Report on Unlearning Racism in Geoscience from the NAGT Traveling Workshop Program Pod

Wednesday 11:15-11:45am PT / 12:15-12:45pm MT / 1:15-1:45pm CT / 2:15-2:45pm ET Online


Catherine Riihimaki, 2NDNATURE Software Inc.
Reginald Archer, Tennessee State University
Julie Bartley, Gustavus Adolphus College
Rachel Beane, Bowdoin College
David Blockstein, Bard College
Dr. Edith Davis, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
Sarah Fortner, Carleton College
deborah gross, Carleton College
Laura Rademacher, University of the Pacific
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
Karen Viskupic, Boise State University
In Spring 2021, twelve facilitators from the NAGT Traveling Workshop Program (TWP; organized a discussion pod as part of the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience program (URGE; The TWP has ~40 facilitators who conduct workshops for departments or faculty groups on topics such as Building Stronger Geoscience and Environmental Science Programs, Making Your Course More Effective and Societally Relevant, and Supporting the Success of All Students. URGE, sponsored by NSF and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, consisted of a 16-week curriculum of interviews, articles, and deliverables (i.e., anti-racism policies and strategies) for discussion in pods. While TWP facilitators previously had developed resources for teaching inclusively and supporting the whole student, the TWP pod identified a need for improved anti-racism policies, facilitators' content knowledge, and facilitation training. URGE topics were relevant for potential issues facilitators face during workshops, for example helping departments strategize policies and practices for collaborating successfully with minoritized communities. We used URGE discussion sessions and deliverables to revise how TWP facilitators plan and implement workshops at different types of institutions, provide resources on inclusion and equity to workshop participants, and encourage synergies across institutions that benefit marginalized students and faculty. Reviewing URGE deliverables created by other programs will help inform how TWs might support change in those programs. Some existing NAGT policies (i.e., the NAGT Activities Code of Conduct) satisfied the URGE deliverables for the TWP pod, but the pod also identified gaps. Two acute needs are to develop 1) a strategy to equitably and inclusively identify and train new facilitators, and 2) policies to sustainably share TWP leadership across the diverse group of facilitators. The TWP welcomes community input to make the TWP a full agent for helping the geosciences become anti-racist.

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