Event Title

Ident-i-me; Divers-u-see: Respecting race and culture through personal affirmation within group affiliation

Location

Virtual

Start Date

3-5-2021 12:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2021 1:00 PM

Description

Identity and Diversity are intertwined in unique ways. Their points of intersection are nuanced and unpredictable. Race, a significant label that embodies a set experiences, greatly influences how and in what ways we see ourselves, how others see us, and how we see others. It is a major factor of both our identity and diversity.

What becomes complicated, controversial, and sometimes contemptuous is our inability to recognize that like identity, diversity is focused on the self as a primary starting point. We form internal understandings about who we are and the factors we believe are most crucial to our identity. and how we comprehend that which we define as different from us. Further, how each of us sees ourselves as individuals may or may not mirror how each of us sees ourselves as a member of a group. This holds that we may be members of a group that reflects certain sets of similar characteristics or values, but individually we reflect ideologies or characteristics that are not common to that group.

How does this play out for people of color in a racialized society that has deliberately constructed unilateral definitions to categorize them? Whites are able to identify diversely as complex, multi-faceted individuals and as members of a collective. But racial stereotypes create the perception of people of color to be predictable and narrow in scope. The narrative is often pre-defined and relegated to a box that appeases the culture of power. The image that is the most amenable to prevailing value systems physically, socially, and culturally is the one most accepted and touted by the larger society.

Pulling in the work of Cross, 1995, the presenter amplifies Black racial identity theory to illuminate the stages of “becoming “black. This is a launch pad for an interactive discussion of the assumptions that are attached to people of color and how people of color walk a fine line between individual expression of cultural identity, expectations of group affiliation, and social promotion and acceptance.

Comments

Dr. Carole Rene’ Collins Ayanlaja is a teacher, researcher, educational leader, and a member of MEI. She is the proud mother of one son, a college student. Her K-12 educational career, prior to joining EIU, spanned 22 years. She served as an urban teacher, assistant principal, principal, district director, chief academic officer, and superintendent.

As Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Eastern Illinois University, Dr. Collins Ayanlaja instructs and mentors graduate candidates preparing for the principalship and superintendency. She is engaged in research focused on the intersectionalities of race, gender, and the school superintendency; the experiences of African American parents with schools, as advocates for student success; and the role of higher education in building capacity of African American males for academic success and community mobility.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Mar 5th, 12:00 PM Mar 5th, 1:00 PM

Ident-i-me; Divers-u-see: Respecting race and culture through personal affirmation within group affiliation

Virtual

Identity and Diversity are intertwined in unique ways. Their points of intersection are nuanced and unpredictable. Race, a significant label that embodies a set experiences, greatly influences how and in what ways we see ourselves, how others see us, and how we see others. It is a major factor of both our identity and diversity.

What becomes complicated, controversial, and sometimes contemptuous is our inability to recognize that like identity, diversity is focused on the self as a primary starting point. We form internal understandings about who we are and the factors we believe are most crucial to our identity. and how we comprehend that which we define as different from us. Further, how each of us sees ourselves as individuals may or may not mirror how each of us sees ourselves as a member of a group. This holds that we may be members of a group that reflects certain sets of similar characteristics or values, but individually we reflect ideologies or characteristics that are not common to that group.

How does this play out for people of color in a racialized society that has deliberately constructed unilateral definitions to categorize them? Whites are able to identify diversely as complex, multi-faceted individuals and as members of a collective. But racial stereotypes create the perception of people of color to be predictable and narrow in scope. The narrative is often pre-defined and relegated to a box that appeases the culture of power. The image that is the most amenable to prevailing value systems physically, socially, and culturally is the one most accepted and touted by the larger society.

Pulling in the work of Cross, 1995, the presenter amplifies Black racial identity theory to illuminate the stages of “becoming “black. This is a launch pad for an interactive discussion of the assumptions that are attached to people of color and how people of color walk a fine line between individual expression of cultural identity, expectations of group affiliation, and social promotion and acceptance.