Brooks and Wong Present at NCORE 2022

The 34th National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in Higher Education was held on May 31 – June 4, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. This annual educational event is committed to fostering inclusion and the exchanging of ideas and expertise in higher education. IRT Executive Director LaShawnda Brooks and IRT Associate Director and Manager of Programs Catherine Wong were part of an NCORE-invited interactive panel discussion benefitting educators with anti-racist (AR)/diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) responsibilities.

(L-R) Joe-Joe McManus, Catherine Wong, Michael Benitez
Photo Credit: Melissa Toledo

Sustainable Transformation; Making Progress While Battling Changemaker Fatigue

Advisor, speaker and author Joe-Joe McManus and Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion & Associate Professor of Multicultural Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver Michael Benitez joined Brooks and Wong in this session on what changemaking looks like in higher education, real barriers to progress, and proven strategies for institutional transformation.

The panel engaged in critical dialogue with conference participants on the understanding and successful engagement in transformative work. The discussion revolved around the following questions:

  • Are you the changemaker you had hoped to be when you became an educator? 
  • Do you feel a disconnect between the change agency called for in your position description and the work you are expected to do in the role?  
  • Are you questioning how to persist in your role given the lack of resources, unrealistic expectations and resistance to change that you encounter on a daily basis?  

“I feel fortunate to be both a participant and presenter at NCORE for decades. Through NCORE I have met inspiring and diverse scholars, practitioners and community leaders. The work of diversity, equity and inclusion is not meant to be done in isolation. NCORE provides the vital and brave space to have difficult conversations, to battle back at divisiveness and to center cross racial solidarity. The NCORE community does not settle for the status quo, the way things have always been, instead it is an interdisciplinary community that values reimagining what has not yet been imagined.”

Catherine Wong
LaShawnda Brooks (via computer) and Catherine Wong
Photo credit: Melissa Toledo

“I was honored to participate in this session with three phenomenal leaders and advocates. Throughout our ongoing pandemic, change-making and community building are essential to establishing a just future. Through this incredible conversation with student leaders and education leaders, I am hopeful we can all own our relative power in the fight for systemic transformation.”  

LaShawnda Brooks

(L-R) Joe-Joe McManus, Catherine Wong, Michael Benitez
Photo Credit: Melissa Toledo

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