Theory, Research, & Praxis
Edited By Donald Jr. Mitchell, Charlana Simmons and Lindsay A. Greyerbiehl
Chapter Thirteen: “Letting Us Be Ourselves”: Creating Spaces for Examining Intersectionality in Higher Education
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Creating Spaces for Examining Intersectionality in Higher Education
SHERI C. HARDEE
Although postsecondary institutions typically pay lip service to diversity in mission and vision statements, many fail to embrace programs and approaches that change the dominant structure (d’Arlach, Sánchez, & Feuer, 2009; Goodwin, 2006; Tatum, 2007; Tinto, 2012). As a result, too many of our students live in the margins without mechanisms for supporting and understanding their multiple, simultaneous, and intersecting identities (Weber, 2009). Many scholars have written about the need for academic and financial support for underrepresented students (Carnevale & Rose, 2004; Timpane & Hauptman, 2004; Tinto, 2012), and while these are important, the culture of higher education institutions has to change to serve all students (Goodwin, 2006; hooks, 1989, 2003; Sidel, 1995; Tatum, 2007). For students who are not part of the dominant group, their experiences are too often ignored, and they can be made to feel as if they do not belong. hooks (2003) reminded us of the following:
I have known many brilliant students who seek education, who dream of service in the cause of freedom, who despair or become fundamentally dismayed because colleges and universities are structured in ways that dehumanize, that lead them away from the spirit of community in which they long to live their lives. (p. 48)
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