Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Beyond Diversity: Confronting Racism and the Obstacles to Equity and Justice on Campus
  • April 26, 2017 | 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM | Benedum 102

In recent years, “diversity” has become a buzzword that is neither defined nor sufficiently understood as it relates to both the benefits and obstacles to empowering diversity.  This talk reflects on the importance of diversity and on the obstacles to fulfilling the promises of “diverse” institutions because of the “permanence of racism” at both the top and “the bottom of the well” (Bell 1992). Yet, diversity must be a starting point rather than end goal that departments and university administrators celebrate as evidence of progress and inclusion. Equity and a culture of justice must anchor any discussions of diversity demanding that we rethink the structures and cultures that too often give life to tokenism and persistent institutional equality.  This talk, thus, gives voice to strategies, as individual accomplices and institutional change agents, to rethink university culture, one grounded by a commitment to transformative equity.

Dr. David Leonard, Washington State University

David J. Leonard is Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman.  He regularly writes about issues of anti-black racism, media culture, inequality, and the criminal justice system.  His forthcoming book is entitled Playing While White Privilege and Power on and off the Field (University Washington Press). 




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