Diversity Dialogues

The Diversity Dialogues are series of dialogues are designed to promote engaged scholarship and debate around the topics of race, ethnicity and diversity as a whole. We are especially interested in how these ideas and their structural manifestations impact and shape our students’ daily lives. Programmers and organizers recognize the significance of the paradigm between blacks and whites in the United States; however, we are committed to expanding the study of race and ethnicity beyond the black/white paradigm. Broadly, our series of dialogues will encourage the study of race and processes of racialization in comparative and transnational frameworks. Thus, the discussions will range from an examination of processes of racialization among dominant groups to the study of racialized minorities within the United States and black and/or indigenous populations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asian, the Asian Pacific, and Europe.

Central to our work is the acknowledgement that race and ethnicity intersect with other primary identities such as gender, class, sexuality and nationality, necessitating the exploration of social and identity cleavages within racialized communities. Scholars affiliated with these series will utilize a range of methods to investigate the material condition, the expressive culture and the meaning making of racialized groups. Fundamentally, we are committed to producing engaged scholarship that rejects the false dichotomy between rigorous intellectual work and community activism. We seek; instead, to contribute intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that can help people transform their thinking and their lives.

We believe that there are a number of reasons why the Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs TODAY should be at the forefront of this educational institution committed to studying race and ethnicity in the 21st century.
First and foremost reasoning is that, Rollins College should involve the study of race, ethnicity and diversity.  The United States is facing a political and economic environment in which the social cleavages of marginalized racial communities will be central to policy debates at the local, state, and federal level. Issues such as affordable housing, incarceration, immigration, politics and leadership, HIV and AIDS, and economic development in poor communities/rural regions, are all part of the political agenda confronting governing officials and communities of color in Florida. We are committed to not only working in communities of color, but also in partnership with people from the surrounding regions. Community groups and activists will help us produce series of dialogues that will be empirically and theoretically innovative but also useful and empowering to the communities under examination. We believe that these variable forms of partnership with community groups and our campus staff, faculty and students could allow all of us to develop a regional and national advantage in the study of race, ethnicity and diversity.

The Office for Multicultural Affairs in 2008, began to carve out a unique niche in the study of race, one that will build on Rollins College’s comparative strengths of location and personnel and offer a new model institution, committed to principled partnerships with other institutions in the academy and in our communities. We are now uniquely positioned in the field, committed to a comparative analysis that pushes beyond the black/white paradigm; utilizing a theoretical framework of intersectionality, highlighting the ways race and ethnicity intersect with gender, class and sexuality; and committed to the production of engaged scholarship meant to transform people’s lives, specially our students lives.

For more information and upcoming Diversity Dialogue topics contact Zakiya Brown at zbrown@rollins.edu. We would like to collaborate with all or any interested Rollins faculty.

In order to read about the students' feedback about Diversity Dialogues Click here.

Also, Read about the National Recognition of Diversity and Dialogues  and TJ Sullivan