Reflections On Nominal Diversity In Academia By Victor Ray

2 Apr

As a learning and teaching consultant working across our land grant university departments, I continue to see this scenario play out, which means still being called 20 years after leaving graduate school to engage in new and on-going versions of the ally and social justice work now that we were doing then.

Conditionally Accepted

victor rayVictor Ray is a PhD Candidate in sociology at Duke University. He will begin as an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville this fall. His research is on organizational responses to racial and gender discrimination. You can follow Victor on Twitter at @victorerikray

Below, Victor reflects on his frustration with his department’s award-winning level of diversity, at least on paper, that contradicts the otherwise exclusive department climate, norms, and practices.

My department just won the inaugural Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence, an award that is meant to reward the department for “extraordinary achievements” in promoting diversity in its graduate student body.  I was surprised by the news, as my experiences as a student of color in this department have been less than inclusive and other than excellent. Although students of color are indeed admitted to the graduate program, and even make it through to the…

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