Social Justice Education Initiative at Oregon State University: Facilitated Learning Opportunites

SJEI Workshops are the heart of the program. Through the sharing of information in research-based contexts, participants gain key insights that lead to both short and long-term impacts which enhance learning, teaching, and service environments in a multitude of tangible ways. An important institutional outcome for SJEI is the creation of calibrated vocabulary and conceptual frameworks for both envisioning and discussing topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion across the OSU community. The shared experience of the one-size-fits-all SJEI platform curricula creates a context for this visioning and discourse amongst colleagues, and this context is the foundational basis for institutional growth. SJEI is pedagogically aligned with DPD, OSU Advance and the Search Advocate program, further enhancing the context for institutional growth. SJEI workshop participation meets the continuing education requirement for the Search Advocate program.

All SJEI curricula are embedded with current research and promising practices in adult and social justice education for institutional growth. The design of the curricula encourages everyone to engage, regardless of where they may be starting from. SJEI helps make the invisible inequities in the world around us visible and invites us to decide how we want to interact with these things we can now see more clearly. Participants are encouraged to replace judgement with curiosity, especially across difference, and to develop a better relationship to their imperfections as they do so. There is an emphasis on empathy, on interruption, and on applying practical, research-based strategies.

SJEI Standard & Customized Workshops

Standard Workshops

The Social Justice Education Initiative has a two-tiered structure for standard workshop delivery.

Tier One is comprised of SJEI Session One and SJEI Session Two, a platform program that provides faculty & staff a basic foundation for inclusive excellence. Instruction time for the Tier One platform program is 8 hours total; this is delivered in either 2-hour or 4-hour workshops, to allow more flexibility in completing the entire curricula.

A glossary is introduced and discussed, and we explore little-known Oregon history in a way that helps clarify our peculiar current context and surfaces dominant culture. Once we know more about how we got “here”, and what “here” looks like from multiple perspectives, we look at who we are and how that all fits together. Identity is explored as a social construct that, among other things, creates power hierarchies and is also intersectional and very complicated. Participants are asked to reflect on how this information changes what they think, believe, or feel, and what they might do differently in their work to ensure inclusive excellence across OSU. Cross-cultural communication is considered, and some practical strategies are discussed. An important conceptual framework is introduced for reflecting on and communicating our relationship to comfort, risk, and danger. Microaggressions are defined and their context explained, and the essentials of implicit bias are similarly reviewed.

SJEI TIER ONE Learning Objectives for participants:

SJEI Platform Curricula: Session One

  1. Apply a vocabulary of basic terms in common with other participants.
  2. Recognize how history relates to the current context of Oregon and OSU.
  3. Describe some of your own social identities.
  4. Recognize that your OSU community is comprised of diverse and intersecting social identities.
  5. Understand that a dominant culture exists, even if it is invisible to you.

SJEI Platform Curricula: Session Two

  1. Identify concepts and vocabulary that can support effective communication with colleagues
  2. Describe how dominant culture is normalized, creating exclusion
  3. Acknowledge the existence and impact of one’s own implicit bias and apply mitigation strategies
  4. Practice basic intercultural communication skills: humility, empathy, self-awareness, respect for multiple viewpoints, and a willingness to engage
  5. Explain what a micro-aggression is and why they occur

Tier Two workshops are shorter, specifically focused, and often provide deeper practice on topics explored in Tier One. Tier Two standard workshop topics currently include Microaggressions 2, Looking back in Order to Move Forward (Oregon Historical Timeline), and a series on Creating Equitable Teaching and Learning Environments. Completing the Tier One platform program is recommended, but not required, to participate in Tier Two workshops.

SJEI TIER TWO Standard Workshops Learning Objectives for participants:

Creating Equitable Teaching & Learning Environments (CETLE)

  1. Recognize the connection between who we are and how we teach and learn
  2. Identify who is advantaged by equitable teaching and learning environments and why
  3. Describe an equitable teaching and learning environment

Tools & Practice for Creating Equitable Teaching & Learning Environments (TPETLE)

  1. Produce an effective syllabus for managing educational environments
  2. Understand the connection between who we are and how we teach and learn
  3. Demonstrated efficacy in responding to inappropriate behavior

Microaggressions Part 2:

  1. Recognize the connection between power and micro aggressions that derives from implicit assumptions of superiority and inferiority
  2. Demonstrate increased self-awareness about perpetrating micro aggressions
  3. Demonstrate increased skill for interrupting and questioning/clarifying micro aggressions

Looking Back in Order to Move Forward: An Oregon Historical Timeline

  1. Describe the over-arching racial themes in Oregon’s history
  2. Recognize some ways these themes are evidenced today

SJEI Standard Workshops are offered in two formats:

  1. General sessions open to all OSU faculty, staff, and grad students, see the Registration site for schedule and registration.
  2. Standard workshops by special arrangement, with opportunity for increased relevancy of social justice considerations within each unit, department, or college. Contact SJEI program director Jane Waite to arrange.

Customized Workshops

Colleges, units, and departments may elect to offer SJEI workshops within as internal opportunities. Standard workshops can be modified or entirely new ones created to meet specific needs. Internal SJEI workshops provide increased relevancy and opportunities for colleagues to grow relationship and address specific contexts. To arrange for a custom workshop, contact SJEI program director Jane Waite to arrange.