Telling It Like It Is: A Narrative Account of Designing a Race and Ethnicity Requirement at a PWI in the Middle of Black Lives Matter

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date

Summer 2021


The 2020 Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and protests following the murder of Black individuals by law enforcement produced an immediate response across higher education, from the deluge of formal statements to attempts to include anti-racist practices. The responses from our primarily white institution (PWI) exemplify the fraught nature of these initiatives when undertaken by faculty of color. Even as institutions are compelled to assess their complicity in the systemic racism that undergirds violence toward Blacks, resistance to policy and pedagogical shifts remain palpable. We narrate our experiences here to identify the complexities of speaking back and initiating change at a PWI, and how a race and ethnicity (R&E) requirement revealed the disparity between the status quo and institutional commitments in the wake of BLM.


This article was originally published in WPA: Writing Program Administration. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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