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Critical Race Symposium Guide: Home / Schedule

Resources and further readings on Race and Self-Care



When:  Thursday, April 15, 2021, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
             Friday, April 16, 2021, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where:  Virtual, Webinar

The Critical Race Collective (CRC) Community of Scholars, an interdisciplinary group of faculty who apply critical race theory to research, teaching, and activism, will host the second Critical Race Symposium, a virtual two-day event, on the application of critical race theory to research, teaching, and scholar-activism. Beginning Thursday evening and continuing most of the day Friday, the event will feature research presentations, an invited moderated panel discussion, an invited community presentation, and invited keynote talks from nationally renowned scholars.

Registration is required to attend:

Schedule of Events

(preliminary schedule, more details forthcoming)

Thursday, April 15, 2021

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM: Dr. Whitney N. Laster Pirtle Keynote Talk  Applying Critical Race Theory, Racial Capitalism, and Structural Gendered Racism to Covid-19 Pandemic Inequities


Friday, April 16, 2021

10:00 AM – 11:20 AM: Dr. Della V. Mosley Keynote Talk  Scholar-Activist Lessons Learned through Academics for Black Survival and Wellness


11:30 AM – 12:50 PM: Symposium Session 1 – Critical Race Theory in Educational Practice

  • Tracking the Early Stages of the Disciplinary Gaze among Students Experiencing Childhood Adversities – Dr. Andrea Joseph, College of Social Work, Nashville Campus 

    Adverse childhood experiences can impact a child’s emotional and behavioral development. Left unaddressed, the psychosocial effects of ACEs can significantly impact a student’s academic progress and well-being. In addition, the long-standing over-surveillance of students of color through racially disproportional school discipline demonstrates how constructions of race and gender impact how students are perceived by educators. Using data from the 2017-2018 National Survey of Children’s Health, this study uses logistic regression to examine teachers’ surveillance of students with four or more ACEs. Our overarching research question was, are schools more likely to call the homes of children of color with ACEs for problems exhibited at school? Findings indicate racialized disparities in the reporting practices of schools among their students with ACEs.

  • Dr. Loneka Wilkinson Battiste, Music Education 


  • Assessing Systemic Inequity: Diversity, Whiteness, and Teacher Education  Dr. Ashlee Anderson, Theory & Practice in Teacher Education


11:30 AM – 12:50 PM: Symposium Session 2 – Critical Race Across Academic Fields

  • Gentrification Discourse as Abstract Liberalism – Dr. Jessi Grieser, English and Linguistics 


  • What is Religious about Race? – Dr. David Kline, Religious Studies 

    While the concept of race is often connected to “secular” ideas of biological human difference developed under 18th and 19th century discourses of scientific classification, it has thoroughly religious roots. This talk will trace the importance of Christian theological understandings of “peoplehood” for the western invention of race, showing how the race concept first emerges as a theological category meant to enforce western Christian ideas of political and social order. I will also show why understanding Christian theological accounts of redemption is crucial for understanding the contemporary context of American racism.

  • Essentially Unprotected – Prof. Sherley Cruz, College of Law

    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American public has relied on “essential” low-wage workers to provide critical services and keep the public safe. Decades of exploitative employer practices and neglect from the federal government have left frontline low-wage workers essentially unprotected. Many of these workers are people of color and recent immigrants who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus due to structural racism and socio-economic barriers. This is particularly true in the meatpacking industry, where a legacy of poor working conditions, exploitation, and lack of federal oversight has resulted in industry wide COVID outbreaks, thousands of infections, and over 200 deaths. By applying a critical race theory lens and centering the story of the first worker to die after contracting COVID-19 at one of the world’s largest meatpacking plants, the presentation unpacks the practices, policies, and frameworks that allow U.S. meatpacking plants to place profits over the lives of Black and Brown workers while the federal government turns a blind eye.

  • Black Travel Movement: Systemic Racism Informing Tourism – Dr. Stefanie Benjamin, Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management 

    The Black Travel Movement (BTM), a collective of Black travelers in the United States, continues to emerge and empower Black travelers to share authentic counter-narratives. Many of these travelers made the transition and began companies that now make up the BTM. However, the tourism industry continues to perpetuate a landscape steeped in systemic racism. Adopting a critical race theory storytelling method and informed by whiteness studies, nine interviews from BTM leaders, direct quotes from predominately White workshop participants, and lived experiences were used to create a collective story of how race and ontological views influence the tourism landscape. As evident with the collective story, discrimination and racism continues to create inhospitable experiences for Black travel leaders within the tourism industry.


1:00 PM – 1:50 PM: Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin and The Bottom Invited Community Talk  Radical Community Engagement


2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Dr. Jioni Lewis Moderated Panel Discussion: How to Disrupt Racism and Anti-Blackness in Academia

Dr. Robert D. Bland, History and Africana Studies

Dr. Dawn Duke, Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures

Dr. Michelle Christian, Sociology

Dr. Tina Shepardson, Religious Studies