an anti-racist course and professional approach: incorporating the topics of race and inequality into course content, teaching from an anti-racist pedagogical approach, anti-racist organizing within the campus and linking our efforts to the surrounding community. Participants will leave this session with strategies and resources to develop anti-racist learning outcomes, classroom culture and dynamics, classroom strategies, methods, and assessment.

White People Do Something:  A dialogue on Whiteness and Allyship

3 p.m. Friday, June 12

This session will critique the ways in which white people continue to benefit from systemic oppression. Participants will explore strategies for abandoning white guilt in order to re-center the needs of people of color. Participants will develop a toolkit of anti-racist resources and action items to effect social change.

Where Do We Go From Here? Navigating Campus and Community

3 p.m. Monday, June 15

The final program in this series will provide participants an opportunity to engage in problem-solving strategies in collaboration with key community constituents. Participants will be provided a tool to facilitate their action planning.

For more information, visit www.Rowan.Edu/DEI.