Fall 2021 Update from the Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning Team

We want to extend a belated welcome back to everyone, and we hope the start of the academic year has been treating you well.

As some of us are settling back into working, teaching, and learning on campus, the Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning team wanted to take a moment to provide an update on what we have been working on, as well as to share about some upcoming opportunities and initiatives in our programming. 

Educational Consultant: Anti-Racist Teaching & Facilitation

The Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning (A-RTL) team currently consists of staff from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, and the Equity & Inclusion Office. In order to build on the existing iniatives of the A-RTL team, and to continue deepening the work in a sustainable manner, we are excited to announce that Freda Maideen has joined the team as the new Educational Consultant: Anti-Racist Teaching & Facilitation. In this role, Freda will be working with both the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology and the Equity & Inclusion Office to design and deliver anti-racist and decolonial programming that aims to support educators in incorporating decolonial and anti-racist practices into their pedagogy and day-to-day interactions. 

Series and Re-Design

What is/was the Anti-Racist Teaching Series?

Led by the A-RTL team, the Anti-Racist Teaching Series consisted of workshops for UBC faculty, staff, and educators who wished to cultivate teaching and facilitation practices that support anti-racist solidarity. Workshops in the Series were premised upon research and popular education pedagogy in the areas of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion. Drawing on reflections, tools, strategies, and interactive discussions, workshop participants could expect to deepen their understanding of anti-racism, power, privilege, oppression, allyship, positionality, and solidarity.

Why the Re-Design?

The Anti-Racist Teaching Series piloted in 2020. From these workshop offerings, we received valuable feedback which has helped inform the iterative design of our anti-racism educational approach. In order to incorporate the feedback in a meaningful and impactful manner, the  A-RTL team is taking into consideration how these insights can be leveraged as we continue to embed reciprocity and decolonization in our approaches to anti-racist pedagogies. In addition, we took an opportunity this summer to critically self-reflect on the series in terms of both its curricular content and the development process. The desired outcome is to integrate and incorporate both the feedback we received from last year’s participants and our own reflections throughout the program, as opposed to using the recommendations to make adjustments to individual workshops. 

What could this Re-Design Look Like?

One of the things we are currently exploring for 2022 is shifting our emphasis from a series of individual workshops towards a cohort-based model.  As we confirmed through a pilot cohort with the Faculty of Applied Science in early 2021, offering anti-racism workshops to a predetermined cohort fosters deeper and more meaningful learning opportunities since we are able to connect with and follow-up with participants to see how they are bringing what they learn into practice. Having a structured cohort participate in the learning together also allows for workshop participants to connect with and learn from each other in an ongoing manner. To reflect this shift in emphasis to a cohort-model, and to provide educational opportunities that extend beyond workshops, what was formerly the Anti-Racist Teaching Series will now be known as Programming for Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning

Another component of our re-design will be ensuring that sessions include an integrative approach with regards to decolonization and anti-racism. Emphasizing and highlighting this critical relationship between decolonization and anti-racism will allow participants to understand the intrinsic connection between decolonization and anti-racism. 

Last, but certainly not least, we heard from the Anti-Racist Teaching Series pilot feedback that there is a desire for IBPOC community participants to build community through Programming for Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning, and to continue connecting with each other on topics pertaining to anti-racism so we are currently exploring how we can provide space for members of the IBPOC communities to continue doing so. 

Fall Offerings & Opportunities

As we all know, this work takes time, as it should. In the meantime, as we undergo this re-design process, we will continue to offer one-off workshops on anti-racism teaching and learning approaches in limited volume, in addition to some new professional development opportunities such as Lunch & Learns in the fall. Please see below for various offerings and opportunities: 

Additional Resources

We acknowledge and emphasize that anti-racism work cannot occur solely within the space of a 2 hour workshop through consuming (even a series) of workshop content. There is ongoing work to be done to ensure that what we learn is enacted in our day-to-day relationships and that we invest efforts into a process of ongoing self-reflection. Furthermore, workshops are not the only space where learning can take place. With that being said, please consider taking a look at some other work on campus and resources to supplement attending workshops:

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