Have you H.E.A.R.D.?

Have You H.E.A.R.D.?

Joining the professional development offerings alongside Admit It and For the Record, AACRAO has launched its newest podcast - H.E.A.R.D. H.E.A.R.D. stands for Higher Education and Real Diversity. The conversations are led by three AACRAO members and colleagues within Enrollment Management as they discuss the intersection of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D.E.I.), Higher Education, and the personal impact of these topics within the current landscape.

The speakers encouraged me to subscribe to the podcast before I finished the Intro episode. In the opening, the co-hosts analyzed the difficulty and necessity of this work more than ever with Dr. David L. Graham, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Academic Success at The Ohio State University. The discussion reminded me of a keynote I was fortunate to hear by Dr. Bettina Love, author of We Want To Do More Than Survive, and Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, during the Anti-Racism Conference at Kent State University this year. Dr. Love opened the conference with this statement, "If you do this work, you must understand resistance is coming." This may be why many Chief Diversity Officers are disappearing from corporate workspaces and many employees.

With the evolution of higher education as individuals enter and exit our workplaces and spaces, championing equity, not just equality, and justice (or liberation) for students and employees is necessary. Yet, they are far too often led by a few. Let's be honest; the work is exhausting. Need receipts? Check out - Higher Ed's Role in The Great ResignationHow the Great Resignation Falls Along Gender and RaceTake This Job and Change It: The Great Resignation in Higher Education. Dr. Love continued, "Disrupting the norms doesn't come with friends." This is difficult work. Unfortunately, we negate discussions of privilege and the impacts of systemic inequities in education, employment, or the world. But these conversations are necessary to improve access and completion for ALL students, not just some. 

I do not want to spoil the Intro episode. You truly have to listen to it for yourself. Dr. Graham compassionately expounded on the uniqueness of this podcast's imperative work and tied it to the collective efforts that can impact Strategic Enrollment Management. It has been said numerous times we have enough allies; we need co-conspirators. This D.E.I. work, the conversations, and the actions to remove the fence are existential to the business continuity of the field of higher education. Intentional D.E.I. must permeate our ivory towers. Especially if we are to move any needle toward genuine student success.  

I love to reflect on creating a world where justice and equity prevail. Where wrongs are righted. Where topics from microaggression to student access to remote work are not perceived as argumentative, judged as attacks against higher education, unpatriotic, or inflict individuals to shut down. It is going to be uncomfortable at times. Trust me. But it's necessary to remove the fences. It is time for action. It is time to be H.E.A.R.D. 

Like. Share. Comment - Have you listened to H.E.A.R.D.? What were your thoughts? If not, what D.E.I. areas of opportunity would you like to see discussed on H.E.A.R.D.?

This article was contributed by Johnika Dreher, a member of the CAPACRAO Communications Committee.

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