Introduction

Sharon Raz

About LWTech and the Diversity & Social Justice (DSJ) Requirement

This book is a compilation of resources from the Spring 2021 LWTech DSJ faculty training. It includes a variety of resources for teaching diversity and social justice in a community and technical college setting. The approach and conceptualization of DSJ education are discussed in the first parts of the book.  The DSJ requirement was organized around 3 categories of learning outcomes, which are the focus of the other parts of the book. A variety of resources and lesson plans are embedded in both. All contributions are used with permission and the original authors have been credited.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s mission is to prepare students for today’s careers and tomorrow’s opportunities. In today’s culturally diverse global workforce, this mission goes beyond teaching our students the technical skills they will use in their industry. It is important that our students have the knowledge and skills that prepare them for the multicultural workspace they are entering.

In fall 2020, the Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) decided to add an academic requirement to all students. This new requirement focuses on diversity and social justice and it applies to all programs of the college. The requirement reinforces the college’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion while aligning our standards with many other colleges in Washington State. ​The LWTech DSJ requirement dives deeper into diversity and social justice in either an entire course dedicated to or contextualized around diversity and social justice.

To be approved and designated as a Diversity and Social Justice course, student learning outcomes and course content must satisfy four outcomes from the following three categories (two outcomes from the first category and one outcome from each of the other two categories):

I. Power, Privilege, Inequity (choose two)

  • Define and apply key terms and concepts of diversity and social justice.
  • Identify how power, privilege, and inequity are or have been reinforced and challenged at the individual, institutional, and systemic levels.
  • Identify specific ways in which individuals and social and artistic movements attempted to disrupt systems of power, privilege, and inequity.
  • Analyze and apply the ethical practice in relation to diverse communities and cultures for the promotion of equity and social justice.

II. Difference (choose one)

  • Discuss and analyze how categories of difference are or have been created, maintained, and experienced through power, privilege, and inequity.
  • Describe and demonstrate how cultural differences and commonalities among people have been/are reflected in different time periods, institutions, and social systems.

III. Communication (choose one)

  • Communicate one’s own intersecting identities of difference and how they position oneself in relation to power, privilege, and inequity.
  • Engage in intentional communication with awareness of intent and impact. Explain different types of knowledge and how knowledge construction maintains power, privilege, and inequity.
  • Apply the principles of effective and ethical intercultural communication and demonstrate how individuals and institutions could more effectively communicate across differences in human communities and cultures for the promotion of equity and social justice.

About the DSJ Faculty Guide

During Spring 2021, thirty-five LWTech faculty members participated in a quarter-long training. The training’s main goal was to form a community of teachers and learners that focuses on diversity and social justice as an important part of our teaching. Through the training, faculty learned about social justice pedagogies and developed and shared classroom practices. At the end of the training, faculty were asked to submit their DSJ curriculum plan for the next academic year.

The training was structured as a hybrid training. Faculty members met synchronously on Zoom in small groups, and the majority of the learning was done online, through a Canvas shell. The Canvas shell includes a variety of resources: reading materials, videos, and others, most of which are included in this book. The recommended accompanying textbook for the training was Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (3rd Edition). By Adams, M. et al. (Eds.). (2016).

I hope that you will find this collection useful. It is our hope that this first edition will be updated each year with additional resources.

Professor Sharon Raz, Summer 2021

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