The Blessing and the Burden: A Dialogue for Faculty of Color in the Academy

Amado Padilla coined the term “cultural taxation” in 1994 as a means of describing the very unique burden placed on ethnic minority faculty to carry out their responsibility of university service in ways that are above and beyond those of their majoritized colleagues. This phenomenon is most often encountered within white institutions (PWIs); however, given the demographic composition of Xavier's faculty, is it not likely that our colleagues of color may be experiencing the devastating effects of cultural taxation within our historically Black and Catholic university?

We seek to dialogue about your experiences and your observations. We seek to listen and stand witness to your faculty experience at Xavier with the hope of a more robust and generative institutional dialogue.

Despite our intersectional and varied identities, we share a common mission, so we invite you to a discussion of these and related issues, as they are experienced on Xavier’s campus. This session will not include any formal presentation and there will be no agenda. Instead we hope to have a facilitated conversation around questions such as the following:

* What does it mean to be a faculty member at a historically Black and religiously affiliated institution? As faculty of color, what is your relationship to the HBCU experience and the Xavier mission?

* Given the existence of an implicit and explicit cultural tax, how do you balance your workload with what Patricia Hill Collins refers to as “othermothering” or other-parenting (i.e. exhibiting familial compassion and concern for students)?

* What can the university, more specifically CAT+FD and the new Center for Equity, Justice, & the Human Spirit, do to facilitate this balance and ultimately enhance the success of faculty of color?

In her article for The Atlantic, Patricia Matthew describes the “invisible labor” done by professors of color that is often not rewarded by rank and tenure committees. However, this work (including extensive mentoring, role-modeling, and service) is vital to the university, and central to Xavier’s mission. While all faculty carry heavy loads, Audry Williams June, in an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education writes, that “minority professors can feel overburdened…even when they want to do the work.” We enter locally into this national dialogue.

  • Led by: Dr. David Robinson-Morris (Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit)
  • Date: Monday, August 27, 2018
  • Time: 4:30 - 5:30 PM
  • Location: Mellon Seminar Room - LRC 532B
  • Sponsor: CAT+FD

Tags: hbcu, race, diversity
Format: discussion
Event ID: 01712

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