Today we had a faculty meeting (I’m not a faculty, but we are invited to attend) at which we talked about our new Dean’s commitment to hiring faculty of color. We definitely need to increase our diversity, so it’s great having a new Dean who wants to take practical steps to achieve this.
On twitter, coincidentally, there is a discussion of how many Black/African American teachers and professors you have had. Most people are saying none.
In elementary school, junior high, and high school I had Black/African American teachers, Latinx teachers, and Asian teachers. Our teachers matched well the diversity of the student bodies (super duper diverse). I had no Black/African American teachers in undergrad (super white college town), in my masters program (same town), nor in my PhD program (CHICAGO! WTF!). The latter is particularly upsetting. I wanted to get my PhD in Chicago to be trained in a diverse city. I had no idea at the time how segregated it is. I just looked at my departmental website and it looks like it has gotten even less diverse than it was when I was there (we did have a couple Black/African American profs - I just never took any classes from them bc they weren’t in my area - but now there is one Latina prof and that is it!). It’s truly appalling.
I have been thinking similarly about LGBTQ teachers/profs. I didn’t know a single out queer woman until I was out of college. I knew queer men because I was in the theater from elementary school through college. I had queer men as professors - but no queer women. Not a single one. For me, that lack of representation was so hard - I never saw myself anywhere.
Tell me about the diversity of the people who taught you - tell me about what it was like to see yourself represented -- or not.