Margo Jackson, Ph.D., Leads Diversity and Social Justice Professional Development Project for Fordham Faculty

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Professor Margo Jackson, Ph.D., is leading a university-wide professional development for new faculty to develop skills around facilitating diversity dialogues in the classroom. Read more about the project.

According to Jackson, the two research-based assumptions of the project are that

  • powerful teaching and learning include pedagogy (i.e. the science of teaching) and analysis of issues from multiple and alternative perspectives; and
  • issues of diversity and social justice are relevant to examine in all disciplines to teach and learn effectively, ethically, and powerfully

This team will look at these assumptions through various lenses, including race, gender, age, social class, religion, health/ability status, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, nationality, and more. As Jackson says, “as educators, social justice starts with us.” She hopes that new faculty begin their Fordham careers “in a way that embodies our core Ignatian principles.” The goal is to lead by example, i.e. new faculty developing cultural competence in their students by practicing it themselves in the way they construct and conduct their classes.

The team (formally called the Fordham University New Faculty Constructive Diversity Pedagogy Participatory Action Research (CDP PAR) project) comprises ten new faculty members from a range of academic disciplines. They met for eight sessions during the fall semester for exercises and discussions of readings and current events. Prior to beginning and at various stages throughout the process, the team evaluates their own social justice critical consciousness and the project itself. They are also developing a bibliography of books and resources relating to diversity pedagogy, critical consciousness for social justice, and their own areas for academic scholarship. This spring semester, the team will meet monthly to analyze data and develop manuscripts for publication.

CDP PAR team members include:

  • Westenley (Wes) Alcenat (A&S, History)
  • Emanuel Fiano (A&S, Theology)
  • Jacqueline Gonzalez (GSE, Educational Leadership)
  • Tiedan Huang (GSE, Educational Leadership)
  • Tyesha Maddox (A&S, African and African American Studies)
  • Zein Murib (A&S, Political Science)
  • Meensarani Linde Murugan (A&S, Communication and Media Studies)
  • Jonathan (Jon) Sozek (A&S, Theology)
  • Brent Strang (A&S, Communication and Media Studies)
  • Shannon Waite (GSE, Educational Leadership)
  • Margo Jackson (GSE, Psychological and Educational Services) – Facilitator/Participant
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