An Abolitionist Approach to Inclusion (Diversity Index # 4643)
Abolitionist perspectives are often criticized for being too utopian, however inclusion without an abolitionist perspective can result in, as Dr. King feared, inclusion into a “burning house.” Without addressing the systemic nature of oppression, inclusion strategies offer marginalized individuals access to systems that harm them. By taking an abolitionist perspective, inclusion efforts move beyond the surface and seek to reduce and eventually eliminate those systemic harms, creating a truly inclusive space where marginalized individuals are free from harm. This session will:
1. Break down the seemingly lofty abolitionist perspective into an accessible theoretical framework,
2. Provide attendees with the ability to discern between “reformist reforms” that seek to appear inclusive but in reality perpetuate existing inequalities and “non-reformist reforms” that take reasonable steps toward true inclusion, and
3. Facilitate a discussion among attendees to identify non-reformist actions that members of the HCC community could readily implement—both in the short- and long-term—to craft a more inclusive environment for students and employees.
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