The BCOE Standing Committee for Diversity is committed to and engaged in several initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Books for Building
This common reading initiative was launched to stimulate critical dialogue about social inequities and cultural differences, using literature as a starting point. In the spring of 2018, 30 BCOE faculty and staff members read one of three young adult fiction selections: Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz; American Street by Ibi Zoboi; and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The BCOE Standing Committee for Diversity intentionally chose novels written by women of color and novels in which the protagonists are adolescent girls of color.
A two-day Books for Building workshop was held in May of 2018 and included small-group book discussions focused on important themes, insights gained, and questions left unanswered. Participants discussed symptoms of oppression, along with institutions and ideologies that perpetuate inequities. Inspired by the novels, readers created relevant artifacts in the Instructional Technology Innovation Lab and brainstormed possibilities for future diversity-based events and initiatives in the college.
During its 2018-2019 academic year pilot phase, Books for Building invited BCOE students to participate in similar activities based on a common reading of The Hate U Give, including viewing the film adaptation released in fall of 2018.
Since the spring of 2018, the Books for Building workshop has been an annual offering of the BCOE Standing Committee for Diversity and has included books centering diversity, equity, and inclusion in both education and society, including Confronting Racism in Teacher Education: Counternarratives of Critical Practice, Reclaiming Accountability in Teacher Education, We Want to do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, and Toward What Justice? Describing Dreams of Justice in Education.
Teacher Pathways at Marietta High School College and Career Academy
The BCOE is currently supporting a local school district’s initiative to help meet the need for certified classroom teachers in Georgia. The BCOE is a community partner in the development of a college and career academy being built on the campus of Marietta High School. The Marietta High School College and Career Academy is expected to open for the 2020-2021 academic school year. The school will offer challenging, hands-on programs that provide specific training and support the development of expertise in a particular area that allow students to pursue a career path catered to their individual skill set. Among those will be a career pathway to develop future teachers, in which the BCOE will be actively involved.
YouTube Panel Discussion Series
Beginning in the fall of 2018, the BCOE Standing Committee for Diversity invited speakers from across the United States to share their knowledge, expertise, and experiences with BCOE faculty, staff, and students, as well as the entire YouTube community, through the YouTube Panel Discussion Series. The topics of the series align with current events, and the discussions are always live on the BCOE Standing Committee for Diversity's YouTube channel with an edited version uploaded shortly after.
(Re)-Membering Black History Panel Discussion
Janet Cheatham Bell and Dr. Chike Akua focus their discussion on the importance of recognizing, teaching, and celebrating Black History throughout the year. They also address why it is problematic that the curricularization of Black History in schools traditionally portrays Black history as starting with slavery and is still a largely neglected part of American history.
"The Hate U Give" Panel Discussion
Using both the book and movie of "The Hate U Give" as context, Marlyn Tillman of Gwinett SToPP, Alexis McKenney of Advancement Project, and Stephanie LeAnn Fitzgerald Jackson, a KSU Graduate and 7th grade English Language Arts Teacher, will engage in dialogue about police brutality, the school to prison pipeline, and Black resilience. Their dialogue will help us think about how we can create a more welcoming BCOE for more welcoming and affirming B-12 schooling environments.
Hispanic/Latinx/os/@ Heritage Month Panel Discussion
Drs. Iván Jorrin Abellan (SMGE), Paula Guerra (EECE), and Sanjuana Rodriguez (EECE), along with BCOE student Alexa Vaca, draw on their own experiences and their knowledge of wider trends to consider important issues as we continue to build our understandings of how to create safe, welcoming educational spaces for our students and for their B-12 students.
New and Developing Initiatives
Beginning in the fall of 2019, the BCOE Standing Committee for Diversity will be working on the following initiatives:
- Diversity Survey
- Mentoring program for BCOE students from historically marginalized and minoritized groups
- Writing retreat for faculty from historically marginalized and minoritized groups
- Equity, diversity, and justice training for university supervisors