Center for Faculty Innovation

AAAD/CFI Critical Perspectives & Pedagogies Institute

Fri, 16 Sep 2022 12:00 PM - Fri, 9 Dec 2022 2:00 PM

The African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) / Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) Critical Perspectives & Pedagogies Institute will meet on Fridays from 12-1:30 PM on the following dates:

  • Online through Zoom (7 sessions): 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4 and 11/11
  • In-person on campus (1 session): 12/9 from 12-2pm

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, September 9th @ 12 PM (NOON)

Deadline has passed!

This institute cultivates a space where participants will reflectively study and explore how to address systemic racism in our teaching. Specifically, over the course of eight sessions during the fall semester participants will dive deeply into the histories, philosophies, knowledges, methodologies, and pedagogies of experiences of people of African descent globally as well as the rich field of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies.

Participants will draw upon these knowledges to evaluate the places where implicit bias, colonial and/or racist thinking occur within their own field; discover AAAD scholarship and pedagogical resources in their discipline and determine its value for their own scholarly and pedagogical practice; and develop a plan for structural and systemic change within their unit. 

Guided by faculty facilitators from JMU’s African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies program across a wide range of disciplines, participants will receive an introduction to the field, guidance on discussion about key readings and other resources, as well as mentorship and targeted feedback on their pedagogical projects.

The institute will meet remotely via Zoom for the first seven sessions and in-person on campus for the final meeting on December 9.


  • Dr. Kara Kavanagh (College of Education)
  • Dr. Tatiana Benjamin (Justice Studies)
  • Dr. Taimi Castle (Justice Studies)
  • Dr. Santo Coleman (Health Sciences)
  • Dr. Tolu Odumosu (ISAT)
  • Dr. Rachel Rhoades (Theatre Education)
  • Dr. Narketta Sparkman-Key (Leadership Education; Associate Provost for Inclusive Strategies & Equity Initiatives
  • Malia Willey (Libraries)
  • Dr. Ja’La Wourman (Writing and Rhetoric) 


Faculty participants will make progress toward these program outcomes

  • Understand that AAAD is an interdisciplinary field with specific histories, philosophies, innovations, methodologies, and experts, and with an activist-intellectual core
  • Recognize that AAAD is a decolonial critique of all other disciplines that counters the long and ongoing tradition of white studies (which are typically framed as “objective”) by centering a critical frame of reference and non-eurocentric perspectives
  • Evaluate the places where implicit bias and colonial thinking occur within your own field, research, course design, and teaching materials
  • Discover AAAD scholarship and pedagogical resources in your own discipline and determine their value for your own pedagogical practice
  • Develop a plan for structural and systemic change within your discipline and your unit

Faculty participants will make progress toward these teaching outcomes

  • Identifying factors that influence pedagogical choices
  • Articulating how current pedagogical choices reflect disciplinary norms

We want this program to be welcoming, accessible, and inclusive for all of our participants. Please reach out to us at or (568-4846) with any considerations (e.g., disability, wellness, cultural, etc.) you want us to know about. There is also a place to note this while registering.

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