Graduate Anti-Racism Symposium

3rd Annual Graduate Anti-Racism Symposium

May 18-19, 2023


Anti-racism in the Academy

Racism, a form of discrimination and bias attached to perceived social groupings, has a long history in the United States that has shaped institutions of research and higher education. This symposium seeks to investigate how racism works by exploring how race becomes a lived reality in the questions researchers ask, the way teachers set up classrooms, and the assumptions behind academic hierarchies. We bring together campus experts to participate in a dialogue that we hope will contribute to dismantling the damaging effects of racism in graduate studies.  This event is co-sponsored with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and is part of the Graduate Studies Anti-Racism Initiative.

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  • Day 1: Virtual Sessions Open to the Public, May 18, 2023, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

    Welcome,  Jean-Pierre Delplanque, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies

    Keynote Address, Dr. Alexis Patterson Williams, Associate Professor, UC Davis School of Education

    “Culturally Sustaining Disciplinary Literacy in Science”: Dr. Patterson Williams will present a pedagogical framework and strategies to support a more transformative and just approach to science education. Literacy and language are essential components of science. Reading, writing and talking are paramount to the construction of science knowledge and to learning science. Dr. Patterson Williams argues for a radical transformation of science teaching and learning, where students do not have to shelve their everyday language practices and identity to succeed in science. 

    1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
    Session 1 (Concurrent talks)

    Room A: Race in Research.
    Facilitator: Ashley Johnson

    Speakers: Dr. Brittany Chambers, Dr. Michael Springborn, Dr. Michael Rios, Dr. Miriam
    How do ideas about racial difference get embedded in the design and interpretation of different forms of scholarship, and how are scholars challenging long-held assumptions in their fields? Is race consciously considered or not, and to what effect? What sorts of approaches and challenges are needed to advance anti-racism in research? In this panel, UC Davis scholars from a variety of disciplines will address these issues, with time for discussion with the audience.

    Room B: Anti-racist Pedagogy.  
    Facilitator: Dr. Nathalie Aoun
    Dr. Elizabeth Montaño, Dr. Lina Mendez
    New laws targeting K-16 education attempt to limit the expression of human difference.  Rather than ask students and educators to critically think about discrimination against disenfranchised communities, such initiatives argue that to investigate these topics is to create stronger divides in the country. Given that targeted laws often have broader implementation and chilling effects, how can faculty and scholars in graduate education open, rather than close, the academy to new ideas and lived experiences when it comes to race? How can teachers infuse ideas about inclusion and diversity (disability, race, sexual orientation) into curriculum in order to engage students? What are the risks of engaging with these ideas?

    2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
    Session 2 (Concurrent talks)

    Room C: Antiracism in the University Community.
    Dr. Mikael Villalobos
    Speakers: Dr. Binnie Singh, Dr. Hendry Ton

    UC Davis has championed diversity and inclusion initiatives in multiple settings — laboratories, classrooms, clinics and offices for all groups, including students, staff, faculty and scholars. How do the conversations differ across these learning environments? How does implementation of DEI initiatives vary, and what are the different accountability structures? How can clear communication around DEI empower us to go beyond buzzwords? In this panel, campus leaders discuss measures that UC Davis has undertaken and areas for future growth.

    Room D: Ways of Knowing and Approaching Race.
    Dr. Piri Ackerman-Barger and Dr. Richard Kim
    Speakers: Dr. Rana Jaleel, Dr. Raquel Aldana, Dr. Ben Weber, Dr. Ruth Shim

    Scholars have pioneered multiple theoretical frameworks to understand how race, a social construct, has such a profound and material influence on human lives and communities. This panel of distinguished scholars from a range of academic fields will explore multidisciplinary approaches to and frameworks of conceptualizing “race” that offer different ways of knowing and being in combating racism and envisioning transformative change.
  • Day 2: In-Person Workshop for Graduate Students, Faculty and Postdoctoral Scholars, May 19, 2023, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Conversation and Discussion
    Walker Hall, Gibeling Room (registration limited to 40 participants)
    Vickie Gomez, Ed.D.; Eric Sanchez, M.Ed.; Christopher Nguyen Pheneger, MA., together with a group of graduate students

    Join facilitators from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for an in-depth discussion of the ideas and themes of the symposium on May 19, the birthday of Malcolm X. We will collaborate to synthesize themes of racism in research, the classroom and academic structures highlighted in the research presented on the Day 1 panels. The session will offer the space to share wisdom across individuals, and it will conclude with opportunities to communicate our recommendations to the university.

    Coffee, drinks and pastries will be served.
  • 2023 Planning Committee Members
  • Piri Ackerman-Barger, Associate Dean for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

    Nathalie Aoun, Postdoctoral Scholar in Plant Pathology

    Vickie Gomez, Director, Campus and Community Engagement

    Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor, Associate Dean for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

    Ashley Johnson, Ph.D. student in Nursing Science and Health Care Leadership

    Richard S. Kim, Professor of Asian American Studies

    Yasmin Mendoza, Ph.D. student in English

    Josephine Moreno, Graduate Diversity Officer, Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Education