Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: The Inconvenient Truths

Posted by Association of American Colleges and Universities on November 6, 2017

2018 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: The Inconvenient Truths
March 22, 2018 to March 24, 2018
The Westin Gaslamp
910 Broadway Circle
San Diego, CA 92101

“We live in a time when merchants of division draw us away from mutuality and toward the undoing of democracy itself.”
—Jeff Chang, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation

In 2009, the late Eric Dey challenged educators to examine “the ‘real’ versus the ‘ideal’ view of campus environments and the inconvenient truth that these views are often dissimilar.” Dey encouraged us to engage in vigorous dialogue about the gaps between aspiration and reality in order to create “enhanced opportunities for students to cultivate a commitment to excellence and integrity, to engage across differences on and off campus, and to develop moral discernment and action in their public and private lives.” With a specific focus on developing students’ capacities for personal and social responsibility, Dey’s work aimed to help “campuses investigate how their climates can impede or facilitate student learning.”

Today, we still struggle to identify and address gaps between the “real” and “ideal,” not only in our campus environments, but also in our democracy. While great strides have been made in advancing equity, much work remains to ensure equal voice, dignity, and access to knowledge for all individuals.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: The Inconvenient Truths will explore the inconvenient truths that stand in the way of fresh and critical thinking about how institutions can prepare all students for success in work, in life, and as globally engaged citizens. The conference will provide a forum for campus practitioners, students, and stakeholders to compare current institutional frameworks and practices to the democratic ideals necessary to serve today’s nontraditional, technologically advanced, and equity-focused student population. It will examine and address the inconvenient truths experienced by faculty, staff, and administrators working to design learning opportunities that value students’ cultural wealth, recognize their lived experiences, and honor their exploration and critique of current democratic practice.


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