About the book: reviews and more
About Black Lives Matter (BLM)
History of Policing in the Us & Police violence
If you liked When They Call You A Terrorist, you may also like (further reading)
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (CSUN 2017-2018 Common Read)
So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
Minor Feelings: an Asian American Reckoning, by Cathy Park Hong (nominated for CSUN 2021 Common Read)
Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
The purpose of power: how we come together when we fall apart, by Alicia Garza
Born a crime: stories from a South African childhood, by Trevor Noah (nominated for CSUN 2021 Common Read)
The Hate U Give, by Angie Tomas (nominated for CSUN 2021 Common Read)
Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine (nominated for CSUN 2021 Common Read)
The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead (nominated / finalist for CSUN 2021 Common Read)
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein (nominated for CSUN 2021 Common Read)
Notes from 4/28 discussion with Dr. Best & Dr. Augustin
Dr. Mechelle Best and Dr. Frankie Augustin hosted a discussion for faculty and staff on 4/28. They began their discussion by sharing some definitions of Intersectionality (by Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term 30 years ago). They introduced the Mapping Salient Identity activity (https://www.smc.edu/administration/human-resources/professional-development/documents/Equity_Now_Session_1.pdf - #equityNow, Dr. Sumi Pendakur). You can find this definition and their identity activity here. In speaking of identities, they shared that Black and African American people often get labeled as "strong." The ideas around strength are based on racist ideas and can lead to, for example, the false notion that Black people have a higher pain tolerance and therefore receive inadequate medical care. The discussion also centered on prison culture and incarceration, including the fact that prison culture is introduced to Black and Brown children far earlier than a majority of White children. We discussed police funding, and the idea that more funding could go to community based endeavors to make those communities safer. Finally we discussed whether or not the book has inspired people to take action, and that it's not enough just to read the book and be moved to tears. Some ideas included looking at how we teach and treat our students of color and diversifying where we send our charitable donations.
They discussion focused on the following questions
- How did the book impact you?
- Having read the book, has your perception of incarceration changed?
- Change is not about what you feel. It’s about what you do. Has reading this book inspired you to take action in any way?
Notes from 4/30 discussion with Dr. Nancy Alonzo and Matt Soto
Dr. Nancy Alonzo and Matt Soto hosted a discussion on 4/30 that centered student voices. There was a panel of three Black CSUN students who shared their experiences at CSUN. One student shared that it took a while for a sense of belonging to kick in at CSUN, but that she felt better when she saw other Black students in her classes. She also shared that she has felt that there are definite stereotypes attached tp being a Black woman, for example that she may come across as being aggressive when she feels she is being passionate, and feels that she, like many Black students, needs to "code switch" and "tone down her blackness" in class. She also believes that at least one professor treated her differently because of the color of her skin, and accused her of cheating. She had another professor who went above and beyond when they noticed a change in her work and behavior, which was based on a precarious financial aid situation. She shared her story with the professor, who made her feel supported, and without whom she feels she might have dropped out. Students appreciate professors who go the extra mile, and check in on students if they notice them struggling. You never know what's going on with our students if you don't ask, and as professors, we shouldn't make assumptions about a student without checking in on them first.
Another student shared an experience in which he did plagiarize a paper for a class he was taking. The professor could have simply reported him for plagiarism but instead checked in with him, as this was not normal behavior for him. She met with him, asked what was going on, listened to him, and ultimately gave him an extra week to do the assignment again. She "understood that one slip up didn't define him."
When asked if they have encountered "business as usual / no change in deadlines" in the face of traumatizing events, one student said their world stopped with George FLoyd, and that there is a collective responsibility to take the time to reflect on them. Extend your hand to students who may be going through more than you know.
When asked, "What is something you wish all educators knew about their experiences as students, that could help them help other students?" they said to consider that the student might be a first generation student, and they may not come from a family with much support (financial or emotional). Check in on them, be concerned. In addition, mental health is so important, and students need professors with which they can connect.