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"I Don't Think There's Any Race Issues": Examining Diversity and Racial Resistance Among Biology Faculty

Sun, April 11, 10:40am to 12:10pm EDT (10:40am to 12:10pm EDT), Division J, Division J - Section 6 Paper and Symposium Sessions


Promoting diversity in STEM continues to be a key challenge and national priority, including the retention of underrepresented students. Faculty hold an important role in implementing inclusive teaching and mentoring underrepresented students. This paper examines the perceptions of Introductory Biology faculty on issues of diversity and underrepresentation within their classroom and broader academic field. Drawing from the frameworks of diversity and racial resistance (Thomas & Plaut, 2008; Haynes & Patton, 2019), we explore the participants’ misconceptions and ambiguous definitions about diversity and their normalization/dismissal of underrepresentation in STEM. In order to implement equity advancements in STEM, we argue that it is essential for faculty to have a critical awareness of racialized and oppressive systems beyond the surface level diversity discourse.