ADDI Update – August 2021
Dear Friedman School Community,
As the new semester is about to start, I’d like to wish a warm welcome to all incoming students, and welcome back to returning students!
As announced earlier this month, we launched the Friedman School’s new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) website to provide one-year updates on this work. Progress is happening, thanks to so many of you across the Friedman School community who have taken a lead, developed plans and strategies, and enacted meaningful change. There is still much work to do, and there are many ways to get involved: through the Committee on Social Justice, Inclusion, and Diversity (SJID), or the Student Alliance for Social Justice and Racial Equity; or contact me if you have ideas or would like to know more.
August brought two opportunities for learning and discussion. Carine Tarazi adeptly led the inaugural SJID Monthly Discussion Group, in which a group of us discussed an essay from Zadie Smith’s recent collection, Intimations, entitled “Postscript: Contempt as a Virus.” This short piece has tremendous depth, and we had a rich discussion. Keep an eye out for announcements of the upcoming discussions. Knowing how little free time we all have available, Carine has designed these discussions so that the pre-work is very manageable, and you can still participate even if you weren’t able to do the pre-work. The other opportunity for learning was the National Anti-Racism Teach-In, made available to members of the Tufts community this month. This is offered annually. Hopefully some of you were able to attend!
August also brought the departure of Adriana Black, who had been the Associate Director for Diversity and Inclusion Education (ADDEI) for the Health Sciences campus. Adriana was involved in most Friedman School DEI-related events, served on SJID, and was always available as a sounding board. She will be missed! We wish her the very best in her new role as Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. I am currently serving on the search committee to find the new ADDEIs – we’ll actually be getting two for the Health Sciences campus.
I wish you the best as we begin a new academic year. Please just reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.
Full-time Tufts staff and faculty are invited to register for an upcoming Fall 2021 Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Series. The registration deadline is September 17:
- Unpacking Whiteness: Consciousness Raising Dialogue Series
Curated for White participants Holding spaces of privilege, Unpacking Whiteness creates a space for participants to find community and support in learning and understanding how to practice anti-racism in their daily lives. Anti-racism is an active and ongoing process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes in a way that redistributes power, policy, and structures to be more equitable, while drawing attention to the lived experiences of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. Apply today!
- Unpacking Whiteness: Radical Healing Dialogue Series
Curated for Staff and Faculty of Color Experiencing the impacts of systemic oppression, Unpacking Whiteness: Radical Healing creates a space for healing in response to racism and the impacts of whiteness. Through an examination of racial conditioning and processing traumas associated with racism and other forms of oppression, participants will be empowered to share traumas, healing tactics, dialogue and more to learn concrete and abstract strategies around radical healing form the traumatic perils of Whiteness and racism. Apply today!
Tufts University Intercultural Learning Community Program
This program is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and open to all faculty, staff, and administrators who want to participate in an open dialog with their peers to foster cultural awareness and enhance their ability to address structural inequities, cultivate a climate of inclusion, and inform equitable practices where they are able to across the university.
This 15-week program begins September 15, 2021, and runs through May 18, 2022. Participants will be assigned to a cohort with colleagues from different academic disciplines, departments, divisions, schools, professional roles, and social identities. Each cohort will have two trained participant-facilitators and will meet weekly for 90 minutes to review readings and engage in discussions and activities that will deepen their understanding of social equity, systemic oppression, cultural competency, and other topics. The program is designed to increase institutional cohesiveness and nurture a shared commitment to inclusion among campus professionals.
These groups meet on Wednesdays from 2-3:30 throughout Fall 2021. Click Here to learn more and to apply.
Hannah Carlan’s Anthropology News piece on “The Racial Language of Fat Phobia” https://www.anthropology-news.org/articles/the-racial-language-of-fatphobia/ (thanks to Ellen Messer for passing this along)
Food First Backgrounder featuring an interview with Natalie Baszile on her latest book, We Are Each other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy.