Page 13 - Transformations The Diversity Academy Magazine for IU Southeast Faculty

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FLC members also considered
how to create a place in the
classroom where students feel
safe enough to share their
ideas and beliefs honestly,
even where they may have
biases. In addition, members
learned that by helping
students unpack the biases
often embedded in their
language and culture, they
are positioned to reflect more
critically on the source of
their beliefs and to consider
alternative points of view.
Further, the curricular model
offered a systematic method
by which to help students
move from a personal, cultural
space to a social, inter-cultural
space. Here, they are inclined
to experience empathy for
those whose differences expose
them to social injustice.
Following this pattern, the first
FLC session gave members a
chance to describe an occasion
when they had personally
been the target of a type of
prejudice. Everyone in the
room could recall a time when
they were singled out unfairly
because of their gender, age,
race, ethnicity, religion, or
sexual preference, helping
them to identify with others
who are unfairly treated.
Among these accounts,
Mariana Farah, assistant
professor of vocal music in the
School of Arts and Letters,
shared a US immigration
experience challenging her
Randy Hunt, associate
professor of biology, spoke
of his Appalachian roots and
the stereotyping of its people
as “hillbillies,” while Judy
Myers, associate professor of
nursing, described a struggle
with mainstream health
care’s lingering opposition to
alternative modalities, such as
massage therapy, a treatment
that she is researching with
Floyd Memorial Hospital for
its effectiveness to offset the
fatigue and insomnia suffered
by women being radiated for
breast cancer.
By the end of our year’s
study, FLC members had
made several discoveries in
offering their focus courses.
For instance, Joanna Durham-
Barnes had primarily borrowed
on the Wyandotte-Huh model’s
ethical dimension: “It was
really helpful to teach students
what ethical reasoning was
and how we were going to
use it in our discussions. It
helped to keep them on a
broadly consensual foundation
of behavioral questions
about what helps rather than
harms others, rather than to
digress into cultural, political,
or theological questions
with varying consensual
Barnes observed students
growth in “understanding
that there are different ways
and perspectives of looking at
“I was challenged for marking the
box for racial identity as
‘Caucasian,’ which was the
appropriate identifier for our family
in Brazil.” - Mariana Farah, asst.
prof. of vocal music