The Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC) intends to inspire and normalize conversations that deconstruct how racism operates in our organization, our community, and our society. These conversations will critically examine how racism operates within the functional aspects of the College (such as curriculum and teaching, admissions and recruitment, policy and practices). As important, the ARC structures will invite all in the College of Education community to think and act together boldly and creatively to implement practices that are intentionally anti-racist.

We are aware that racist practices limit the potential of our organization contributing positively to society. The College of Education wants to create an environment where we together interrogate racism and its limitations.

ARC Practice

The following assumptions will guide our practice: 

  1. Racism is an enduring problem. It has a role in shaping all of our processes, practices, and policies. Our aim is to intentionally identify, deconstruct, and intentionally practice. 

  2. There is no finish line. Our aim is not to create a proposal that will end racism, but a process so that we can have productive dialogue regarding the ways our policies are supporting racism 

  3. We will not magically create a proposal that once created and/or enacted—then racism will end. 

  4. We will make missteps. Our aim is to view these missteps as developmental. This will require that when missteps are made that there is accountability, acknowledgement, open dialogue, and the opportunity to try again. 

You are a member of the Anti-Racist Collaboration.

You are already a member. All College of Education faculty, staff, students, alumni and local community partners will be invited to participate in the ARC conversations.

All College of Education faculty, staff, students, alumni and local community partners will be invited to participate in the ARC conversations. The ARC structures community conversations and actions for doing the work of anti-racism. It involves opportunities for intentional conversations about how to improve the functions of the college. The collaborative creates opportunities for small group, large group and college-wide intentional dialogues about how to take action to change racist practices in various aspects of our work in College of Education. By shifting our focus to be more attentive and fully engaged in process – in being with the work of anti-racism – we intend to move away from the completion of a demonstrated outcome, an item on a checklist, to a more coherent and intentional disruption of the systems and patterns of action that undeniably allow racist practices to exist and to function. In this process-oriented approach, we begin an ongoing dialogue that creates a culture that examines racism within the organization and moves us toward systems change.

The Steering Committee will host and coordinate the monthly ARC Open Forums. During the ARC Open Forums the College community will discuss issues, concerns, and challenges to anti-racism work in the College, as well as to give voice to hope and accomplishments. ARC representatives will lead relevant conversations with their constituents, seek input as well as information. This practice of inspiring these conversations is a core aspect of the Collaborative. It is through conversations college-wide (organic, organized and spontaneous) and at the functional level that anti-racist practices will be implemented and the organization transformed.

You are a member. Each member of the College is invited to the conversations of ARC. The ARC provides multiple points of entry and invites varying perspectives. The ARC encourages each individual to locate their own sense of being in the work of anti-racism by exploring one’s identity, experiences, interactions, biases, and responsibilities within the context of the College and community. This approach enacts a ‘way of being’ with the enduring problem of racism through sustained engagement and not just performative actions. This process-oriented approach balances creating structures that invites ongoing community practices of self-examination, critical thinking, and deconstruction of policies and practices. It allows space for examination of structures, attitudes, behaviors. It involves creating strategy to address the ways in which racism has been enacted in the organization. It also includes ways to thoughtfully and intentionally devise strategy that is both proactive and reactive. The process is not just focused on what we ‘do’ but also balances reflection and action on ‘how’ we are maintaining the systems of exclusion and oppression.

Whether you are new or consider yourself seasoned or expert in the work of anti-racism, we will be learning together. Seeing and undoing the problematic patterns of ‘being’ that perpetuate harmful systems of oppression that elevate whiteness and systems that dehumanize non-whiteness and particularly targets, Black and Brown ways of being is difficult and a necessary action. This ‘undoing’ will be messy, hard, uncomfortable, and difficult. But moving through those feelings is a necessary step in coming to terms with engrained ways of being in a racialized society and our habits at work that impede structural and systems change.

We welcome you to learn with us.

Facing Barriers

In order to engage authentically in anti-racist practices, we must consider ‘how’ we are engaging with each other and not just ‘what’ we are doing. This means we must consider the barriers that are created that prevent our ‘ways of being’.

This approach assumes that conscious and intentional ‘being’ will result in change that is “deep, pervasive, intentional, and long term...” (as cited in Woodard, Love, & Komives, 2000, pg. 61). 

We will have to face barriers in this social change process. The purpose of naming these barriers is not necessarily to wait on action until they are eliminated, but instead to recognize they exist and consider ‘how’ they might interfere in dialogue regarding the steps we are taking to function as an anti-racism organization. 

Barriers: 

 

Competition 

Lack of Transparency 

Academic Commodification

Binaries, Either/Or 

Fear 

Entitlement

 

Working Groups

There are various working groups within the ARC dedicated to specific topics and actions in anti-racism pedagogy, practice, and engagement. 

The ARC invites individuals to form and organize additional working groups related to topics relevant to this work. If you wish to start a working group, or want to get involved in an existing working group, please email: arc-education@uiowa.edu for more information.

ARC Events

Informal, weekly meetings will also be scheduled in the coming weeks. Please check back for information.

ARC College-Wide Open Forum

Friday, September 25, 11:00-12:30 PM

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ARC College-Wide Open Forum

Wednesday, October 14, 10:30-12:00 PM

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ARC College-Wide Open Forum

Friday, November 6 11:00-12:30 PM

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ARC College-Wide Open Forum

Wednesday, December 2 10:30-12:00 PM

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Being Circles

College of Education faculty, staff, and students have been invited to join each other in Being Circles. Being Circles are small group cohorts that open up space and opportunities for reflection and exploration of personal attitudes and behaviors that sustain racism. After a positive experience in small cohort groups, participants find increased stamina to stay in difficult dialogues regarding anti-racism organizational change efforts. The next step after personal reflection is to reflect on the ways in which racism has been enacted in the institution. The process not only focuses on what people and organizations ‘do’ but also involves reflection and action on ‘how’ individuals and organizations maintain systems of exclusion and oppression. For more information, please visit the Multicultural Initiatives Research Team page. 

Resources

An evolving list of university and college offices, articles, and projects has been compiled which offer anti-racism resources. Find them here:

ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES

 

This information is adapted from https://www.myacpa.org/blogs/black-lives-matter-blog/not-just-what-how-theory-being-process-oriented-principles-anti-racism

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