Privilege and Inclusion

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Growing up my mother always taught my to treat people with respect. To not judge people based on the color of their skin but by their values, morality, and empathy. When I was a child we would celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by making a marble cake. We had his “I have a dream” speech framed beside the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address. The greatest civil rights activist of our time was celebrated in our home more so than one of my extended (great × a lot) relatives – a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Why is it that today we are still fighting the same fights of the 1960’s and earlier?Racism is just another form of a majority group exerting their privilege; people use religion in the same way (it is important to note, not all people who are religious do this but in the case of Kim Davis that is a case of privilege). I want to understand how is it that similar issues of inclusion plague certain departments within higher education. Most importantly I think it is important to figure out how we can change things – the structure of higher education as it is right now is not my higher education.


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  1. I can definitely relate to the example pertaining to J and his homework that you described above. I often help my cousin’s son with his math homework whenever his tutor cannot come by during the day, and a few simple math problems usually takes us a few hours to complete. While I know I could simply give him the answers to get through things much quicker (he lives in NC, so we have to facetime), I would much rather go through the problems step by step, until I feel confident enough to know that he actually learned how to do it correctly. I think today with everyone going a mile a minute, parents and guardians don’t necessarily have/want to take the time to sit down and help their kids with their homework. It seems as if just doing it for them is a much better solution to a ‘quick and easy A’. As educators, I think it is important that we highlight how this is actually hindering their kids rather than helping them get ahead. Getting credit for a homework assignment does not help them years down the road when they are struggling with basic math during the SAT!

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