Center for Teaching, Learning & Engagement

@ Glendale Community College, Glendale, Arizona, USA

Radical empathy and the academy

How can academia cross racial divides on campus? Bryan Alexander, host of Future Trends Forum, explores the question with political scientist and consultant Terri Givens, professor and author of the new book Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging Racial Divides.

This video is just under 60 minutes long, and I really enjoyed it. The comments and questions from the forum attendees added to the conversation. I took some doodle-notes, provided below:

Radical Empathy & the Academy – Future Trends Forum with Terri Givens – notes by Cheryl Colan

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Terri Givens lists six steps to get started on the path to radical empathy:

  1. Willingness to be vulnerable – create a brave space, be patient with yourself, and ask for help when you need it.
  2. Becoming grounded in who you are
  3. Opening yourself to the experiences of others
  4. Practicing empathy
  5. Taking action
  6. Creating change and building trust

A few additional points:

  • Terri Givens book – Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging Racial Divides
  • Radical empathy means moving beyond an understanding of others’ lives and struggles to understanding the origins of our biases.
  • Storytelling in the classroom is a way to tap into our students and our own empathy and create the space that will allow for vulnerability.
  • Empathy does not equal absolution.
  • We must think about who our students are.
  • Not the golden rule, but the platinum rule: Do Unto Others As They Would Have You Do Unto Them. In other words, I respect you as a person and I want to treat you the way you want to be treated.
  • The practice of empathy can help us learn to see structural discrimination. Take a walk around your neighborhood and really look, and try to understand why things are the way they are.
  • Know your emotions so you can identify your feelings and gain more control over how you respond. Speak from your own experience.
  • Ask curious questions, dig deeper, humanize the other person, and clarify the difference between intention and impact.

Media Description: Subtitles/closed captions unavailable at the time of posting

Shared by: Cheryl Colan

Item Credit: Bryan Alexander

Reuse License: CC BY Creative Commons By Attribution

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