Learning to do diversity work: A model for continued education of program organizers

26 Jan 2017  ·  Dounas-Frazer Dimitri R., Hyater-Adams Simone A., Reinholz Daniel L. ·

Physics and physics education in the United States suffer from severe (and, in some cases, worsening) underrepresentation of Black, Latina/o, and Native people of all genders and women of all races and ethnicities. This underrepresentation is a symptom with multiple causes and myriad potential solutions... In this paper, we describe an approach to addressing the causes of underrepresentation through physics students' collective and continued education about racism, sexism, other dimensions of marginalization, as well as models of allyship and social change. Specifically, we focus on the efforts of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs who are members of a student-run diversity-oriented organization in a physics department at a large, selective, predominantly white university with high research activity. This group's education was accomplished through quarterly Diversity Workshops. Here we report on six Diversity Workshops that were co-designed and facilitated by the authors. We describe the context, motivation, and goals of the workshops, the theories underlying their design and implementation, and their content. In addition, we discuss workshop attendance and suggest strategies for maintaining high attendance in the future. Because the details of our workshops were tailored to the specific needs and interests of a particular student organization, our workshop agendas may not be widely applicable beyond our local context. Therefore, we share our model, design principles, and facilitation strategies in this paper. read more

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Physics Education