Transgressions on Students and Faculty of Color in Higher Education: A Consideration of Potential Strategies

Transgressions on Students and Faculty of Color in Higher Education: A Consideration of Potential Strategies

Milton A. Fuentes (Montclair State University, USA), Casey R. Shannon (Yeshiva University, USA), Muninder K. Ahluwalia (Montclair State University, USA) and Crystal S. Collier (Argosy University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4097-7.ch008
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This chapter considers transgressions that students and faculty of color face in higher education. Specifically, the chapter examines how implicit bias and microaggressions affect the experiences of students and faculty of color. Special attention is paid to strategies that prevent or address these transgressions from both personal and contextual approaches. The chapter ends with a thought-provoking case study that portrays the multifaceted dimensions of these troubling transgressions in the classroom and provides the reader with some reflection questions to consider.
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Social Locations And Authors’ Stance

Given the importance of reflexivity in multicultural inquiry (Cumming-Potvin, 2013), in this section, the authors discuss aspects of their identity that they deemed salient and which informed the perspectives considered in this chapter. The authors also made these identities explicit as they worked together to allow for discussion about shared and different perspectives. Readers are encouraged to hold the authors’ social locations in mind as they read this chapter. Each of the author’s locations clearly informed and guided their thinking and perspectives as related to the content of in this chapter; similarly, readers will process the information presented through their own lenses informed by their own social locations. The readers are encouraged to reflect on this premise as well as consider how their socio-cultural profiles facilitate or impede learning in this important area.

With respect to the authors’ social locations, the first author is a mid-career academician, who identifies as a light-skin, Puerto Rican male and first generation college student. While his socio-cultural profile is quite nuanced and informed by other factors (e.g., class, sexual orientation), his skin tone, race, ethnicity and generation status have all been key factors in his personal and professional trajectories, informing his research, teaching and professional efforts. The second author is a White, early-career faculty member, who also identifies as a first generation college student. She is an advocate for educational equity and systems change, and she is committed to an applied research agenda that seeks to explore the first-hand experiences of individuals and communities facing oppression. The third author is a mid-career faculty member who identifies as a middle class African-American female. Her experiences growing up within a religious, middle-class family from the rural south has also shaped the lens through which she views the world as well as informed her work both professionally and personally. The fourth author is a light-skinned, Indian American mid-career faculty member. She grew up in a middle class family with father who is a professor and everyone has a graduate degree. Her identities as a Sikh woman of color have been most salient in her work in diversity and multiculturalism.

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