As part of efforts to build a welcoming culture supportive of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, the college's Educational Equity Office hosts the EMS Reads program. This program features readings and discussion on books that foster in-depth thoughts on diversity topics.
Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the New York Times’ best-selling Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, will give the 2022 Lattman Visiting Scholar of Science and Society Lecture.
Dean Kump, EMS Educational Equity and the EMS Sustainability Council held an engaging follow-up discussion on Tuesday, November 15, 1:00-2:30 p.m in EES 117.
The EMS community – undergrads, grad students, faculty, staff, and postdocs – was invited to reflect on the themes of sustainability, environmental justice, gratitude/reciprocity, and the principles of the Honorable Harvest to explore how what we’ve learned from Braiding Sweetgrass can enrich and inform our work as scientists and engineers.
The lecture was held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, in 22 Deike Building on the University Park campus. A reception following the talk was held in the Steidle Atrium.
View recording of talk >> (Restricted to Penn State login)
Braiding Sweetgrass weaves together scientific knowledge, indigenous knowledge, and personal experience to explore reciprocal relationships between the land and its inhabitants. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment and is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
Discussion Opportunities Include:
iscussion guide for Braiding Sweetgrass prepared by Authors Unbound.
EMS Reads: Student Brunch Discussion (View flyer)
Saturday, October 15, 9 – 11 a.m., HUB 131
Join us for brunch and learn about the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Menu includes Frittatas, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Granola and Yogurt, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
RSVP at https://qrco.de/bdP1FA .Contact Carl Aquino email@example.com for more information.
EMS follow-up discussion:
Complete the braid by reflecting on what we have learned and how we can put it into action. A hybrid college discussion event being is being planned for later in the semester, hosted by the EMS Sustainability Council and EMS Office of Educational Equity This discussion will engage EMS students, faculty, staff, and postdocs in reflection on the themes of sustainability, reciprocity, and environmental justice, and how what we’ve learned from Braiding Sweetgrass might enrich and inform our work as scientists and engineers. More details to come.
The EMS community is encouraged to engage in additional discussions around Braiding Sweetgrass and its themes of sustainability and environmental justice. You don’t have to have read the entire book in order to engage in meaningful discussion. Discussions may be formal or informal in nature; the point is to engage with the material.
- Instructors are encouraged to assign a portion of the book for class discussion.
- Lab groups are encouraged to read the book together and spend time discussing its themes.
- Departments and Institutes are encouraged to devote a portion of a department meeting to discussion.
- Student organizations are encouraged to read the book together and spend time discussing its themes, particularly as they relate to the mission of the organization.
- Organize your own discussion group.
- Strike up conversations with colleagues or fellow students in EMS.
Members of the EMS community can pick up a paperback copy at the EMS library information desk. For those whose reading preference is electronic, University Libraries has the e-book with unlimited online reading.
How to Be an Antiracist was selected as the 2020-21 EMS Reads book. It discusses concepts of racism and Kendi’s proposals for anti-racist individual actions and systemic changes.
EMS Reads Discussion Group
Discussion will be held on Zoom on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. URL and PW: https://psu.zoom.us/j/96085886776?pwd=ZEFvbWpQalpFYzd1QWtjRzZKR0FZUT09 (Password: 217040)
Ibram X. Kendi Talk
Kendi's talk was held on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. Streamed Live on WPSU: https://www.watch.psu.edu/kendi/
For more information about Ibram X. Kendi, visit the Anti-Racism Resources webpage.
Select additional materials by and about Ibram X. Kendi and How To Be An Anti Racist
- Boston University Center for Antiracist Research
Recently moved to Boston University, Ibram X. Kendi heads the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. The mission of the center is to convene researchers and practitioners from various disciplines to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice. We foster exhaustive racial research, research-based policy innovation, data-driven educational and advocacy campaigns, and narrative-change initiatives. We are working toward building an antiracist society that ensures equity and justice for all.
- Ibram X. Kendi’s website
- The difference between being "not racist" and antiracist - Ibram X. Kendi TED talk
- Creating A More Equitable Society Is In White Americans' Self Interest - Ibram X. Kendi on Stephen Colbert show
- How to Be an Antiracist - Ibram X. Kendi on PBS Amanpour and Company
Popular Press Articles:
- Time Magazine - The 100 Most Influential People of 2020: Ibram X. Kendi by Al Sharpton (September 22, 2020)
- The Washington Post Magazine - The Anti-Racist Revelations of Ibram X. Kendi: Meet the historian who’s asking America to rethink the very nature of bigotry — and how to fight it by David Montgomery (October 14, 2019)
- The New York Times – An Antiracist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi (May 29, 2019)
- The New York Times – The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial by Ibram X. Kendi (January 13, 2018)
- The Guardian – This is what an antiracist America would look like. How do we get there? by Ibram X. Kendi (December 6, 2018)
- The Atlantic – What the Racial Data Show: The pandemic seems to be hitting people of color the hardest by Ibram X. Kendi (April 6, 2020)
- The Atlantic – Who Gets to Be Afraid in America? Americans don’t see me, or Ahmaud Arbery, running down the road—they see their fear by Ibram X. Kendi (May 12, 2020)
- A Campaign of Voter Subtraction: Trump’s Republican Party must subtract votes in order to survive by Ibram X. Kendi (October 16, 2020)
Workbooks Recommended by Dr. Kendi
- Be Antiracist : A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action by Ibram X. Kendi
- Me and White Supremacy: A Guided Journal. by Layla F. Saad
- Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi (Pushkin)
- NPR Morning Edition – Ibram X. Kendi's Latest Book: How To Be An Antiracist (August 13, 2019)
- Crooked Pod Save the People – No In Between (Ibram X. Kendi) (November 26, 2019)
- Scene on Radio – Seeing White
- Episode 2: How Race Was Made
- Episode 3: Made in America
- Episode 4: On Crazy We Built a Nation
For additional information on anti-racism, active allyship, bystander intervention and the EMS Reads program, visit the EMS Educational Equity Website https://www.ems.psu.edu/diversity
On April 19, 2018, the college partnered with the College of Engineering to bring Dr. Claude Steele visit to Penn State. EMS chose his book Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, which summarizes years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education, for the 2018 EMS Reads program. Copies were distributed to any interested member of the EMS community, free of charge.
Steele is an American social psychologist and a professor of psychology at Stanford University. While on campus he met with many groups and gave the lecture "Stereotype Threat and Identity Threat: The Science of a Diverse Community."
We provided tickets to 100 members of the EMS community to attend the talk, and set up viewing stations within the college. Additionally, in advance of Steele’s visit, we engaged our faculty and staff with a series of discussions facilitated by EMS faculty.
Additional discussions were held with Women in EMS, We Are For Science, by EMS advisers, and by additional groups within the college.
Resources on Claude Steele
- National Public Radio: ‘Whistling Vivaldi’ and Beating Stereotype Threat https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125859207
- “Stereotype Threat: A Conversation with Claude Steele” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=failylROnrY
- “How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvLj3OIQHuE
Popular press by Claude Steele
- Thin Ice: Stereotype Threat and Black College Students (Atlantic Monthly, 1999)
- Not Just a Test: Why we must rethink the paradigm we use for judging human ability (The Nation, 2004)