Inclusion & the Academic Glass Ceiling

It is difficult to imagine yourself in a position where we haven’t seen someone like you before. One example of this that comes readily to mind is a woman president. We have Hillary R. Clinton again vying for the nomination of the Democratic National Party and despite what CNN and other news outlets (Time Warner) would have you think, folks are having a hard time seeing her in that role of president. Even the feminists ::gasp!::

Consider all of the privilege HRC has come from. She’s a white woman, well off, EXTREMELY well educated. HRC is a brilliant attorney, there is no doubt about that after watching the entire 11 hour Benghazi committee. She’s part of a political dynasty, she has a long list of credentials that would certainly make her qualified. So what is it about Hillary?

Empathy.

More accurately, lack thereof.

In times of hardship and struggle we are so quick to go for force. Seldom do we take the route of compassion.

In academia the university sometimes feels like its own little country; we have our President, our VPs and Deans, the BOV, and our Department Chairs. Seldom are the faces of the university structure ones that haven’t come from the very pinnacle of privilege. We have an underrepresentation of faculty of color and women.
I really like what Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did with
his cabinet . I think his cabinet could have done with a little bit more diversity but he has made a huge step in the right direction- just saying, if any representatives of a particular political party happen to win the 2016 presidential election, I know where I’m moving.

whitepeople

Within the structure of the university people haven’t learned to be empathetic because they haven’t had to (or it has been to their advantage not to). Sometimes to be empathetic means abandoning logic, I would disagree. Being empathetic toward the feeling and hardships of others is in fact one of the most logical things that we can do. The time is now – it is time to EDUCATE. The time is now – to have new students learn about institutionalized socioeconomic disparities between racial groups and how that is relevant to the power structure they’re looking at and why that isn’t right. The time is now – to remind everyone why stereotyping isn’t an okay thing. The time is NOW – to make people aware of their implicit biases and privilege so we can live in a more holistic and inclusive society. Only once those folks who don’t get it (which seem to also be the same folks making the rules) understand that the glass ceiling has not been shattered for women by HRC and other presidential hopefuls just like it has not been shattered for my brothers and sisters of color by Barrack Obama can we truly make moves that affect the policy and face of the university structure as a whole.

racism

pain

We can’t just sit back and be content with talking about inclusion, we have to embrace the inclusive mindset.
We have to embody it, become it, and act because until we actually do something – we’re still doing nothing.

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