Diversity Workshop

Benefit #4. Reflection on potential challenges prepares faculty and graduate students to engage creatively with difficult situations when they occur in the future. Discussions also build community among the participants.

The Self-Guided Workshop is designed to enhance awareness of fundamental issues surrounding diversity. Through awareness, reflection and communication, it is possible to improve the chances that students from all backgrounds will continue on to graduate school.

Unmasking Inequality: A Self-Guided Workshop on Educational Success

Welcome to our online workshop, Unmasking Inequality. This web site will give you the opportunity to discover why it is important to teach inclusively in higher education, particularly in the natural sciences, engineering, and math. 

Since we designed this site to create awareness and then provide suggestions for action, your learning experience will be more effective if you complete the exercises in the order listed.

Part 1: Creating Awareness

“My experience is that… most people will say they don’t have a problem.”
- Dr. James Stith, Vice President, Physics Resources,
American Institute of Physics

The Pursuit of Excellence in Diversity: A Focus upon Preparation, by Michael Nettles and Catherine Millett

The following presentation relates the current race-based disparities in academic success to differences in academic preparation and socioeconomic status. View presentation in PDF format.

Demographics, by Sherrill L. Sellers

This presentation contains statistics on the changing demographics of the United States and contrasts them with the environment in science, technology, engineering and math. Download PowerPoint file.

In Their Own Words Workshop, by Barbara Bogue and Rose Marra

This presentation provides context for the video In Their Own Words. The video shows undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds describing their positive and negative classroom experiences in engineering. A short clip from the video is available at the In Their Own Words web site. Send requests for workshops, copies of the video or copies of the ITOW Workshop materials to itow@engr.psu.edu. Download PowerPoint file.

Middle-Aged White Guy Still Learning, by Stephen Lund

Lund, a UW-Madison employee, writes candidly about his growing understanding of structural inequality. 

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh

McIntosh explores ways in which she is privileged because of her race, and explains her perspective on how white privilege may affect people of other races. View article in PDF format.
Online "Hidden Biases" Self-Test, by Project Implicit

Instructors who are committed to fairness in the classroom may be surprised to find that, despite positive intentions, cultural stereotypes could still affect their opinions of their students.Take these tests and learn more about the nature of hidden bias.

Part 2: Actions You Can Take

Diversity in Curriculum and Instruction, by Angela Byars-Winston

The first step towards inclusion, for many educators, may be tailoring one’s teaching to a diverse audience. Download PowerPoint file.

Diversity Institute Literature Review

The Literature Review profiles many innovative programs that are changing the culture of science, technology, engineering and mathematics around the nation. It outlines the disparities that currently exist and offers research-based recommendations for practice. Keywords can be used to navigate through the on line version. View the Literature Review in PDF format.

Diversity Institute Resource Book
The Resource Book contains a wealth of articles on teaching, learning and diversity for instructors in science-based fields. Most of the articles are collected or adapted from teacher education materials from universities across the United States. View the Resource Book.

Writing for Change

These writing exercises can facilitate students' awareness of their use of language. The assignments vary in length and complexity. View the writing exercises.

Dance of Structural Inequality

Through this simple activity, your students can discover how issues of privilege affect their peers and friends in different ways. The exercise takes about one hour. View the facilitation guidelines and worksheet for the Dance of Structural Inequality. View the Dance of Structural Inequality in PDF format.

Part 3: Recommended Reading

Cose, E. (1997). Color-blind: Seeing beyond race in a race-obsessed world. New York: Harper-Collins Publishers.

Kivel, P. (1995). Uprooting racism: How white people can work for racial justice. British Columbia, Canada: New Society Publishers.