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How do we create praxis when public interest is never prioritized? – Janan

I’m not a cynical person at all; I’m almost optimistic to a fault. However, that defining characteristic changes when I think about my faith in educational institutions’ dismantling of White supremacy and truly doing work that accounts for years of racism and its many reaches. Actually, being in my department at the GC does give me a lot of hope for certain institutions, because I truly see a critically conscious faculty, an effort to prioritize students of color, and multiple actions to promote research that explicitly and boldly tackles issues of oppression. It makes me able to allow my optimism to enter the field when thinking about DEI in education. However, it’s possible that my alma mater stunted me a bit. I went to Connecticut College, a New England liberal arts school, and one of the most expensive and least diverse in almost every way. I did feel enriched by a lot of professors and enjoyed my social life, and I can attribute the institution’s failures as an actual inclusive institution as a catalyst for my activism, for which I suppose I am grateful. Anyway, the readings for this week made me think about how much institutions do for their public perceptions (all related to money really) above the needs of students.

I wanted to look at social media pages of Connecticut College to look at the disjointment between the two and to create some sort of collage/visual, but my also stunted artistic abilities led me to a different medium I’m a little more comforable with: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1kOY_UYrfl1BdKrPnCOxjjjb3lLyoeRpPPkse8drs4Fo/edit?usp=sharing

(let me know if this doesn’t open! 🙂 )

I don’t think this work in academia is futile, at all, but the landscape we work with is full of hypocrisy, private interest, lack of action, and generations-long seeped-in white supremacy. It’s going to (obviously) take a lot more than Instagram posts in February to truly change our systems. I look forward to creating and learning more about possibilities with all of you.

4 thoughts on “How do we create praxis when public interest is never prioritized? – Janan

  1. Matt Brim

    Janan,
    Thank you for the Powerpoint! You might follow this work up with a research project that analyzes the “diversity presentation” of college/university websites. My sense is that websites of well-resourced, often very white colleges have themselves become models of how to show/show off diversity, and it would be interesting to think about college websites as one of the primary places diversity is mediated in higher ed.
    Matt

  2. Katina Rogers (she/her)

    Wow, Janan—this is a really compelling slide deck. The disconnect you point to is so clear. I’ve been thinking a lot about university websites and the public displays of values that are visible there (and in mission statements, too)—vs structures and systems that undermine those stated values. I agree with Matt that this could be a very interesting research project.

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