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Challenging Anti-Black Racism by building inclusive classrooms

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Challenging Anti-Black Racism by Building Inclusive Classrooms

Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard explores inclusive course design including developing diverse assessment strategies, examining unconscious bias, and discomfort. Dr. Bermard shares practical questions and insights to develop or enhance skills to challenge anti-Black racism and foster inclusive classrooms and teaching.

This Q&A video is co-hosted by Erika Kustra, Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Kaye Johnson, Executive Director, Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility, University of Windsor.

Skip ahead to any of the questions.

  • 3:00 As an educator, as an instructor, what context is helpful to be aware of when you are challenging Anti-Black Racism?
  • 8:10 How can you approach this in the classroom?
  • 14:45 Are there overall questions that can guide us in designing these inclusive curricula?
  • 15:25 Earlier when we were talking you mentioned it was important to center yourself, what are the questions people might ask themselves?
  • 19:06 You have started with self-awareness, how do you move from self-awareness to action?
  • 19:54 Are there specific questions people can ask themselves for each step of this model?
  • 26:16 Many people ask us about lessons learned, in your experience what are some critical elements for designing your course?
  • 33:51 Are there closing or guiding questions, almost like a checklist, that might help broaden our practice when creating an inclusive classroom?
  • 36:08 Are there any final thoughts for us for takeaway?

Dr. Bernard is a Professor Emeritus in Social Work at Dalhousie University. Dr. Bernard is a highly regarded social worker, educator, researcher, community activist and advocate of social change. She has worked in mental health at the provincial level, in rural community practice at the municipal level, and, from 1990- 2016, as a professor at the Dalhousie University School of Social Work, where she also served as director for a decade. A Community Engaged Scholar, and an inclusive educator, she has a particular interest in transformative pedagogy. Dr. Bernard served as Special Advisor on Diversity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University and she is the first African Nova Scotian to hold a tenure track position at Dalhousie University and to be promoted to full professor. Dr. Bernard has worked with provincial organizations to bring diversity to the political processes in Nova Scotia and teach community members about Canada’s legislative process and citizen engagement. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) which helps address the needs of marginalized citizens, especially those of African descent. She has served as an expert witness in human rights cases and has presented at many local, national and international forums. Dr. Thomas Bernard has received many honours for her work and community leadership, notably the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada.

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