Document Type




Publication Date

Fall 9-14-2018


In the Spring of 2006 I taught PHIL 3150: Race and Gender Issues for the first time. In my preparation for the course I was overwhelmed by my own lack of education. I was humbled by the experience and motivated to inform all of my teaching by what I came to understand through teaching the course.

Years later, in the Spring of 2013, I was again asked to teach the course and felt more prepared. Though I introduced substantial changes to the course, I was again overwhelmed by my own ignorance as I pushed deeper into studies of exploitation, oppression and dominance.

In September 2014 I participated in Allan Johnson’s facilitation of a workshop for the Everyone Counts Diversity Learning Communities. I was yet again overwhelmed by the scale of my ignorance and dove deeper into the role individuals play in social systems and the roles that social systems play in maintaining power imbalances.

During my fall 2014 and spring 2015 Race and Gender Issues courses I pushed myself and my students to grapple with the consequences of the shooting of Michael Brown and the following protests in Ferguson. My teaching is now infused and informed in ways they never had been before. The nature of my relationships with my students continues to change for the better. My students have noticed.


Presented at the 2018 Fall Convocation, Western Michigan University