Calling In v.s. Calling Out

Prevailing American rhetoric suggests that education is the great equalizer among social classes. More specifically, the suggestion is that a formal education can ameliorate economic disadvantage and position individuals living in poverty for upward mobility. This claim has not been borne out in research about social class or American class transcendence. Moreover, this focus on individual educational achievement, or merit, is a dangerous red herring, taking our collective attention away from systemic, structural racism, the perpetuation of which ensures that achievement, wealth, and quality of life gaps will persist along American racial (and other) demographic lines. 


Unchecked, a belief in meritocracy without an acknowledgement of privilege and histories of oppression can mean blind spots for otherwise socially conscious advocates for justice. Among peers dedicated to justice and advocacy, these frustrations can threaten partnerships and upend critical community organizing. During this session, the facilitator will create a safe space for participants to deepen self-awareness surrounding their own privilege; and identify ways that their privileges can be levied to advance their causes but may pose challenges if unchecked. 

DR. ALTA MAURO

Dr. Alta Mauro is the Associate Dean for Inclusion & Belonging at Harvard College, guiding divisional efforts related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Under her direction, the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural & Race Relations, the Harvard College Women’s Center, the Office of BGLTQ Student Life, and Title IX coordination converge to leverage Harvard’s great diversity to cultivate inclusive community where all students can thrive.


Previously, Alta served as the founding director of Spiritual Life & Intercultural Education at New York University Abu Dhabi. The UAE’s cosmopolitan diversity provided an exciting backdrop to consider what it meant to educate from the intersection of Black diasporic, critical, womanist perspectives rooted in cultural humility, social justice, and equity. 


Alta earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her dissertation, Identity (re)Determination Among Upwardly-Mobile Black Women, focuses on shifting notions of self, identity, and belonging among African-American women who have been acculturated in sociocultural spaces which are markedly different from their home communities. Other areas of her professional expertise include sustained dialogue and engaging culturally-relevant pedagogy across academic disciplines. Alta has co-authored three refereed book chapters, additional articles related to DEI and global education issues, and published poetry in a recent higher education anthology.

Photo Credit: Saleh Alhalabi

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FAQ
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The Regional Student Diversity Summit (RSDS) is an all day in-person diversity conference for Southern California high school students. This conference focuses on respectful dialogue, the relationship between current and systemic issues, and the potential youth have to catalyze change. Participating students engage with keynote speakers, lecturers, and workshop leaders from around the country on topics of social justice and inclusion at all levels, and build connections between themselves in affinity spaces. RSDS is a grassroots initiative, organized by students of San Diego, California's leading educational institutions. 

HOW CAN I SIGN UP?

On the menu bar, there is a sign up button at the middle of the screen. It will take you to the sign up form. Make sure to complete the Permission Slips!!

DO I NEED TO HAVE PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE OF DEI ISSUES AND PRACTICES?

Being a part of the DEI community does not call for any previous experience. You do not need to have gone to previous conferences to attend this one. All we need is an open mind, a commitment to change, and a readiness for respectful dialogue.

RSDS ATTIRE?

School-appropriate casual wear!

WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF THIS CONFERENCE?

We designed this conference with the purposes of educating – not only through stellar workshop leaders, but through conversations with each other. We truly hope you will leave this conference and have a wider world view, an aptness for understanding, and an aspiration to make change in yourself, your communities, and the greater world.

WHAT IS RSDS?

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