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Teaching about Race and Racism Effectively: Compassionate Yet Honest

Approaches Across Disciplines, by Cyndi Kernahan, PhD

Race and the problems of racism are relevant to nearly every discipline and course we teach. Despite this, many instructors are understandably unsure about how to include and teach when it comes to these sensitive and politicized topics. 

In this session, we will first examine why race and racism should be included in our courses, what makes it challenging and how we can teach about race and racism more effectively. The focus will be on research-informed ways to do this work with an emphasis on providing a compassionate classroom environment for both students and instructors. Cyndi will also draw important distinctions between the experiences of White people and people of color in doing this work.
Cyndi Kernahan is professor of psychological sciences and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. A social psychologist, Cyndi’s expertise is in the psychology of prejudice and racism and her scholarly work is typically focused on better understanding how students learn about race and racism and how psychological factors influence student learning and success more broadly. Her book Teaching about Race and Racism in the College Classroom: Notes from a White Professor was published in 2019 as part of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education series of West Virginia University Press.
If you would like to read Kernahan's book before (or after) her visit, you can access it in two different digital providers from Murphy Library: Muse or ProQuest.


You are welcome and encouraged to join Kernahan's other events this day as well:

* This event is being funding by a CASSH grant and CATL.


  • 9 to 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 16


The Bluffs Ballroom Student Union
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University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Student Union


For questions about this event or to request disability accommodations , contact UWL CATL at 6881 or


View the UWL campus map for parking lot & building locations.