Concurrent Sessions

Target Audience

The primary audience for this symposium is teams or individuals working directly on hate/bias education, prevention, response, and healing within a higher education setting, which typically includes: 

  • Chief Diversity Officers
  • Affirmative Action Directors
  • Counseling staff
  • LGBT+ Directors
  • Multicultural Directors
  • Campus Climate Coordinators
  • Residence Life stakeholders
  • Violence Prevention Specialists
  • University Police
  • Student activists

This symposium will also benefit higher education faculty/staff/administrators who understand this work is bigger than one person or any team, anti-racist and social justice-centered K-12 educators, businesses/organizations who care about people, and those who want to do their part to advance inclusivity, equity, and justice within our collective spheres of influence. 

Analysis of Classroom Hate and Bias Report Data to Support Anti-Racist, Anti-Sexist Teaching expanding section

Roi Kawai, Coordinator of Educational Equity, Minneapolis Public Schools

From 2013–2018 at UW-La Crosse (UWL), academic classroom-related hate and bias incidents were second in frequency to residence hall incidents. This year, for the first time, classroom incidents rank first. Such incidents often occur in interactions between instructors and students, a problem exacerbated by power differentials. In this workshop, an analysis of the UWL hate and bias response incidents within the academic classroom from 2006–2019 will be provided. After examining all of reports, the group will be invited to make sense of the data and, based on our analysis, construct anti-racist, anti-sexist teaching practices for instructors and K–12 professionals.

Caring for Self and Community: Understanding the Impact of Social Justice Fatigue on Hate/Bias Work expanding section

Caitlin LoMonte & Sam Becker, UW-Madison

This interactive workshop will focus on exploring concepts and practices of care and their relation to social justice fatigue and burn out. Through guided activities, self-reflection, and group sharing, the workshop will offer participants the opportunity for a greater understanding of the impact of social justice fatigue and burnout associated with doing hate and bias work on the self and collective communities. Practices and strategies for self and collective care will be discussed as tools for managing burn out and sustaining our capacity for social justice and hate/bias work.

Did They Really Just Say That?! Being an Active Bystander expanding section

Lena Tenney, MPA, MEd., The Ohio State University, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity

Have you ever been in a conversation when someone said something biased, but you froze or were not sure how to respond? Many of us struggle to address these all too common situations. Even though we want to speak up for equity, we do not always know how to act in that awkward moment—especially if we are not sure if the person meant to cause harm. This session seeks to empower and equip participants to speak out in response to those, “Did they really just say that?!” moments when bias emerges. Participants will thus learn how to communicate effectively in challenging situations via strategies that can be tailored to the particular situation.

Disability Resilience through Hate & Bias expanding section

Garrett Denning, UW-La Crosse

This session will explore ways to cultivate resilience in disabled individuals despite the throws of hate and bias in a campus environment designed not to meet their needs. We will explore the benefits and limitations to accommodation-based ideologies for those with both visible and invisible disability. Medical and social models of disability will be examined as we attempt to create a social justice-based approach to disability. Personal experiences and/or case studies will highlight issues combating disabled students today.

Everybody Wants Part of the Culture expanding section

Jazzma Holland, Shaundel Spivey, & Andrew Rasmussen | B.L.A.C.K. (Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge) 

Everyone wants to be a part of the culture but no one wants to do the work. Come join us as we talk through the highs and lows of creating and running an organization designed to empower and elevate the Black Community. We took the lack of action into our own hands to help transform a community culture. 

Faculty Women of Color and the Perils of Social Justice Teaching expanding section

Sara Docan-Morgan, Shilpa Viswanath, Nese Nasif, Dina Zavala

In this panel, faculty women of color will discuss the ways in which social justice informs their teaching practices and the related challenges created by student ambivalence, resistance, and/or hostility. Panelists will also reflect on how perceptions of their intersectional identities as faculty women of color at a PWI shape interactions with students and colleagues. Other topics to be discussed include navigating the promotion and tenure process as a woman of color, and experiencing racial battle fatigue, the cumulative mental, physical, and emotional strain resulting from deflecting microaggressions, insults, stereotypes, and discrimination (Smith, Hung, & Danley, 2012). Q&A will follow.

Fat is a Social Justice Issue, Too expanding section

Laurie Cooper Stoll, Ph.D., UW-La Crosse

Despite the fact that fatphobia in the United States has always been intimately connected to other systems of oppression like sexism, racism, and classism, those of us who are otherwise engaged in social justice work so often exclude it from our research and our activism. We fail to acknowledge that fat is a social justice issue, too. In this presentation, I begin by providing a brief history of the ways fat has been pathologized and medicalized in the United States. I will then discuss some of the ways fat is connected with gender, race, and class in particular and offer some strategies for how we can move forward by engaging in fat activism.

Got Solidarity? Challenging Straight White College Men to Advocate for Social Justice expanding section

Jörg Vianden, Ph.D., UW-La Crosse

This presentation introduces my book about how 92 straight white college men around the country experience campus and community diversity issues. I discuss their upbringing in families and schools, their perspectives on privilege and oppression, and their attempts to challenge oppression. Written especially for straight white male college students and educators, the book underscores the need for whites to raise critical consciousness, activate empathy, and build solidarity with members of minoritized groups. Given our current American predicament, the book makes a timely contribution to our understanding of masculinity and how white disengagements hinders progress toward a just society.

Hate Response in Residence Life expanding section

Matt Evensen, UW-La Crosse

The two places we see hate/bias incidents happen most are in the classroom and in the Residence Halls. In addition to response and connection to the Hate Response Team, we also coordinate our outreach efforts with residence hall directors. While we continue to focus on responding and centering students who are impacted, we are also holding communicating our process and follow up, remaining connected to our broader hate response efforts, and balancing our role in conduct.

Hot Pursuit to Change: Arresting the Divide Between Police and Marginalized Communities expanding section

AJ Clauss - UW-La Crosse, Chris Schuster - UW-La Crosse, Lore Vang - Madison Police Department

Join us for an interactive discussion regarding the historically fractured relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, and how this manifests within institutions of higher education. We will explore different vantage points and how these lenses affect our interactions with one another. Then we will go beyond the past and grapple with the current environment on college campuses and surrounding communities. Ultimately, we will discuss opportunities to bring police and marginalized communities together, and how to see each other as a collective community working toward social justice for all.

Kenosis: A Christian Theological Approach to Action expanding section

Rev. Benjamin Morris, Lutheran Campus Ministry La Crosse

What is the Christian response to a society where hate and bias are on the rise? How might campus ministries become places of refuge and support for marginalized people in our society and campuses? Is there a theological framework for how the church can use its societal privileges for the sake of others?

At this workshop, we will unpack the ancient and very relevant model of emptying power, "kenosis" and discuss how campus ministries can be good allies and partners on making our campuses places where students of all religious and non-religious backgrounds can thrive.

All are welcome to join this discussion regardless of religious preference or lack thereof.

Latinx Equity in Higher Education: Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Conundrums expanding section

Stephanie Bohlman, St. Cloud State University / Winona State University 

In step with DeRobertis book titled Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, this workshop will explore issues of Latinx equity in education. The first section "Roots" will explore the K-12 and higher education environments which have produced inequitable learning spaces for Latinx students. Next, "Branches", we will discuss different strategies used by Latinx students to maneuver through the barriers in higher education. Lastly, "Seeds", we will imagine equitable education through cultural humility and cultural responsive pedagogy.

Navigating Masculinity through Trans Identity expanding section

Kayden Carpentier, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This workshop discusses the regulation of gender, specifically expectations regarding masculinity, through a narrative of transmasculine identity. This narrative will include examples of gender bias and how this bias evolves over the course of transitioning from female to male. The regulation of masculinity will be explored via group activity along with potential consequences when healthy masculinity is not reinforced. Finally, these consequences will be complemented with data from statewide and national trends related to mental health, class, and violence. Possible outcomes include: increased understanding of gender bias and the acquirement of tools to promote healthy masculinity.


Preventing Burnout: Practicing Self-Care for Hate/Bias Responders expanding section

Stephanie Kyle-Brown, Edgewood College

This workshop is designed for anyone who, as part of their role, provides care and support to others while also hearing or witnessing difficult or traumatic stories. Self-care is a hugely important part of sustaining ourselves as those working to help students, and I hope this hour provides some more insights on ways we can and must take care of ourselves to ensure we can safely and best care for others. Participants will learn ways of assessing, monitoring and maintaining mental and emotional health of themselves and their groups while doing this work of supporting others, promoting social justice, and spreading compassion and change.

Rise of Islamophobia, Impacts, and Misconceptions: What individuals, communities, businesses, and law enforcement can do to resist hate, Islamophobia, and intolerance expanding section

Wale Elegbede, La Crosse Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network

In a world where Islamophobia is increasing rapidly, and Muslims in the United States are routinely targeted, humiliated, attacked and even killed, it is important to understand how we can stop this trend and create a place that is welcoming to all. Wale Elegbede, an American Muslim will discuss Islamophobia, misconceptions in Islam, and what communities can do resist Islamophobia, xenophobia, hate and intolerance. Recognized as a Community Servant by the La Crosse Tribune Editorial Board, Wale will share ideas how we counter these acts, organize, plan and “put in the work" needed. He will share how he is working with other community/business/education leaders and police to stop this trend.

Speak Truth to Power Through Writing OpEds expanding section

Michelle PitotUW-Madison

There are many ways to do the work of social justice, and not all can be measured by how many people show up in person for an action. The power of the written word to initiate change is undeniable, and opinion pieces are a viable way to increase the strength and visibility of every response to hate and bias. While you may not always be on the front lines of this struggle, you can still speak up and be heard. In this workshop you will learn the basics of the world of OpEds, how to write one effectively, and the ways you can pitch it for publication in mainstream or alternative media.

Teaching Of Islam expanding section

Muslim Youth Association 

Islam is a religion and a system of life: all aspects of life have been fully scripted over the centuries and still been developed and/or adapted every day. Islam is a religion of coexistence and interaction with our surroundings. A panel of six high school students from Dane County will discuss the teaching of Islam. The youth will engage the participants on topics such as understanding of Islam, misconceptions of Islam, and student life on campus.

The First Amendment, Free Speech, and Hate Speech expanding section

Nizam Arain, UW-La Crosse

Covering the legal and policy issues, including related topics such as academic freedom, censorship, public vs. private institutions, partisan political speech, etc.

The Work of Calling In vs. Calling Out expanding section

Deka Dancil, Syracuse University, New York

Our society has developed a culture of calling out oppressive language and behavior in a way that is exactly defiant of what social justice calls for, being kind to one another. The notion of calling in seeks to accomplish the same goal of holding an individual or entity accountable for oppressive language or behavior, but from a place of compassion rather than dissent. This workshop will teach the essentials of the topic of calling in vs. calling out on a surface level.

Expected learning outcomes:

  • Participants will explore the value in calling in vs. calling out
  • Participants will learn best practices for calling in vs. calling out
  • Participants will practice the skill
Waking Up From a Nightmare: The Baraboo Story of Communications Response and Healing expanding section

Lori M. Mueller, Ph.D. & Holly Henderson, Baraboo School District

On November 12, 2018, the School District of Baraboo woke up to an image of Baraboo High School students appearing to give a Nazi salute going viral. Within seconds, we realized a tsunami of negative media attention and global threats. This session will share our story, our crisis communications response, and how we rose up from the nightmare to unite our community against hate. Strategies and tools will be highlighted for replication in your own context. Our story continues today with the development of equity and social justice actions that may also serve useful for participants as examples of healing.