The Changing Face of Higher Education: The Role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in The Current Climate and Beyond.
Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education
The 2021 Annual Conference: “The Changing Face of Higher Education: The Role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Current Climate and Beyond” was held virtually on March 18th - 19th.
The Hon. K. Leroy Irvis, Speaker of the PA House of Representatives, founded PBCOHE in 1970 with the mission to ensure that underrepresented and minority students in the Commonwealth would have access to a quality education.
The conference theme, “The Changing Face of Higher Education: The Role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Current Climate and Beyond,” invited us to consider how current events are having an impact upon the important work that we complete. For example, diversity, equity, and inclusion work has gained prominent attention in the wake of backlash against police brutality against people of color. As our students and colleagues process these images, we often bear the responsibility of working through this trauma with them. New national leadership has inherited a country that is divided along racial, sexual, political, educational, and socioeconomic lines.
How can we bring awareness and change, while at the same time allowing us to maintain our emotional dignity? The COVID-19 pandemic caused us all to pivot from primarily in-person learning to hybrid or fully online methods of instruction and support. At the same time, this shift has shed light on the fact that many students of color do not have access to the resources necessary to be successful in online environments. How can we advocate for our students to ensure they are able to be productive?
The conference provided participants with valuable information and rich opportunity to examine the changing face of higher education and the challenges it presents.
Yours in Service, Shavonne Shorter, Ph.D. PBCOHE Vice/President-Elect Conference Chairperson