I heard about some racist zoom bombing episodes and other racist incidents that have happened recently to Chico State faculty.
I have been tempted, in writing this email, to use the phrase “ needless to say” to introduce a number of paragraphs. “Needless to say” we condemn these attacks, “needless to say” in Faculty Development we promote inclusion and diversity, “needless to say” our university does not tolerate these actions.
But then it occurred to me that it DOES need to be said, clearly, that Faculty Development is a place where we actively promote antiracism.
- It is not enough for Faculty Development to be inclusive: FDEV must ensure that all faculty have a chance to belong.
- It is not enough for Faculty Development to promote diversity of opinions and perspectives: FDEV must provide a safe space for all voices to be heard.
- It is not enough for Faculty Development to condemn these acts: FDEV must dismantle systemic racism, including the one happening in academia at large.
This is the main reason why I so strongly believed in creating the READI hub and centering EDI work in what we offer.
In case you want to access programs that promote these values, I recommend visiting the READI workshops page. We offer series that in various ways and from different perspectives share resources on how to approach these conversations in your classes, but also among your colleagues.
When we first began planning to launch READI, I had not fully envisioned how we could approach EDI work in Faculty Development. Working with equity fellows like Samara Anarbaeva, Lesa Johnson, and Pablo Ochoa Bailey helped me immensely in framing the kind of values the Office of Faculty Development should commit to when embarking in this work. And one thing was clear: there cannot be equity diversity and inclusion unless there is also a commitment to actively pursuing an antiracist agenda.
The A in READI stands for antiracism, and in light of these events, I want to renew my and FDEV’s commitment to offering a space where we not only condemn racism, but we actively fight against it.
Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D.
Faculty Development Director