Talking Over the Racial Divide

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The Chronicle of Higher Education reports, "The notion of a 'safe space' is imprecise and counterproductive, many instructors of dialogue courses at Maryland believe. They prefer to think of their classrooms as courageous places where students aren’t afraid to express and hear things that make them uncomfortable. At first, that was a tall order for many of the students. Politeness reigned. Hearing about one another’s foreign and Americanized names or racial experiences, several retreated to the same noncommittal word, 'interesting.'

One of the strengths of the dialogue course was the diversity of the students, the instructors came to understand, and they wished they had done more to bring those nuances to the fore. Race was more than black and white. It was Arab, Asian, and Latino, with identities refracted through class, neighborhood, skin tone, and to what extent a student’s parents had assimilated."

Read the entire article here (subscription required).

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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