Welcome back to our school year! I hope the summer was relaxing and filled with rejuvenation.
Over the summer, the IRT continued to implement our virtual Summer Workshop and support our students via advising. The IRT staff is grateful to our faculty for their expertise, support, and mentorship. As we gear up for the fall, we look forward to our Scholars continuing their applications and gaining support from the IRT community.
This fall, I look forward to continuing to engage our community regarding our program, exploration activities, and student needs. As we continue to move forward, please continue to engage with us. This weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the Uncle Bobbies: bell hooks Symposium featuring IRT community members. It was an opportunity to think of how scholarship can transform our communities, concepts of love, and how we work within a radical tradition. I encourage you to share with us any online presentations, discussions, or research – we love to learn and stay connected to you.
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.
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.”
“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.”
The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers application is open, and we encourage you to share with your networks. This year our team traveled throughout the United States, stopping in California, New York, and Georgia to support our recruitment initiatives. Spearheaded by Monica’s recruitment efforts, our team’s collaboration with our consortium institutions planted the seed for our hopefully fruitful recruiting season. Our application is open until March 1st, so please spread the word!
In just a few short weeks, the IRT will welcome our next class of interns to the Summer Workshop.
After a spirited season of recruitment and an intensive application review season, we are finally ready to announce our largest class ever. More than 160 scholars were selected from 100 institutions. We are thrilled to facilitate the development of the next cohort of education leaders.
Thank you and IRT for being forces of uplifting change for rising equity scholars and professionals. I am truly achieving my dreams because of IRT.
Nathalie Quintero, IRT ’18
The IRT staff has made tremendous headway in supporting our consortium. This year, we’ve added two new partners, the University of Washington and Notre Dame. It is my hope that this class will utilize this consortium to their full advantage.
Finally, the staff is working towards connecting our alumni in new ways and we will be highlighting more of these initiatives in future posts. As Chera, Leislie, Viviana and countless others show every day, our alumni are researching, teaching, connecting and mentoring — making change that is not only personal but structural as well. These connections make change even more possible. As we begin to welcome our newest class of students, I am excited to connect them to this vast network.
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