In March 2013, University of Delaware faculty, staff, students, and administrators participated in the Center’s Diversity and Public Scholarship Symposium. An opportunity to explore the best ways to support diversity on campus, this symposium was organized by Lynnette Overby, then Director of Undergraduate Research; Rosalie Rolón-Dow, Associate Professor of Education; and James M. Jones, Director of the Center for the Study of Diversity.
Timothy Eatman, co-director of Imagining America, Artists and Scholars in Public Life, presented the keynote address. An educational sociologist, his work has informed his successful effort to have publicly engaged scholarship included in promotion and tenure criteria at Syracuse University.
“We need to bring a fire to the idea of knowledge-making,” Eatman said, arguing that universities must include scholarship for the public good as a core value of their academic cultures. Describing the nexus between civic engagement, diversity, and student success, Eatman made the case that universities must actively build an “architecture of inclusion” to both increase access to higher education and benefit surrounding communities.
After the keynote address, a faculty panel dedicated to exploring the intersection between diversity and public scholarship engaged the University community in meaningful dialogue. Presenters included Yasser Payne of the sociology department, who spoke about the ongoing People’s Report project, and the Wilmington Street PAR family it has cultivated.
April Veness of the Department of Geography spoke about her community-based research project among Hispanic immigrant families in Georgetown, Delaware, and Jon Cox of the Department of Art presented his documentary book about the Hazda Hunter Gatherers of Tanzania.
Finally, professors Jill Flynn (English), Hannah Kim (History), and Lynn Worden (Human Development and Family Services) described the ongoing work of the Collaborative to Diversity Teacher Education at UD. (Click here to read Jill Flynn’s 2014 blog post about the Collaborative.)