MACOMB/Moline, IL — The Initiative for Social Justice Pedagogies at Western Illinois University, led by English Professor Rebekah Buchanan and Education Professor James La Prad, will again host the virtual Anti-Racist Inquiry Series – Looking Inward: Educators Examining Race, via Zoom, beginning Thursday, Feb. 11. The series debuted during the Fall 2020 semester.

Anti-Racist Inquiry Series for Faculty - Looking Inward: WIU Educators Examining Race Set to Begin Feb. 11According to Buchanan and La Prad, the series has been created in a way for faculty,* regardless of background and training in anti-racism, to gain additional insight and training from participation.

“Individual and systemic racism impacts education from individual faculty to department, University, and community culture. We need to make changes at all levels in order to create a more equitable educational space,” Buchanan explained. “This series is a start to help faculty discuss and gain tools to create actionable steps toward more equitable pedagogy, university and communities.”

The six-part discussion series will be held over the course of the semester. Each session revolves around a short reading, podcast or video aimed to start a conversation around race, racism and working toward anti-racist pedagogies and practices.

“Participants will take part in the session’s focus piece and guiding questions prior to each discussion. Discussions will be facilitated to allow all participants to wrestle with the topics, reflect on the texts and experiences, and commit to actionable changes—small or large—each,” LaPrad added.

Buchanan and LaPrad noted by the end of the series, participants will be able to identify personal biases that impact working with students of color; define whiteness and its relationship to teaching and curriculum design; examine how whiteness influences relationships, expectations, and classroom practices; start to create an anti-racist faculty identity; and create an action plan for changes to course design and development that incorperate anti-racist pedagogies

All sessions will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Thursdays:
Feb. 11: Why We Need to Talk About Race.
Feb. 25: Identifying and Challenging Biases.
March 11: How Do Our Implicit Biases Affect Our Students?
March 25: How Whiteness Impacts our Practices, Relationships, and Expectations in the Classroom.
April 8: Developing an Anti-Racist Identity.
April 22: Valuing Black Lives at WIU.

The series will use small breakouts (three-four participants). If participants would like to be paired in a breakout with up to three colleagues, email or

To register, visit Participants who attend all sessions in the series will receive a certificate of completion.

* While all members of the University community are welcome to participate, it is focused specifically on addressing how educators need to address and discuss race in their teaching and practice.

Anti-Racist Inquiry Series for Faculty - Looking Inward: WIU Educators Examining Race Set to Begin Feb. 11
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
Anti-Racist Inquiry Series for Faculty - Looking Inward: WIU Educators Examining Race Set to Begin Feb. 11

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