Faculty Seminar on Challenging Racism and Teaching for Inclusivity

Faculty Seminar on Challenging Racism and Teaching for Inclusivity Fall 2023

“You are all brothers (and sisters)… for you have one Father who is in heaven.”

— Matthew 23:8-9

Purposes of the Seminar

The issue of racial justice in various areas of social life—law enforcement, educational attainment, political participation, economic opportunity, health care access and quality, and environmental protection—is, understandably, being given ever heightened attention today. It is incumbent on us in a Catholic university to fully and meaningfully engage in advancing the cause of racial equality and inclusion in our society, given our professed and heartfelt commitment to the dignity, value, and worth of each and every human being (see Matthew 23:8-9 above). With this in mind, the purpose of this faculty seminar is four-fold:

1. for participants to become agents for change in their departments, schools/colleges, and/or disciplines;

2. to familiarize participants with major theoretical frameworks employed by social/behavioral scientists and other academics/intellectuals/pundits involved in these discussions in analyzing and addressing racism/exclusion, interpreting current controversies, and advancing productive dialogue on such sensitive and polarizing issues;

3. for participants to reflect on the implications of racial disparities and racial injustice on higher education curricula, pedagogical strategies, and classroom management;

4. to provide participants with an opportunity to develop a new course or revise one that has been offered in the past in a way that demonstrates a more acute sensitivity and commitment to teaching for inclusivity in their disciplines.

Participants will receive a certificate at the end of the program and will commit to share what they learn with their department and school or college, becoming active liaisons in challenging racism and teaching for inclusivity.

Overview of Topics and Seminar Format

There will be a total of twelve, two-hour sessions. In the initial session seminar, objectives will be reviewed, seminar participants will introduce themselves, seminar norms will be agreed to, and basic data on racial disparities will be presented. In the subsequent sessions in Part 1 we will examine the Anti-Racism framework and the Color-Blind framework and consider how these frameworks are employed in empirical research and commentaries on substantive racial issues; we will also consider how productive dialogue on race/inclusion can be fostered, the phenomenon of implicit bias, and the educational achievement gap. (Dr. Anthony Haynor will serve as primary facilitator for Part 1.) In Part 2 of the seminar we will consider the issue of disciplinary canons, pedagogical issues related to race and teaching, and curricular and classroom implications and applications. (Dr. Mary Balkun will serve as primary facilitator for Part 2.)

Discussions each week will focus on assigned readings and/or video clips. Dr. Mark Horowitz and Rev. Dr. Forrest Pritchett will serve as discussants during the course of the seminar; in addition, there will be various guest presenters on topics of interest. At the final meeting of the seminar, each participant will give a brief presentation about the course they will be revising/developing for diversity and inclusion based on what they have learned, as well as sharing their plans to serve as liaisons to their department and their school or college.

We welcome all viewpoints and ideological positions on the issues raised in the seminar.

Seminar Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this seminar, participants will be able to:

1. appreciate the historical genesis of racial inequities and assess current manifestations, in individual bias (implicit and explicit), institutionalized barriers to full equality and inclusion, and enduring cultural/ideological supports for racial inequality, based on the best empirical evidence

2. engage in (potentially uncomfortable) self-interrogation of one’s biases and assumptions with respect to race and inclusion, fostered by productive dialogue with alternative perspectives

3. embrace as Seton Hall educators faculty members’ role as agents of transformation both within the classroom and in the institution as a whole, animated by a spirit of mutual respect and a commitment to civil discourse


Participants must be full-time faculty members.


Participants will receive a $500 stipend at the successful completion of the seminar, including submission of a completed course syllabus.

Seminar Meetings

The seminar will meet weekly on Tuesdays, 4:00 – 6:00pm, in Teams. Our first meeting will be on Sept. 12 and our last meeting will be on Dec. 5.

The Application and Review Process

Send the following information to Mary Balkun mary.balkun@shu.edu and Anthony L Haynor anthony.haynor@shu.edu:

  • Name
  • School/College
  • Rank
  • Indicate how you will share what you learn in the seminar with your department, college, university, and/or professional community through such activities as mentoring, scholarship, curricular initiatives, event organizing, etc.

We will review applications beginning on August 14 and finalize the cohort by Sept. 1.

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