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 Impediments to Moving Toward Equity

September 15th, 2018 | Posted by David Whitfield in Educational | Equity

Impediments to Moving Toward Equity

Ignorance is the first impediment to our progress to racial equity, gender equity, and educational equity. Ignorance is our number one enemy; ignorance means not knowing. If I don’t know your name, I am ignorant of your name. If I don’t know Native American history, I am ignorant of it.

Now, many citizens don’t know US history; others don’t understand economics, poverty, or racism; and still there are those of us who don’t know how to build relationships with culturally, racially, ethnically, and sexually different others. Not knowing, or not understanding these topics are examples of illiteracy (in these topics).

The second barrier is language, meaning we lack the vocabulary, or verbiage to discuss or talk about such salty issues as race, gender, and slavery history, which are potential sources that once understood, can help lead us toward engaging equity in eloquent, fertile ways. We don’t have the communicative competence to keep the conversation going even after it begins; some become emotional, angry, violent.

Third and final impediment is lack of  courage; meaning even if we had the knowledge and language as possible tools to discuss these subjects, we, most of us, do not have the courage to engage each other in civil, professional, and courteous ways to discuss these topics.

Given our knowledge deficit, lack of language skills, and absence of courage, we will not engage Equity in meaningful ways. Ergo, we have work to do, if we genuinely want to move toward Equity.

Your thoughts!


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3 Responses

  • francis says:

    Thanks for your insights on this topic, Dr. Whitfield.

  • Thomas Whalen says:

    Hi David,
    Perhaps in a future blog you might discuss strategies for discussing these topics. This November, MCLA is bring Ta-Nehisi Coats to campus and we are having a lot of in class discussion of race and racism. The faculty spent a lot of time this past summer developing strategies. I am pretty sure what they are, but I would really like to hear your views.
    Best regards,

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