In a recent article for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Ebony O. McGee, associate professor of diversity and STEM education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, highlights twelve ways white faculty can support Black academics department and campus-wide. One way to be an ally? Acknowledge power’s place in our institutions and adopt specific ways to dismantle that power long term.
As the realities of Black faculty and student experiences in the realm of higher education find their way into the national spotlight, prioritizing concrete ways to combat performative allyship finds reinvigorated importance.
In her recent article, Ebony O. McGee details twelve concrete ways that allyship for Black academics can be properly achieved long-term. Being an ally begins, as McGee writes, with acknowledging power’s place at our institutions and understanding where we fit in.
A powerful first step when working to recognize systems of oppression can be honest, structured discussion. Resources like Packback’s Anti-Racist Discussion Pedagogy Guide are here for instructors looking to make lasting change.
“Acknowledge how power (meaning white supremacy, often described informally as ‘academic politics’) operates at our institutions and work, long term, to dismantle it. That means adopting specific, measurable ways to identify power and how you plan to be accountable and participate in campus change.
Short-term, this process means teaching us how to navigate these dynamics. As studies (like this one) show, few Black, Indigenous, and other people of color hold positions in upper administration, which means that we are not even in the room when conversations are happening and decisions are being made that affect Bipoc faculty members and students. We need to be included in those conversations and decisions.”An excerpt from “Ready to Be an Ally for Black Academics? Here’s a Start”