By Alexa Schwerha
Daily Caller News Foundation
Northern Illinois University (NIU) will host a variety of voluntary faculty training sessions during the spring 2023 semester which emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and overcoming “white fatigue,” according to the university website.
Faculty Academy for Cultural Competence and Equity (FACCE) will explore topics including white fragility, white fatigue and white guilt, and will explore DEI and how to overcome “injustices” in the classroom, according to its website. Faculty can register for six two-hour sessions scheduled between January-April.
FACCE “offers professional development for faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants on a range of issues related to cultural competence and their connections to curriculum, pedagogy, and classroom engagement,” according to its website. It was designed by NIU faculty to address “community” needs.
January’s session, titled Resistance: Understanding and Rethinking Resistance for Equity in the Classroom, states that “resistance is a challenging and often misunderstood phenomenon in classrooms when exploring or engaging DEI issues,” according to its description. It will examine the different types of resistance to DEI including “White guilt, White Fragility, and White Fatigue.”
In April, faculty can register for a session about implicit bias after which they will reportedly be able to “recognize when their own and others’ behaviors are rooted in implicit biases, acknowledge their own hidden biases, and develop processes for reflecting on and addressing biases without shame or guilt, both alone and with others.”
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“We hear another news story about police being called on a person of color for no reason, and we react with disgust. And yet, despite this collective disgust, these incidents continue to happen,” the session description reads.
The final session, scheduled for April 28, is titled Cultivating a Community of Care, will discuss how to practice self-care while committing to “social justice, equity, and inclusion in the classroom.”
“Informed by the theories of activist burnout, racial battle fatigue, and culturally responsive teaching strategies, this session will guide you through each step of community care, from identifying burnout in yourself and others to implementing a plan for change and community care within your own classrooms,” the description reads.
Other sessions include “Culturally Competent Leadership Skills,” “Challenging Deficit-Minded Pedagogies and Practices” and “A Framework for Multicultural Teaching and Critical Assessment.”
“The field of diversity, equity and inclusion is vast. When individuals new to this field begin learning about all of the injustices, it can be extremely overwhelming,” reads the latter session. “In this presentation, participants will be provided a framework to understand multicultural education with the goal of providing clarity to the issues and what a teacher can do inside their own classroom.”
NIU, Social Justice Education and Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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