How Institutions Can Move Toward Equity by Addressing Whiteness


In a recent Academic Leader article, Jordan Harper described an approach for campus leaders to locate whiteness in higher education. In this piece, I provide practical examples of how these issues manifest in academic affairs and what senior administrators can do in their daily work to address whiteness. I will focus on practices that go unexamined and can play a role in preserving inequities. At the outset, it is important for me to acknowledge that I see decolonization—the act of unsettling oppressive structures and power centered on whiteness—as intricately intertwined with institutional practices that must be recognized in order to move away from cultural norms based on whiteness. As I focus on practices, I will use both whiteness and decolonization to describe what needs to change at our institutions to create a more equitable environment where all can thrive.

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