Previous Symposia

  • About the 2022 Graduate Anti-Racism Symposium

Co-sponsored with the UC Davis Diversity, Equity & Inclusion's Office of Academic Diversity, the Second Annual Graduate Anti-Racism Symposium occurred May 12-13, 2022.

The first day was an all-virtual morning session of roundtable talks and presentations. The second day was an in-person lunchtime workshop for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from all departments on campus. The workshop provided a platform to candidly converse about experiencing, dealing with, and managing racism in the classroom whether it is directed towards instructors, TAs, undergraduate students of color, or members of marginalized groups. The goal was to work in the community and provide tangible tools for teaching under hostile circumstances. 

  • Day 1: Remote Sessions Open to the Public 


    Session 1: Sustaining and Advancing Anti-Racism Roundtable

    Associate Dean and Professor Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor, Moderator

    Professor Dawn Sumner, “Evolving Toward Anti-Racist Mentoring”

    Dr. Rachel Stumpf and Michelle Rossi, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, “Sparking Change: Foundations of Anti-racist teaching”

    Dr. Sarah McCullough, “Asking Different Questions in Research as Anti-Racist Practice”

    Professor Brian Trainor, “Graduate Student Contributions to DEI in Psychology”

    Professor Puja Chadha and Professor Colleen Sweeney, “Preparing Faculty to Teach the Next generation of Diverse Physicians”

    Jade Yonehiro and Diego Placido, graduate students in Psychology, “Holding Graduate Programs Accountable in Combating Systemic Racism through the Implementation of the Racial Justice Report Card”

    Session 2: An HSI for Graduate Education Panel Presentation

    Joseph Martinez, Director of the Cross Cultural Center, Moderator

    Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Diversity and Professor Lorena Oropeza - “Research I HSI: What Does That Mean for UC Davis?”

    Dr. Josephine Moreno, Graduate Diversity Officer - "Graduate Students & Postdocs: Critical Participants For A Successful HSI Serving Campus"

    César Hoyos Alvárez, Doctoral Student in Spanish - “Supporting bilinguals' emotional well-being in the language classroom at UC Davis”

  • Day 2: In-Person Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

  • Racism and Anti-Racism in the Classroom

    Facilitated by Professor Lorena Márquez, this 3-hour workshop exclusively for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars had three main components: 1) presentations of on-campus resources available to graduate student teaching assistants and instructors that help them navigate hostile classroom situations; 2) discussion sessions in which graduate students will look at hostile classroom scenarios and brainstorm with their peers how to best resolve these issues; and 3) a debriefing session outlining possible outcomes for future gatherings that continue to address anti-racism in the classroom. While we recognize that university campuses are not always safe havens for students of color and other marginalized communities, our goal is to come away with a better understanding of how to best cope and heal in community.

  • 2022 Planning Committee Members
  • Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor, Professor, Department of History and Associate Dean of Students and Postdoctoral Scholars for UC Davis Graduate Studies
    Erum Abbasi Syed, Executive Assistant Dean, UC Davis Graduate Studies
    Josephine Moreno, Graduate Diversity Officer for Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education, UC Davis Graduate Studies
    Lorena Márquez, Assistant Professor, Chicana/o Studies
    Lorena Oropeza, Professor, Department of History and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Diversity
    Ingrid Sub Cuc, Doctoral student in Native American/Indigenous Studies
    Thomas O’Donnell, Analyst, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


About the 2021 Graduate Anti-Racism Symposium

Held on May 6, 2021, the inaugural symposium highlighted best practices in anti-racist approaches to graduate education and was offered virtually to faculty, staff, and students. Speakers included a wide representation of members of the university community, including staff, faculty, graduate students, and campus leaders. 

  • Graduate Anti-Racism Symposium Featured Speakers

  • Keynote Speaker
    Renetta Garrison Tull, Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UC Davis 

    Orly Clergé, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and author of The New Noir: Race, Identity & Diaspora in Black Suburbia
    Danny Martinez, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Graduate Group in Education, UC Davis School of Education
    Justin Leroy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History and Co-Director of Mellon Research Initiative on Racial Capitalism

  • Breakout Sessions

  • Dawn Sumner, Evolving Toward Anti-Racist Mentoring

    Watch the Zoom Recording

    Graduate student mentoring is very individualistic for both mentors and mentees. Thus, these relationships have the potential to amplify or ameliorate the racism experienced by Black, Indigenous and other students of color. We will interactively explore some of the ways mentors can ameliorate racism, using examples from this guide and recommendations assembled by the Earth and Planetary Sciences Anti-Racism Action Committee.

    Brian Trainor, Graduate Student Contributions to DEI in Psychology

    In this session, we will discuss several initiatives taken by the Psychology Graduate Program to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. A common thread for all initiatives is frequent communication between students, faculty and staff. Members of the Psychology Grad Student DEI Committee will discuss their role in advising Program on DEI issues. We will also discuss an initiative to compensate graduate students for mentoring of undergraduates, a peer mentoring program, and a student-led session addressing racism in psychology for first year graduate students.

    Kabian Ritter & Meg Slattery, Beyond the Surface: Instituting Lasting DEI Changes

    This session will be focused on highlighting the essential need for a paradigm shift from viewing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as an auxiliary component to research and education, to viewing DEI as an essential part that deserves meritorious investment. Through integrating DEI into the very framework of academic programs, from academic to administrative components, typically marginalized groups have more freedom to share unique perspectives without fear. This in turn promotes an opportunity for a dialogue previously unexplored leading to the exponential development for all involved. We focus on the steps that we've taken as a program to build a sustainably diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for our students, faculty, and staff alike. Namely, we focus on our development of a DEI committee, collaboration with other graduate groups, annual program climate survey, and why we chose each of these. We will also highlight how well each proposed change has worked thus far and/or what we expect upon implementation.

    Diego Placido & Jade Yonehiro, Holding Graduate Programs Accountable in Combating Systemic Racism Through the Implementation of the Racial Justice Report Card

    Watch the Zoom Recording

    We will be sharing one of the initiatives that we have been working on to address issues of institutional racism, as members of the UC Davis Graduate Studies Anti-Racist Advocacy Group: the “Racial Justice Report Card” (RJRC). This report card was adapted from the White Coats for Black Lives organization’s RJRC for medical schools and tailored to better fit the needs of Ph.D. programs. For each graduate program at UC Davis, the report cards will highlight which areas of racial justice are meeting university standards of anti-racism and identify opportunities for targeted improvement. The overarching goal of our symposium will be to detail the challenges and barriers to making radical change in the academic system, and discuss the process of developing and implementing sustainable anti-racist actions despite these barriers. We hope that our presentation will support others in developing and implementing their own ideas for anti-racist action.

    Aron King, Microaggression: A Weight on the Success of Students of Color in Higher Education

    The purpose of this presentation is to define microaggressions and describe their effect on the learning climate. Using the results of a study conducted on a sample of health profession students, we will examine the impact of microaggressions on the satisfaction and symptoms of depression. This presentation will create awareness surrounding the common experience of microaggressions and discuss strategies to mitigate microaggressions that create racial disparities.

    Teresa Steele & Giulia Gallo, Building a Departmental Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee: 1 year of learning and responding in Anthropology

    Watch the Zoom Recording

    The Anthropology department restructured the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) in Summer 2020 to be composed of faculty and graduate student members from both departmental wings with the intention of responding to community needs. In this mixed-format workshop, the Anthropology DEIC will share the history of committee formation, present steps taken to build programming and develop resources, as well as discuss the remaining challenges and future goals.

    Rachel Stumpf, Michelle Rossi, & Kem Saichaie, Sparking Change: Foundations of Anti-Racist Teaching

    Watch the Zoom Recording

    The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) has developed a number of programs and resources to support faculty and graduate student instructors in their efforts towards anti-racist teaching. In this session, CEE facilitators will first provide an overview of the center’s anti-racist teaching resources and engage participants in a 15-minute mini-workshop (“Spark Session”) which introduces anti-racist teaching strategies. During the Spark Session, participants will engage in self-reflection and discussion activities as they explore concrete strategies they can apply to their teaching. The session will conclude with collaborative discussion around opportunities to partner with CEE and engage with CEE resources to advance the anti-racism efforts that are occurring within various campus contexts.

    Evelyn Gámez and Mirna Reyna, A linguistic approach to racial justice

    What is the relationship between language and race? And, how do language ideologies affect the ways in which racialized speakers’ language use is perceived and delegitimized? In this workshop, we address racial injustice from a linguistic perspective to demonstrate how minoritized languages such as Spanish in the United States, African American English, and Chicano English are deemed inappropriate for academic settings and the effects this has on their respective speakers’ identities. Rather than framing these languages as deficient, we demonstrate how colonialism and by extension, projects of modernity, continue to influence the listening subject’s role in establishing and sustaining linguistic hierarchies. Participants will be asked to reflect on their linguistic and ethnoracial identities as well as their experiences as speakers of their respective language(s) and will be given tools they can use to advocate for equitable approaches to language, both inside and outside the classroom.

    Puja Chadha, & Cat Cansino & Colleen Sweeney....SEED etc., SEED: Supporting Educational Excellence in Diversity: Preparing Faculty to Teach the Next Generation of Diverse Physicians

    In this session we will share innovative curriculum and impact of SEED: Supporting Educational Excellence in Diversity faculty professional development program at UC Davis Health School of Medicine and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Through interdisciplinary collaboration with students, staff, and faculty, SEED addresses student-driven concerns on microaggressions, bias, privilege, and sexual orientation in healthcare education. Session to include activities used in SEED session: ie. "privilege walk" through use of polling and short video with fresh take on understanding privilege. Share tools used in session: PAUSE and Triangulating Conflict models to navigate challenging topics as empowered allies.

    Sarah McCullough, Asking Different Questions in Research as Anti-Racist Practice

    Watch the Zoom Recording

    This presentation will discuss how changing research questions and research agendas will change who is in STEM and the knowledge we produce. Participants will learn about the Asking Different Questions, a modular curriculum created by the Feminist Research Institute. With over 500 participants, this program has been highly successful in improving feelings of belonging in STEM. 89% of participants leave feeling empowered to take tangible action to improve equity in their teaching, research, or lab. Attendees will experience a sample module on Identifying Bias in Scientific Research and Training, which asks, how have the histories of exclusion in science become embedded into the field?

  • Resources

  • Zoom recording of the 2021 Graduate Anti-Racism Symposium

    Event presentations

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Anti-Racism Webpage

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Anti-Racism Syllabus

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Anti-Racism Reading List

    Mentor Mirror: Article by Vice Chancellor Tull in Medium