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Black, All & Blue: Talking About Which Lives Matter
Black, All & Blue: Talking About Which Lives Matter

Black, All & Blue: Talking About Which Lives Matter

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Time & Location

Oct 17, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT


About the event

Why is this important: Protests, political division, kneeling for games, George Floyd, 8:46, the release of Brittney Griner, systemic racism, and white supremacy in academia. These topics have been some of the most contested, challenging, and difficult conversations to occur in higher education, K-12 schools, and workplaces across the country. The passion behind these issues and the emotions, fear, and rage these topics raise bring the very real likelihood of violence into the classroom, breakroom, community events, board meeting, and sporting events.

Program overview: This program will draw from the book, How to Engage in Difficult Conversations on Identity, Race, and Politics in Higher Education, to better prepare teachers, faculty, administrators, and human resources to engage in these difficult conversations more effectively. The presenters will define and explore the Black Lives Movement and the common responses of all lives and blue lives matter. The role of civil protests and how these are seen by various parts of society will be discussed. A review of the foundations of modern-day academia based on white, cisgender men and built upon slave labor and the exclusion of women and minorities (leading to the development of women’s colleges and HBCUs) will be contextually explained within the occurrence of microaggressions and hiring/promotion opportunities for faculty, staff, and administrators. Concepts such as the minority tax, cultural relativism, and diversification of staff/faculty at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) will be discussed.

Group exercises, case examples and sample discussion questions will be provided to further the conversation. Handouts on a variety of topics including a review of major cases leading to the growth of the BLM movement and sample scripts and dialogue prompts to engage the audience on these topics will be shared. A sample interactive activity, and sample perspective taking and basic knowledge questions, as well as two case study examples, are included here.

INTERACTIVE ACTIVITY: Harvard University created an Implicit Association Test (IAT). Take either the color or race IAT test. The test is short and is timed. Go to On the website, choose Project Implicit Social Attitudes, read the preliminary information, and click on “I wish to proceed” if you agree to the aggregate data collection methodology. Please note that your name is not asked for on the site, thus your participation is anonymous. Select the race or color IAT test and proceed to answer a few questions and then you will be directed to the test. Please make sure you pay close attention to the options and respond accordingly. Print out your results from the IAT and have them available for your reference. You do not have to share your results with anyone unless you choose to.

PERSPECTIVE TAKING: Why is it important to talk about racial justice on college and university campuses? Should students be required to take a diversity course such as race and ethnicity, gender studies, history of LGBTQI rights?

BASIC: What are some of the impacts to students or employees who see that faculty, staff, and leadership in an organization are predominantly different from themselves? Describe a microaggression you have experienced or witnessed and discuss the impact of that event.

CASE #1: A professor shares his frustrations with the BLM movement during a lecture. Several BIPOC students begin to talk about this being inappropriate in the classroom. Some white students start to tell the professor, “No one cares what you think, racist” and actively boo him as he starts to try to speak over the growing discontent. Several students walk out of the lecture. There is a very public debate on social media about the incident and several students call to have the professor removed. How should this be handled on campus? Does it make a difference if the professor was teaching a class relevant to the topic (say political science versus calculus)?

CASE #2: A faculty member of color who is well-liked by students on campus, is actively involved in several student groups, and has a track record of academic publishing is denied tenure. The academic dean cites her leadership of a black student group on campus (she was their advisor) that had posted some negative comments about the city police on Twitter. Although the faculty member addressed the behavior of the student group according to the student government bylaws and her responsibilities as an advisor, the dean told her that “this kind of firebrand political activism goes against the professional standards of offering a fair and unbiased approach to your position. Speech has consequences, as you know.” How would you approach this challenge?

Participants will be able to:

  • Define Black Lives Matter and how the movement progressed in the United States.
  • Discuss common terms related to these debates.
  • Review the reasons why this discussion topic creates the intensity of conflict that it does on college campuses, events, and workplaces.
  • Better understand how emotional and cultural intelligence can provide a framework for change in this debate.
  • Understand what makes an effective DEI conversation and how these can be held in a way to increase the likelihood of change.

Program includes:

  • Online access to the live 120-minute program
  • A recorded version* of the program on along with test questions and a compliance report for the administrator of a department, college, or university.
  • Three interactive sample exercises to encourage discussion in school and college settings.
  • A detailed handout outlining key terms and phrases related to these debates.
  • A sample set of scripts to address common hot button issues that may occur on campus, in schools and in the workplace (e.g. “I don’t see color”, “black on black crime”).
  • A summary of major cases will be provided. These include: Trayvon Martin (2012), Jordan Davis (2012), Michael Brown (2014), Breonna Taylor (2020), Ahmaud Arbery (2020), George Floyd (2020).
  • Discussion questions for group discussion to continue after the live program.

Please note: Due to the complexity of this issue and the intersection of the Black Live Matter movement and the history of white supremacy in academia, we have extended the runtime to 120-minutes.

* Access for one year after the date of the live program. Additional year(s) access available for 20% purchase price.


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