Perspectives Against Racism: Educational and Socialization Efforts at the Departmental Level

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Advances in Physiology Education


The current heightened social awareness and anxiety triggered by escalating violence against Black Americans in the United States demands a safe space for reflection, education, and civil discourse within the academic setting. Too often there is an unmet need paired with a collective urgent desire to better understand the chronic existing structural, social, educational, and health inequities affecting disadvantaged populations, particularly Black Americans. In this perspective, the authors provide insight into a shared learning approach that provided a forum to discuss Perspectives Against Racism (PAR). Unlike existing topdown approaches, faculty, trainees, and staff were engaged in leading a series of focused discussions to examine unconscious bias, promote awareness of implicit biases, and reflect on individual and collective roles and responsibilities in working toward becoming antiracist. An existing 1-h graduate elective seminar course was dedicated to creating a space for learning, discussion, and exchange of ideas related to the experience and existence of racism (personal and institutional/systemic). A goal of each session was to go beyond didactics and identify mechanisms to implement change, at the level of the individual, department, and institution. This perspective of the shared experience may provide an adaptable framework that can be implemented in an academic setting at the departmental, center, or institutional level. academia; bias; diversity; educational activities; interdisciplinary placement; prejudice; racial inequality; racism; shared learning; social justice

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American Physiological Society