Critical Lives in Red States: Academic Freedom and Cultural Transformation after DEI
The terms “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” name a cluster of unevenly implemented higher education policies designed to create hospitable learning and working environments for all community members. Recently, state legislatures, school boards, and right-leaning think tanks in the United States have targeted DEI, asserting that such policies do the opposite, fostering exclusion, unfair advantage, and discrimination. Attacks on DEI are of a piece with efforts to dismantle academic freedom, faculty governance, and affirmative action in the wider national polity. The new prohibiting laws are often (deliberately) vague, intended to have a disruptive, chilling effect. Universities are scrambling to respond. The UT System has just provided its FAQs to guide universities on how to proceed.
How might we use this moment to rename, refine, and make more publicly intelligible the set of justice concerns – access, historical redress, fairness, equal opportunity – that were in many ways shorthanded by DEI? Please join us for a roundtable discussion on “Critical Lives in Red States.” Kathryn Bond Stockton, Distinguished Professor of English, former Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity and former inaugural Dean of the School for Cultural & Social Transformation at the University of Utah will join three UT-Austin professors, Karma Chavez, Danielle Clealand, and Eric Tang, to explore paths toward a more just university.
This roundtable is cosponsored by the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice and Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, with the African and African Diaspora Studies Department and the Black Studies Collective, the Center for Asian American Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Department of English, the Department of Government, the Humanities Institute, the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, LGBTQ Studies, the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies, the Race, Indigeneity & Migration Program, the Texas Center for Education Policy, the Texas State Employees Union, and Texas Students for DEI.
Please note that Professor Stockton will also deliver the ninth annual Sissy Farenthold Endowed Lecture in Peace, Social Justice and Human Rights on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at the University of Texas School of Law.