In Fall 2019, the Faculty Policy Council discussed the increasingly critical need for allyship and support for minoritized faculty of color – as well as for the staff and students – in the College of Education in the current political climate. FPC members agreed that the COE’s representative, deliberative body should contribute leadership, partnership, and solidarity on this issue. Accordingly, FPC approved forming an ad hoc committee specifically for the purpose of continuing the dialogue and brainstorming ideas. FPC members wanted to participate in and facilitate, but not monopolize, discussions at the college, school, and program levels that need to be ongoing and not just limited to FPC meetings. The goal of the ad hoc group was to generate specific ideas and identify individuals, groups, events, and materials as possible resources.
FPC and committee members believe that it is important to commit to allyship, to listen, to engage with difficult questions, and to learn. FPC is not claiming expertise, or attempting to be the authoritative voice of allyship for minoritized COE faculty, staff, and students of color. FPC members simply believe that the Council can play a constructive role in both discussion and action, and wish to share this document with humility and commitment.
FPC also acknowledges that, while this ad hoc committee focused mostly on issues related to race and ethnicity, it is important for faculty to support faculty, staff, and students of all minoritized groups. Accordingly, some of the resources in this report address this need.
Further, FPC is not suggesting that this is an exhaustive list of recommendations and resources. Ad hoc committee members acknowledged at the outset that 1) it was important to start somewhere, 2) it would be necessary as an ad hoc committee to come to a stopping point by the end of the year, and 3) they wish to remain involved in ongoing activities related to the mission of the committee.
Key Questions and Ideas
- How might the COE community reaffirm its core values and be proactive in making these values explicit as much as possible via the COE and FPC websites and other types of messaging?
- Messaging could be a possible agenda item for the FPC Long Range Planning Committee and the Technology Committee, working with the deans, directors, ETC staff, and UF Campus Diversity Liaison (CDL).
- An example of a statement of core values is included in this report.
- How might the COE community be aware before and during critical events/incidents – whether campus, local, state, or national – that have the potential to negatively impact minoritized faculty, staff, and students of color, and be ready to respond?
- Can this be done with a few faculty/staff willing to work with FPC leadership, the deans, and the CDL to exchange information about upcoming events that may be harmful?
- How can the COE community be responsive to distressing racist events/incidents?
- This guide suggests resources that FPC, the deans, and staff could use before, during, and after a particular racist incident (e.g., Teaching Tolerance, the Anti-Defamation League).
- “Counter-events” could be held at such times and would need to be organized quickly. This guide suggests many ideas for discussion groups, films, webinars, and other resources that could bring people together to talk. All would be free of charge and would only need a room reservation (or a Zoom meeting if the COVID situation requires it).
- This could be a possible agenda item for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and for the Lectures, Seminars, and Awards Committee.
- Communication and coordination with UF Student Affairs, the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, the Counseling and Wellness Center, and the Chief Diversity Officer also seem essential.
More broadly, this guide is a compilation of numerous resources for ongoing meetings, events, workshops, and teaching ideas that faculty in all schools and program areas can use as they wish.
FPC recommends offering one or more of the trainings/workshops described in the report, with a specific focus on supports for minoritized people of color and guidance for allyship during distressing times. Some of these supports would require funds from the Dean’s office and/or from any/all of the schools. There is a lot of expertise within the COE, at UF, and in social justice-oriented national organizations from which to draw.
The Faculty Policy Council may wish to consider establishing an “affinity group” (described in the study in this report from the University of Pennsylvania) to replace the ad hoc committee. The group would not take the place of the D&I or LSAC committees but could work with them as a sub-committee to play a specific, supportive role during critical events/incidents.
There is much to be concerned about as people try to hold together the social fabric of this country. As a community and as individuals, COE faculty are already very well-positioned to take principled, constructive action when distressing incidents and events occur that target minoritized groups of color. The importance of people in the COE community checking on each other’s well-being during such times cannot be overstated, nor can the importance of providing time and space for impacted people in the COE community to retreat and heal when necessary.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to request resources to be added to this page.
Ad Hoc Committee Members
- Elizabeth Washington
FPC Chair/Ad Hoc Chair
- Diana Joyce-Beaulieu
- Cathy Atria
- Maria Leite
- Ana Puig
- Gage Jeter
- LaToya Haynes-Thoby
- Julie Brown