Frank Tuitt: Race, Equity, and the Learning Environment

The Office for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (ATL) was very excited to virtually bring Dr. Frank Tuitt to campus in September and October 2020. Dr. Tuitt is a lead author of the well known book “Race, Ethnicity and The Learning Environment” as well as the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (University of Connecticut).

On September 24, 2020, Dr. Tuitt conducted two sessions. The first was a special workshop for faculty and staff who attended the book clubs on Race, Equity and the Learning Environment. These book clubs sessions were held once a week for four weeks throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. Faculty explored the book and considered or implemented action plans based on its implications. The workshop was focused on what considerations remained pertinent to the current climate, what others might be critical, and provided a Q&A session.

Dr. Tuitt’s second session was a campus-wide plenary for faculty, staff, and graduate instructors. It featured a Q&A session and dialogue focused on the broad theme of equity and inclusion strategies in trying times. Specifically, participants: 1) Discussed and problematized factors and barriers to making excellence inclusive throughout the entire organization in support of institutional goals and initiatives; 2) Revisited Inclusive Excellence as a model of change toward engaging in contemporary educational and social challenges; and 3) Engaged collectively in conceptualizing institutional transformation toward equity-mindedness. The plenary recording is available here(This video is only accessible to members of the URI community; please use your URI login in order to view it.)

On October 1, 2020, Dr. Tuitt conducted two additional sessions. The first was a talk and Q&A session with the Rhode Island Teaching and Learning Network (group of faculty development specialists from different colleges across the state). The second was a session specifically for senior leadership at URI regarding strategies for inclusive excellence and themes generated by participants from the plenary.