Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia [August 11, 2021]

In hosting this book discussion, the DEI working group offered an opportunity to engage in learning about race in academia, and to tackle the dangerous and faulty notion that diversity initiatives put scientific excellence at risk. Breakout groups focused their discussions on short essays from specific sections of the book that are relevant to our work. Attendees chose a section of interest and the two associated essays were discussed within smaller breakout rooms. Details are below and in the call notes.

Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia is the second in a series, and is a compilation of essays discussing the obstacles and systematic biases that women faculty, especially those from diverse backgrounds. The book discussion was moderated by Toi Blakley Harris, MD – Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Student and Trainee Services, Professor, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Family & Community Medicine,  Baylor College of Medicine and Chair, and AAMC’s Group on Women in Medicine and Science Steering Committee.

 Attendees broke out into groups to discuss the following topics and the associated essays:

  1. Section 1 “Tenure and promotion”– (led by Lindsay & Kelly)
    • Essay 4 (Picked to Pieces: the Cost of Opportunity)
    • Essay 6 (They See Us, but They Don’t Really See Us)
  1. Section 3 “Social Class” – (led by Sindy)
    • Essay 12 (Unlikely Alliances from Appalachia to East L.A.)
    • Essay 14 (Silent Bias and Resisting Narratives of Deficit)
  1. Section 4 “Bullying, White Fragility, and Microaggressions” (led by Maryrose & Patricia)
    • Essay 19 (Exposure to Discrimination, Cultural Betrayal, and Intoxication as a Black female Graduate…)
    • Essay 20(Through a White Woman’s Tears: Fragility, Guilt, and the Journey toward Allyship)