Diversity and Your Department

Resources for addressing diversity and inclusion

Tag: Race


Lee, N. (2012). Culturally Responsive Teaching for 21st-Century Art Education: Examining Race in a Studio Art Experience. Art Education, 65, 48-53. (PDF

The first half of this article contains a basic discussion of what race is and how it can affect a classroom environment. The second half then moves on to portray how a teacher can establish both a dialogue and a visual art assignment that helps students articulate their conceptions on race. This article would help professors introduce primary discussions of race into the classroom.


Kerr-Berry, J. (2012). Dance Education in an Era of Racial Backlash: Moving Forward as We Step Backwards. Journal of Dance Education, 12(2), 48-53. (PDF)

This article argues against the notion that our nation, and dance education in particular, is post-racial. Kerr-Berry surveys numerous racial problems that continue to plague the field of dance, and proposes that the classroom must be a place free to transgress boundaries. This is helpful as an introduction to current racial issues, and could be circulated to students new to the dance department.

McCarthy-Brown, N. (2009). The Need for Culturally Relevant Dance Education. Journal of Dance Education, 9(4), 120-125. (PDF)

McCarthy-Brown also focuses on the need for dance teachers to listen to their students and allow the student to negotiate their own cultural lineages and realities within the dance studio, instead of functioning as a "gatekeeper" for the appropriate kinds of dances. McCarthy-Brown's experience as a person of color helps to show that no person is above harmful discrimination, and every instructor must regularly self-assess.



Arnold, Ivo J. M. "Ethnic Minority Dropout in Economics." Journal of Further and Higher Education 37, Issue 3 (2013): 297­-320. (PDF)

This paper "investigates the first-year study success of minority students in the bachelor program in economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam." The authors of this article break the preparatory characteristics of struggling students into more discrete variables than most similar studies. They pay special attention to the type of work done by students in high school and show that this may be a major reason why minority students are more likely to drop out of economics programs. The authors concluding argument is that to reduce incidences of dropout in math-heavy disciplines such as economics, programs to help struggling students should focus on improving relevant academic skills rather than on social and academic integration.



Ropers-Huilman, R., Winters, K. T., & Enke, K. A. E. (2013). Discourses of Whiteness: White Students at Catholic Women's Colleges (Dis)Engaging Race. Journal of Higher Education, 84(1), 28-55. (PDF)

In this study, Ropers-Huilman et al. interview white female graduates at a primarily white school to show that education about and discussion of racism, diversity, and inclusivity in an all-white sphere often cannot successfully get the participant/recipients of that education to deconstruct and understand the impact of their whiteness. This study is helpful as both an introduction to the idea of white privilege and as a nuanced view of issues that often plague Reed as a dominantly white campus.


General (Mathematics and Natural Sciences)

Strayhorn, T. L. (2010). Undergraduate Research Participation and Stem Graduate Degree Aspirations among Students of Color. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2010(148), 85-93. (PDF)

In this report, Strayhorn outlines several statistics that give the reader a thorough look into who pursues careers in STEM-related fields. Strayhorn then moves on to show how undergraduate research opportunities work to retain STEM students through graduate school and into the workforce. This article is helpful because it neatly packages several statistics into an easy-to-read introduction to the problem of retention in science fields.


Townsend, Robert B. "Clio's Charm Holding Fast? History Major Numbers Continue to Rise at Most Institutions." Perspectives on History: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association (Oct. 2012). http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/october-2012/clios-charm-holding-fast

Compares the popularity of history to other majors, concluding that the popularity of the degree generally is increasing. However, while academia generally is now "significantly more diverse," within the history department women and racial/ethnic minorities remain under­represented when compared with their involvement in BA programs generally.



Ilett, D. (2009). Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Secondary and Postsecondary German Textbooks. Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 42(1), 50-59. (PDF)

This source is a specific inquiry into how textbooks display diversity through their use of graphics, and how these images display numerous ways in which textbooks can demonstrate (possibly problematic) difference. Ilett concludes with a series of questions that can aid the professor in selecting a racially and ethnically inclusive textbook for their course.


Anyiwo, U. M. (2014). Outside/In: Using Vampires to Explore Diversity and Alienation in a College Classroom. In L. A. Nevárez & S. George (Eds.), The Vampire Goes to College: Essays on Teaching with the Undead (pp. 45-55). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. (PDF)

This essay gives an in-depth look into a course that introduces students to the ideas of racial identity through the "back door" of genre fiction. The students depicted by Anyiwo may strike Reed professors as more resistant to discussions privilege and racism than the average Reed student may be, but there are helpful tips to be found in this work as to how one can introduce these potentially fraught ideas into a classroom.

Schlund-Vials, C. J. (2011). Re-Seeing Race in a Post-Obama Age: Asian American Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Intersectional Pedagogies. In M. L. Ouellett (Ed.), An Integrative Analysis Approach to Diversity in the College Classroom (pp. 101-109). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (PDF)

Schlund-Vials examines the recent history of race relations in the United States in order to argue that it has become more important, not less, to teach minority (literature) studies. While this has become increasingly relevant since Schlund-Vials wrote this piece, there are still compelling and well-formulated points to be found in this article.

Zitzer-Comfort, C. (2008). Teaching Native American Literature: Inviting Students to See the World through Indigenous Lenses. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, 8(1), 160-170. (PDF)

This article discusses how to best approach minority literatures that students may not be as familiar with compared to other majority (i.e. American, British) or well-known minority literatures (i.e. African-American). Zitzer-Comfort offers several practical tools that work to dismantle previous misconceptions of the minority and build a more nuanced view of the culture. This is recommended for any professor who wants to discuss a minority that they feel is still clouded by misinformation.

Math, Statistics & Computer Science

Charleston, L. J., George, P. L., Jackson, J. F. L., Berhanu, J., & Amechi, M. H. (2014). Navigating underrepresented STEM spaces: Experiences of Black women in U.S. computing science higher education programs who actualize success. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 7(3), 166–176. (PDF)

This article focuses on the intersectionality of race and gender in the computing field. Charleston et al. argue that both instructors and students must constantly examine and reconfigure their own prejudices.

Whittaker, J. A., & Montgomery, B. L. (2012). Cultivating Diversity and Competency in STEM: Challenges and Remedies for Removing Virtual Barriers to Constructing Diverse Higher Education Communities of Success. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 11, A44-A51. (PDF)

This study examines why there is a large divide between the success of minority students in Historically Black Colleges and majority colleges. Whittaker and Montgomery recommend programs to help minority students succeed based on efforts that have been successful. This is an even-handed overview and recommended for all readers.


Fitzpatrick, K. R., Henninger, J. C., & Taylor, D. M. (2014). Access and Retention of Marginalized Populations within Undergraduate Music Education Degree Programs. Journal of Research in Music Education, 62(2), 105-127. (PDF)

This study interviews several intersectional minority students in collegiate music programs in order to discover what challenges they have faced in order to be a part of these programs. This essay is of general interest; it speaks to the challenges of marginalized groups in academia as a whole.


The Beauty of Physics: Increasing the Diversity Quotient. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://www.thenewagenda.net/2009/09/12/the-beauty-of-physics-increasing-the-diversity-quotient/

This short article lays out the disparities in who receives degrees in physics. One of the most interesting points in this article is that the number of black students earning degrees drops significantly in states west of Louisiana, meaning that these students are congregating in Historically Black Colleges. This is a good place to begin looking at inequities in the field of physics.


Kirkpatrick, J. (2014, November 26). Women In Astronomy: On Planck's Law, Blackbodies and the Physics of Diversity. Retrieved from http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/11/on-plancks-law-blackbodies-and-physics.html

This is a basic explanation, through the use of metaphor, of how intersectionality affects the experience of being a researcher and scientist. This is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the ideas of intersectionality and would like an explanation in understandable language.

Political Science

Smith, Rogers M. "The Puzzling Place of Race in American Political Science." PS: Political Science and Politics 37, Issue 1 (Jan. 2004): 41-45. (PDF)     

This essay presents a historical overview of the absence of discussions of race in political science in the 20th century. The author argues that by not fully exploring race throughout the discipline's history, political scientists have "contributed historically to the political construction of race in America as a vast system of unjust racial inequalities" and demands the profession "do better."



Johnson, K. A., Okun, M. A., Benallie, M., & Pennak, S. (2010). American Indian students' difficulties in Introduction to Psychology. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 3(1), 27-42. (PDF)

While this study focuses on the struggles of American Indians in psychology classrooms, one could find helpful suggestions for all minorities in any classroom. Of particular interest is Johnson et al.'s strong reminder that one problem that minorities often face is that they find it hard to express their struggles to the instructor; this should push the instructor to be proactive and not wait for students to come to them with their issues.


Coleman, M. A. (2007). Transforming to Teach: Teaching Religion to Today's Black College Student. Teaching Theology & Religion, 10(2), 95-100. (PDF)

This essay examines the ways in which postmodern pedagogies are received (and rejected) by black students in religion classes. In some ways, this work may feel reductive to Reed professors, as Coleman struggles to introduce a classroom style that is already firmly established at Reed, but there are some generally useful lesson ideas to be found in this short piece.

Locklin, R. B., Tiemeier, T., & Vento, J. M. (2012). Teaching World Religions without Teaching "World Religions". Teaching Theology & Religion, 15(2), 159-181. (PDF)

This work offers three separate essays that attempt to show how a professor can go about teaching a pluralistic religion class without falling into the problematic pratfalls of "world religions" courses that critics have recently lambasted. This work is helpful for any religion professor who is looking for tips on how to remain sensitive to how their classroom is run.


Packard, Josh. "The Impact of Racial Diversity in the Classroom Activating the Sociological Imagination." Teaching Sociology 41, no. 2 (2013): 144–58. http://www.asanet.org/journals/TS/Apr13TSFeature.pdf

The author "examined student journals in order to understand how race influenced the ways students engaged with course material." His findings suggested that Black students were more likely than white students "to find connections between course material and daily life, a central task of the sociological imagination." Packard breaks his findings down into categories showing the types of content that students engaged with and in what ways. This research could be used to inform the type of content professors choose to spur specific discussions.