2022年5月6日 5 6, 2022 EVENT REPORT TALK workshops

Event Report: 3.23 GFD Diversity Series: Interdisciplinary Roundtable on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Academy アカデミーの多様性、公平性、包括性に関する学際的なラウンドテーブル

Report by: Sakura Ueki

Access the recording of the event English here or 日本語
 

On March 23, 2022, GFD hosted the final session of its Diversity in Higher Education series. The goal of the series, which began in September 2021, has been to foster dialogue about the status of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in education and serve as a collaborative space to discuss solutions to ongoing challenges in DEI discourse and practice. In this roundtable event facilitated by Dr. Mark Bookman, past GFD speakers Dr. Julia Lindley-Baker and Dr. Alison Taylor from Bishop Grosseteste University, and Dr. Aurora Tsai and Dr. Yuko Itatsu from The University of Tokyo came together to share their insights into critical questions and issues about the state of inclusion in campus settings.

Opening with the question of what sort of boundaries exist around inclusion in universities, the discussion in the first half of the event delved into topics such as the responsibility of universities in addressing the needs of its students, the importance of conducting research to understand where help can and should be provided, and, more comprehensively, what this process of recognizing barriers might entail – from the stakeholders involved to the way in which the data collected is mobilized. While recent years have been accompanied by an increasing awareness surrounding the concept of DEI in educational settings, especially among the student community, multiple boundaries across the physical, cognitive, and socioeconomic dimensions remain yet to be addressed. In particular, it is essential to recognize that many of these boundaries, for instance, lack of access to resources, do not begin from the point of university admission but often arise before this, continuing into students' university experience ('pipeline' problems). Following this, the panelists discussed several potential solutions to addressing current DEI issues, drawing on their respective experiences teaching at universities in the UK and Japan. Among some of the strategies raised were increasing representation in relevant stakeholder groups within and outside universities and incorporating teaching materials from authors of diverse backgrounds.
The second half of the event continued to explore the possible pathways to developing a more equitable university ecosystem through broader questions about the current status of DEI-related conversations in academia as well as the need to encourage more profound, more behavior-oriented engagement relating to DEI initiatives. Throughout the session, participants shared their vision of DEI becoming widely recognized and accepted in the coming years, ultimately blossoming into a widespread transformation across society.
While this roundtable marks the last event of GFD's Diversity in Higher Education series, it is by no means an 'end all be all' as noted by Dr. Bookman in his closing remarks, but rather a starting point for further discussions surrounding the topic of DEI. I am keen to see where such discussions lead in future events.

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