DEI Week brings author of How to Be an Antiracist to USC

DEI Week brings author of How to Be an Antiracist to USC

This year’s 90 virtual events include a lecture by National Book Award winner and antiracist activist Ibram X. Kendi.

March 05, 2021 Gustavo Solis

USC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Week features 90 virtual events this year, including a lecture by the man who literally wrote the book on how to be an antiracist.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Week — March 8-12 — is designed to help USC students, faculty and staff have difficult conversations about contentious topics with the goal of making the university a more welcoming place for everyone.

Events include workshops about what racial equity in higher education looks like; implicit bias training sessions; resources for students, faculty and staff to report instances of discrimination or harassment; and a lecture by Ibram X. Kendi, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and author of How to Be an Antiracist.

“USC’s DEI Week is designed to advance an academic environment that explores issues related to creating a future-facing community free from bias and discrimination,” said Provost Charles Zukoski. “The DEI Week events will enable our Trojan community to discuss, learn and embrace a wide range of perspectives and experiences that will serve to strengthen our teaching, learning and research —propelling us forward as positive and transformative contributors to society.”

DEI Week brings faculty experts from all USC schools to share their various diversity initiatives. The series runs throughout the week of March 8, and a full schedule is available on the event website.

The week features events covering a wide array of topics, including race, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, nationality, veteran status and being a first-generation college student. Many of the events have an interdisciplinary focus aimed at building coalitions among different groups.

These conversations will help the USC community better recognize, celebrate and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives like finding better ways of managing classroom discussions, reviewing the university’s recruiting and hiring efforts, or creating more transparent and inclusive governance processes.

USC DEI Week events include conversations about discrimination, implicit bias

A few of the nearly 100 events planned for DEI Week this year include:

Student Civil Rights at USC: Learn About Resources and Resolution Options from USC’s Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights
Tuesday, March 9, 10-11:30 a.m.
Catherine Spear, USC’s equity and Title IX expert, will focus on key aspects of the new policy on prohibited discrimination, harassment and retaliation and teach students how to report incidents and what happens after reporting.

Culture Journey & DEI Week Present: A Conversation with Professor Ibram X. Kendi
Wednesday, March 10, 11 a.m.-noon
This event is hosted by the Office of the Provost and PRYSM from the USC Gould School of Law. Zukowski and Camille Gear Rich, the associate provost of diversity and inclusion at USC Gould, will have a conversation with Kendi about racial bias embedded in institutions, cultural practices and how to live with the principles outlined in How to Be an Antiracist.

Understanding Implicit Bias with Bryant Marks
Tuesday, March 9, 5-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 11, 5-6:30 p.m.
Research has found many Americans show a positive implicit bias toward white Americans versus African Americans, young versus old and thin versus obese. Showing a preference for or against a particular group does not mean that a person is prejudiced or will discriminate, but it does suggest that they have been repeatedly exposed to certain associations between specific groups. These associations are often very strong and difficult to undo without deliberate effort or training. This training will help people do just that: get the tools and strategies for reducing or managing implicit bias at the individual and institutional level.

Racial Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education: A Conversation with Benjamin Reese
Thursday, March 11, from noon-1 p.m.
Reese is the former vice president for institutional equity and chief diversity officer at Duke University. He has 50 years of experience in diversity, inclusion and equity strategy and will bring that experience to leading this conversation on racial equity in higher education.