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Inclusive Pedagogy | CETL

Facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom.


Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence

Most people avoid discussion or remain silent on race-related topics because of the strong emotions and feelings of discomfort that inevitably accompany such conversations.  Race Talk puts an end to that dynamic by sharing strategies for facilitating and participating in difficult conversations about race.

Teaching about Race and Racism in the College Classroom

Teaching about race and racism is difficult.  In this book, Kernahan discusses how learning works with respect to race and racism and provides practical evidence-based teaching strategies. She also differentiates between how white students and students of color are likely to experience the classroom.

Race Conversations

Classroom Activities | Techniques

The following links (with the exception of Sue's book chapter) point to articles that are found in a publication by Magna Press, entitled Diversity and Inclusion in the College Classroom.  This publication is a collection of articles by faculty tackling tricky challenges in creating an inclusive and respectful classrooms.   A request for permission to load PDF copies resulted in Tierney King creating direct links on these articles.  We are grateful for her willingness to do this.

How were these resources selected?


Ramasubramanian, S., Sousa, A. N. & Gonlin, V. (2017). Facilitated difficult dialogues on racism: A goal-based approach Journal of Applied Communication Research, 45(5):537-556.

Racist incidents are moments that highlight the systemic racism that still exists within higher education. In 2016, the College of Liberal Arts at a historically White, Southern institution in the U.S. responded to a racist incident on campus by setting up a series of Difficult Dialogue on Campus Race Relations sessions that gave participants the opportunity to reflect and respond to the incident. Drawing on literature about racial dialogues and social identity theory, the sessions were designed to promote active listening, build empathy, and provide practical tools to combat everyday racial microaggressions. We describe how communication design elements (such as small group settings, localized case studies, role-play, and ground rules) were tailored to fit the needs of various group settings and analyze participants’ feedback about the perceived impact of these dialogues. We present a goal-based dialogue framework as a model to facilitate difficult dialogues in a variety of applied communication contexts.


Sue, D. W., Lin, A. I., Torino, G. C., Capodilupo, C. M. & Rivera, D. P. (2009). Racial Microaggressions and difficult dialogues on race in the classroom.  Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(2), 183-190.

A qualitative study supports the observation that difficult dialogues on race and racism are often triggered by racial microaggressions that make their appearance in classroom encounters or educational activities and materials. Difficult dialogues are filled with strong powerful emotions that may prove problematic to both students and teachers. When poorly handled by teachers, difficult dialogues can assail the personal integrity of students of color while reinforcing biased worldviews of White students. The success or failure of facilitating difficult dialogues on  race is intimately linked to the characteristics and actions of instructors and their ability to recognize racial microaggressions. Implications regarding specific education and training recommendations are presented.