SEED - Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity
After a successful first year, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is pleased to announce it will be continuing a new professional development opportunity this fall entitled Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED). SEED is an international project founded by Dr. Peggy McIntosh, formerly of Wellesley College Centers for Women, over 30 years ago. It promotes change through self-reflection and interpersonal dialogue and builds capacity for more equitable curriculum, campuses, workplaces, and communities. SEED’s unique methodology involves:
- facilitating ongoing, structured, group conversations in which all voices can be heard
- examining how our own stories relate to social systems
- learning from the lessons of our own lives as well as from texts
- turning oppression and privilege into agency and action
SEED is based on a cohort model, meeting once a month for a 3-hour seminar. Because of the safe, explorative space that is created, it is imperative that participants commit to the entire program consisting of the following sessions:
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 1:30-4:30pm
Thursday, October 12, 2017, 1:30-4:30pm
Thursday, November 9, 2017, 1:30-4:30pm
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 1:30-4:30pm
Thursday, February 15, 2018, 1:30-4:30pm
Thursday, March 8, 2018, 1:30-4:30pm
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 1:30-4:30pm
What makes SEED different?
- SEED starts with the assumption that we are each the authorities on our own experience, and can learn to facilitate effective conversation among our peers and colleagues about issues of equity and diversity.
- SEED asks participants to look inward at how we were schooled to deal with diversity and connection, as a necessary prelude to creating curricula and environments that more adequately equip young people, colleagues, community members, and others to do so.
- SEED takes a systemic approach to looking at oppression and privilege, rather than seeing them only in terms of individuals making individual choices.
- SEED acknowledges that diversity work is an ongoing process, professionally and personally, not a one-time training.
- SEED leaders do not lecture. Instead, they lead their own colleagues in experiential, interactive exercises and conversations often stimulated by videos and readings.
- SEED uses methods of intentionally structured group conversation, tested over more than a quarter century, to create effective learning environments and facilitate thinking in a way that includes input from all voices.
- SEED work is not about blame, shame, or guilt about one’s location in societal systems. It is about deepening awareness of the existence of societal systems.
- SEED engages allies from dominant groups in listening, learning, and taking thoughtful strategic action in order to help break down patterns of oppression.
- SEED doesn’t need a crisis (such as bullying, sexual harassment, or racially motivated violence) to address the very real power dynamics of race, class, gender, etc. that play out systemically in schools, communities, and workplaces to the detriment of fully realized democratic education/experience for all.
- SEED seminars put in place an ongoing constructive conversation about sometimes polarizing issues, making communities more competent to deal with crises when they do occur.
- SEED can work in conjunction with other kinds of diversity programs by preparing participants to be more aware of their own experiences with privilege and oppression and to listen more effectively to the experiences of others.