October 23, 2017

How to overcome Systemic Resistance to Diversity is greatest need of respondents in a national survey

DIVERSITY SURVEY RESULTS

 The survey was sent to nearly 300 people across the U.S. The intent was to gather input from a national sample about the key diversity issues that campuses were most interested in addressing. Respondents were asked to reply to three questions listed below. Although demographic information of respondents is provided, there was only one answer that produced any significant variance between respondents. That answer is: “How can I overcome my personal challenges” in response to the first question. This was overwhelmingly submitted by white respondents.

All answers were grouped and organized under broad headings. If an answer was repeated multiple times it became a heading so you can assume that all headings were created based on many respondents answering in similar ways. Examples of submitted individual answers that led to these headings is included. The answers are numbered in order of importance based on the number of responses; meaning answer #1 received the most responses, #2 the next highest and so on.

 DEMOGRAPHICS

Male             48%     Female                   52%

Black            45%     White                     42%

Asian            7%       Multiple Races    6%

If you had 20 minutes of a top-notch diversity consultant’s time to help you with anything you want, what would you ask this consultant?

1.      HOW TO OVERCOME SYSTEMIC RESISTANCE TO DIVERSITY

  • How to overcome systemic resistance on topics of diversity and equity?
  • How do I generate belief and trust in the system?
  • How do you get administrators to invest real money into diversity programs and initiatives?
  • Why isn’t there a curriculum requirement to teach African American Studies in all schools and universities in the U.S?

2.      HOW TO CONVINCE FOLKS THAT DIVERSITY BENEFITS EVERYONE

  • What’s in this for white folks? Seriously, if we can’t articulate solid, tangible, short-range benefits for the dominant culture, why should they care?
  • What value does diversity bring to the school?
  • Can’t do much with 20 minutes. Perhaps ask him to provide a practical framework for considering how diversity helps everyone.
  • How can predominately Anglo institutions develop a culture of aggressively including into all levels of leadership, persons of color?

3.      HOW CAN I OVERCOME MY PERSONAL CHALLENGES

  • What can I do to get past the feeling of not wanting to mess up which keeps me from taking any constructive steps forward regarding diversity?
  • How can I make certain I do not act in a way or say something that is culturally insensitive unwittingly in a collegiate setting?
  • To help me discover what my own biases and assumptions are.
  • What can I do, as a white, male college professor to create a climate of acceptance?

4.      HOW TO RECRUIT & RETAIN STUDENTS AND FACULTY OF COLOR

  • How to increase the retention rate of students of color?
  • How to get colleges to rethink their admissions criteria
  • How to successfully recruit a diverse and bilingual workforce!
  • Diversity recruitment not tied to Trio or other fed and state funded programs

5.      HOW TO GET STUDENTS INVOLVED

  • How to reinforce psychology in students with prejudged attitudes
  • Engaging students and understanding the “glass is half empty” folks
  • How to get students of color to be proactive!
  • How is the diversity viewed by the students who attend the institution? i.e. do they feel left out, unwelcomed, or lowered expectations by faculty? Or do they care more about the quality of the education they may be receiving?

6.      OTHER

  • Trends in diversity and inclusion in higher ed, methods for changing preconceived notions about “diversity” particularly in higher ed
  • What are we doing that keeps us from being an inclusive campus?
  • Why do you think adult Americans, as a whole, still can’t talk openly and consistently about race?
  • How do you break down cultural bias in all races to promote diversity and transparency?

If you were asked to plan a diversity webinar for your institution or organization what topic would you choose?

1.      ONE ON DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

  • Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Training
  • The Value of Diversity in Higher Education
  • Benefits of being a diverse school.
  • Diversity and Inclusion in the broadest sense of the word

2.      ONE ON INSTITUTIONAL RACISM

  • Institutional racism more overt than covert. How institutional racism continues to marginalize persons of color
  • Charting the Path for Reducing and Eliminating Systemic Racism.
  • What do you fear from other races or ethnic groups?
  • What cues are people of different nationalities particularly sensitive to?

3.      ONE THAT ADDRESSED STUDENT CONCERNS

  • It would be preconceived thoughts of the majority towards minority student populations.
  • What is the main focus of concern by the students who are on that particular campus?
  • I think about preparing a student in how his life may change by pursuing education as a goal. Not bad, not good just change. No one seems to do this ahead of time. They soothe the discomfort afterward.
  • Either teaching students of color or creating a culturally competent work place.

4.      OTHER

  • Faculty recruitment and curricular and cultural relevant pedagogy
  • Partnership building
  • Budgetary priorities and diversity.
  • Moving from best efforts to best practices (while avoiding a magic bullet mind-set).

The video that you watched: Ten Problems that students of color face on predominantly white colleges describes a popular workshop that Dr. Taylor offers college campuses. Based on your experience what do you think one of those problems might be?

1.      INSTITUTIONAL BARRIERS

  • The unwillingness of senior leaders to make as nonnegotiable the diversification of both faculty and senior executive leadership
  • The institution’s culture must change…be willing to honestly self-examine.
  • The lack of knowledge by the college administrators about the problems that students of color face.
  • Institutional racism

2.      ALIENATION

  • The feeling, perception, or the assumption that the white establishment regards them as fundamentally different.
  • Lack of inclusion and lack of understanding by majority population
  • How under-represented college students must compensate for their lack of social and political capital in campus environments that are predicated on white, middle-class discourses
  • Students of Color are often seen as task or problem to push and molded into shape. Students of Color are not accepted for the unique perspectives they bring to campuses.

3.      CULTURAL CONFLICT

  • Adapting while maintaining their own identity
  • The biggest problem will be culture shock and ensuring that they do not feel invisible or targeted. The sociocultural factors cannot be ignored and tend to be even larger than race in my opinion.
  • White campuses don’t feel the need to accept Blacks or learn their culture.
  • Being asked to represent ALL of their culture/ethnic group/ being seen as “THE” __(insert race)___ kids.

4.      PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • How a person is raised by parents.
  • Poor class attendance
  • Embracing the goal of moving beyond getting into college but graduating. Additionally developing ways to successfully navigate (resources, mentors, friends) college
  • How does the student view themselves in a predominantly white environment?

5.      OTHER

  • Resources
  • The relationships among race/ethnicity, social class, and educational opportunities
  • Fear of change.
  • Few role models.

__________________________________________________________________________

You might be pleased to know that you identified 3 of the 10 problems correctly.

Although the workshop focuses on the needs of students of color, it covers issues and topics that are of concern to all campus constituencies. Typically when I go to colleges I will deliver the workshop to faculty, staff and administrators.

Through facts, examples, case studies, engaging activities and research based on 20+ years, the workshop helps campuses focus their diversity efforts. The intent is to help campuses create a sustaining, welcoming environment by demonstrating how diversity benefits everyone.

You’ll learn how systemic inequitable policies and practices are embedded in our educational institutions. You’ll also learn effective strategies and solutions for addressing each of these 10 problems. You’ll leave with new skills and knowledge that you can implement immediately. You’ll also be given 10 Information Sheets (one for each problem) that you can refer to throughout the year that includes resources and information to help you tackle each challenge.

To find out more send me an email: drchucktaylor@gmail.com. Let’s make this academic year the year that we have a genuine dialogue about the issues that continue to divide us.

P.S. ABOUT THE SURVEY

The results of this survey can be used as a starting point for campuses looking for areas to focus on in 2015. How would your campus answer these questions? I suspect you will find similar results. Let me know what you find out and then let’s have a Skype call to discuss where we go from here. Best wishes for a great year!

Dr. Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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