Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity
It is difficult to find justice-centered books geared specifically for community college practitioners interested in achieving campus wide educational equity. It is even more difficult to find a book in this vein written, exclusively, by community college practitioners. Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond is just that: a concerted effort by a cross-representational group of community college practitioners working to catalyze conversations and eventually practices that attend to the most pressing equity gaps in and on our campuses. By illuminating the constitutive parts of the ever-increasing obligation gap, this book offers both theory and practice in reforming community colleges so that they function as disruptive technologies. It is our position that equity-centered community colleges hold the potential to call out, impede, and even disrupt institutionalized polices, pedagogies, and practices that negatively impact poor, ethno-racially minoritized students of color. If you and your college is interested in striving for educational equity campus-wide please join us in this ongoing conversation on how to work for equity for all of the students that we serve.
Chapter Three Minding the Programming Gap
Minding the Programming GapLASANA O. HOTEP
Racial Literacy in Education
I recall a jarring conversation I had with a colleague not long ago. I became more unsettled by the details that were being shared concerning an egregious instantiation of anti-blackness that had occurred only weeks prior to this conversation. The essentials are as follows: an instructor encouraged students to dress as movie, television and/or cartoon characters for their final group presentations. A non-black student chose to dress as an African American character from a television show. The student applied make-up to her/his face to appear “black” even though another student in this class warned that “blackening” ones’ face could be problematic. The student in question consulted the instructor on the matter. The instructor, who is not Black either, advised the student that it was perfectly okay if it added to the character. The student that warned of the offensive nature of Blackface, immediately following the presentation, made a formal complaint to the academic dean. The offended student was not Black, either. The dean launched a formal investigation. Even though this course was a STEM course, as opposed to, say, a theater course, the faculty member and this college’s union denied any wrongdoing. They rested their case on academic freedom; and, understandably, a campus-wide controversy ensued.
The “blackface incident” is emblematic of lack of racial/cultural literacy that pervades many of our colleges, yet many times goes unchecked or quite frankly ←61...
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