An Invitation to a critical conversation

Dear Friends,

I’d like to invite you to consider contributing to the following weblog, Intersectionality, established as a space for critical dialogue on structural inequalities at at Christian universities and colleges. While the blog will be moderated by those currently working at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, the views posted here do not purport to represent the institution’s views.

The blog’s moderators are especially looking for the following sorts of contributions:

1. Experiences:

  • Experiences that illuminate what it is like to be ________________ (black, Asian-American, Latina, white, a woman, a man, working class, non-citizen and so on at various colleges and universities). From some of you, these stories will be of experiences that are painful and difficult given that you are from a minority or vulnerable social group. From others of you, these stories will be of experiences as a privileged member of a group (male, white, upper class, heterosexual, able-bodied, top administrator or senior faculty, US citizen).

2. Institutional History:

  • Events that happened at your school in the past that are crying out to be remembered. These events may be: i. Stories of how the university or college has changed, for better or worse. ii. Some of these stories will be of traumatic events that need to be remembered. iii. Some of the stories stories will be of missed opportunities, or seized opportunities, etc

3. Illuminating stories of the following sort:

  • Teachable moments in the classroom, outside the classroom or during study abroad — racial, gendered, class, etc — that may be instructive to teachers and student readers
  • Mistakes I made that I regret. Examples will range from incidences that seem “small” but actually contribute to an atmosphere of inequality (for example, addressing students as “guys”) to much more wrenching situations and events (for example, complicity with racism, sexism, or homophobia).

4. What you or your department are doing to create hospitable spaces:

  • Theoretical insights or empirical findings from your discipline that administrators, staff, faculty, or students would benefit from knowing. What is the latest story from cognitive science that may illuminate intractable conflicts? How can sociology speak to racism, sexism, homophobia, stigmatization of people with disabilities?
  • Stories of turning a hostile work environment into a more hospitable space.
  • Stories of reconciliation with colleagues after years of deep woundedness.
  • Stories that speak to your hopes for a better institution.

As is clear from the above, this blog seeks to draw a range of contributions — from theoretical critiques to short stories, considered pieces to speculative musings. Anonymous contributions will be published, but the moderators will obviously exercise discernment on whether to post stories that are not substantiated or demand the right of reply. This weblog does not speak for any group and is not sponsored by any organization. Individuals are solely responsible for the views they articulate and ought not to be seen as responsible for the wide variety of views that will be published on the blog.

Many thanks for listening and we hope you will consider contributing. Please email your contributions to: