The Anti-Racist Educators group began in the Summer of 2020 to provide a space for faculty to unpack the issues involved in the case of the murder of George Floyd, as well as the larger racial injustices and civil unrest that take place across the nation. We started as a smaller group that originated in the Resilient Course Design program, a faculty development program offered through the CTL.
The group offers meaningful interactions in synchronous discussions, which allow us to “test out” ideas in a safe space with engaged and supportive colleagues. That way, we strive to meet people where they are since we all have different backgrounds, motivations, and interests. We pursue lifelong learning and seek common ground by sharing sources and experiences from our diverse academic disciplines. Ultimately, we aim to brainstorm antiracist pedagogical strategies and think about how to apply this knowledge to our courses and activities.
The group started as a personal learning space for faculty, but over time we have regarded anti-racism as a part of fostering a culture of acknowledgment in our community.
When an organization adopts a culture of acknowledgment, it focuses on shared values, promotes harmony, encourages respect for all members' inherent dignity and value, and acknowledges their current and historic interdependencies.
A land acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of the land and the enduring relationship between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. (information from Northwestern University)
They are typically offered at the beginning of public events or meetings, sometimes presented by local Indigenous People but more commonly by event organizers. (information from the Buder Center)
Land acknowledgments mean different things to different people; some of the purposes that have been identified include:
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on and a way of honoring the Indigenous People who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgments do not exist in the past or historical context: colonialism is an ongoing process, and we must build mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol. ( information from Northwestern University)
Native People, Groups, and Organizations, a PDF compiling many resources by Eric Pinto. Access the PDF here.