Meet the 2019-2020 Coordinators

HTackie Profile Photo Hilary Tackie is a PhD candidate in Comparative Human Development and Institute of Education Sciences Fellow. Her research interests focus on developing schools into supportive and empowering environments, particularly for students of color and queer students, by examining educational experiences, opportunities for identity development, and sources of belonging in schools. She is a proud native of Northern New Jersey and a member of local intergenerational women’s choir. She can be reached at

Tien-Tien EDF

Tien-Tien Jong is a PhD student in the Department of Cinema & Media Studies with a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her research interests include the history of musical and dancing automatons; representations of artificial intelligence in fiction and film; the mapping of biological categories onto technology; animation; and children’s films. In her spare time, she tries to keep an array of strange houseplants alive and plays with an evil cat. Her favorite places to see movies in Chicago are the Music Box Theatre and Doc Films. She can be reached at

Eilin Rafael Pérez is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Chicago. He is passionate about building and maintaining support networks, learning through visual and oral storytelling, and expanding educational access to communities outside of traditional academic settings. A native of Flushing, Queens, he sneaks peeks of New York Mets games between bouts of research and writing about Korea and the decolonizing world. He can be reached at


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Welcome to the website of the Race and Pedagogy Working Group at the University of Chicago! We are a community of teachers and scholars committed to promoting racial justice in higher education. The Working Group offers events and programs each quarter for all teachers from across all divisions in the University to reflect on the ways in which race enters their classrooms, to learn practical strategies for developing antiracist classrooms, curricula, syllabi and teaching practices, and to discuss the historical and ongoing impact of race and racism in higher education.

You can use this site to learn more about what we do, find out about our upcoming events, scroll through documentation of past events, and explore our growing list of resources for developing new approaches to race in the classroom. Please join our listserv to receive regular updates about our schedule of programs and events for 2019-2020, and like us on Facebook.

In 2019-2020, the coordinators of the Working Group are Eilin Rafael Pérez (, Hilary Tackie ( and Tien-Tien Jong Zhang ( We are supervised by Cheryl R. Richardson, PhD ( We welcome your questions as well as any ideas for future programs.

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Upcoming Series: Whiteness in the Classroom




The RPWG is partnering with the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT), with funding from UChicago Grad Council, to host a three-part workshop on white supremacy in higher education. Our initial event will be held on Tuesday, February 11 from 3pm to 5pm in Wieboldt 310 D/E.

The three-part workshop–co-facilitated by CCT fellows Helen Lee and Elizabeth Sartell with support from the RPWG coordinators–is intended to help participants examine and dismantle their complicity in the oppressive system of white supremacy — particularly in relation to their pedagogical role(s) within higher education — using Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy Workbook. The workshops will serve as an introduction to the workbook (which is meant to be completed over the course of 28 days) and a mechanism for accountability, as well as a space for collective processing.

Participants should be prepared to fully participate in the self-work and reflection necessary to understand their own self-identity with regard to whiteness, and to begin the concrete and ongoing work necessary to engage in the classroom as an anti-racist teacher. In the second and third meetings, participants will build on their own self-reflections to think about whiteness in the classroom, its implications for students, and what they as educators can do to interrupt and challenge white supremacy in the classroom. While these events are open to all, the workbook activities are particularly relevant for those who hold white privilege* and are committed to engaging in substantial self-reflection and change. The strategies for interrupting white supremacy in the classroom, however, will be collectively generated and should be relevant to all participants.

All sessions will take place in Wieboldt 310 D/E (housed in the Chicago Center for Teaching).

All participants will receive a copy of the workbook and a meal at each session. We therefore require that participants commit to attending all three workshops and completing the workbook independently. Please register in advance on the EventBrite page, so that we can ensure the correct amount of materials and food. For more information, visit our Facebook page.

Sponsored by UChicago Graduate Council, the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT), the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC), and UChicagoGRAD.

Fall 2019 Event: What Does an Anti-Racist Classroom Look Like?

On October 23, 2019, graduate student instructors, faculty, and community members gathered for a discussion on pedagogical practices that promote anti-racism in the classroom.

For college teachers, race and pedagogy can intersect in a variety of ways: by virtue of teaching in multiracial classrooms; through our teaching practices; through the subject matter we teach and the curricular decisions we make; and through the structures and dynamics of the institutions in which we teach. Grounded in works by Ibram X. Kendi and Victoria S. Haviland, the event led to a broader discussion on accounting for these dynamics in a classroom setting. Participants in this discussion took the first step towards a shared understanding of best practices for creating a more inclusive learning environment.

Race & Pedagogy @ the Smart Museum

On Friday, May 17th, the Race & Pedagogy Working Group coordinated an event with the Smart Museum of Art. This event focused on how to use art and imagery as a pedagogical tool to discuss race and culture. A discussion was led by Dr. Issa Lampe – Deputy Director for Academic and Curatorial Affairs at the Smart Museum, Berit Ness – Assistant Curator for Academic Initiatives, and Leslie Wilson – Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts.


Dr. Lampe went over basic conversational prompts for engaging with works of visual art. Her strategy starts off by taking three minutes of silence to examine a work of art before discussing it. This, she emphasized, is important for developing an interpretive and critical conversation about the art. After three minutes of observations, students can be asked to build a “visual inventory” of the work. This includes asking students about what visually strikes them in the work, whether it be form, subject(s), colors, framing, etc.


As students build a visual inventory, the instructor can then begin to further engage students by asking them to extrapolate themes and meaning beyond the artwork that can be supported by visual evidence that is within in artwork. It’s important that the instructor provokes thought and participation by asking students their stances on previously mentioned interpretations and mirroring students’ points by repeating and rephrasing what students say in order to validate their input and help clarify their ideas. As the discussion progresses, the instructor can reveal further background information about the artist and the artwork to shift conversation and/or connect to topics discussed in lecture.


Following this discussion, attendees talked amongst one another about how to apply these techniques in their courses and resources to help instructors utilize art as a tool to teach race. The event helped to establish some collaborations between instructors that we hope to see implemented in the classroom really soon!


Race & Pedagogy @ the Smart Museum

Event Title: Race & Pedagogy @ the Smart Museum
Date: Friday, May 17th
Time: 4:00-5:30pm
Location: Smart Museum of Art – 5550 S Greenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Join the Race and Pedagogy Working Group and Natasha Ritsma, Academic Engagement Coordinator at the Smart Museum, and Issa Lampe, Director of the Feitler Center, for a workshop on how to productively teach concepts of race and identity using visual culture and works of art. This workshop is designed around the Smart’s current exhibits “Solidary & Solitary” and “Smart to the Core: Embodying the Self.”

Teaching visual culture and race presents unique challenges for instructors, as well as many unique advantages and opportunities. This workshop will engage with strategies from museum instructors and curators, and ask questions about how teachers from various fields might use works of art to lead students through the complex intersections of personal experience and scholarly understanding that often arise in conversations that involve racially triggering imagery and cultural stereotypes.

Diverse by Design: Crafting Inclusive Syllabi

On Wednesday, March 6th, we held our Diverse by Design: Crafting Inclusive Syllabi event. The event consisted of panelists introducing their syllabi to an audience and discussing how they incorporate race into the core of their syllabus. Panelists offered many insightful methods of doing this, including tailoring content to the demographics of the student body, evenly dispersing diverse and cultural content throughout the course (as to not tokenize the content), increase accessibility of course content (utilizing various forms to deliver content, i.e. video, music, etc.), and many others. Examples of utilizing these methods were shown in the context of English, medical sociology, and cinema studies and can be applied to many other fields in the social sciences, humanities, and physical sciences.

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Following the presentation of the syllabi of the panelists, attendees participated in a gallery walk of syllabi that were works in progress. Participants rotated amongst three tables and discussed syllabus structure and content with the instructors, offering suggestions and feedback. Instructors and participants found the discussion very fruitful, so much so that it was hard to get people to rotate to the next table! Overall the event was quite successful, and we thank all that came and shared their knowledge and perspective on making a more inclusive syllabus.


Diverse by Design: Crafting Inclusive Syllabi

The Race and Pedagogy Working Group Presents:

“Diverse by Design: Crafting Inclusive Syllabi”
Wed., March 6th, 5:00-7:00pm

Center for Identity + Inclusion, Community Lounge (1st floor)

5710 S. Woodlawn Ave.

(Please note the updated location for the event)

Dinner will be served

This event is designed to help current and future instructors design and develop more inclusive course syllabi or diversify existing ones, including language that facilitates the creation of an inclusive classroom, as well as content that teaches essential understanding while exposing students to works beyond the canon.
Featured Panelists:
– Rachel Kyne (English, Postdoctoral Humanities Teaching Fellow)
– Robert Vargas (Sociology, Assistant Professor)
– Nova Smith (Cinema & Media Studies, PhD Candidate)
– Julie Orlemanski (English, Assistant Professor)
Concluding w/ reflections by Eugene Raikhel (Comparative Human Development, Associate Professor)

Following the panel, participants will engage in a Gallery Walk, reviewing syllabi-in-progress from other graduate instructors, with a focus on applying techniques or strategies from the panel to drafts of syllabi for future courses.

Please RSVP for the event on Facebook by clicking this link.

Inclusive Teaching in STEM with Dr. Kimberly Tanner

On February 26, 2019, Dr. Kimberly Tanner paid a visit to the University of Chicago for our Inclusive Teaching in STEM event. Dr. Tanner is a tenured Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University and leads the Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory (SEPAL), which investigates the challenges of learning in STEM classrooms, how scientists chose to teach content of their disciplines, and how to make equity, diversity, and inclusion central to science education efforts. For our event, she led a discussion of her paper as well as a workshop titled “Structure Matters: Engaging Students and Making Classrooms Fair and Inclusive Cross-Disciplinary Strategies and Language to Promote Student Success.” The event was widely attended by graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, instructors, staff, and other affiliates of the Biological Sciences Division, Physical Sciences Division, and Institute for Molecular Engineering.

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In the paper discussion, Dr. Tanner introduced how structuring learning environments promotes fairness and access for all students. Improving structure within a classroom can be accomplished in numerous ways, and participants discussed 21 teaching strategies to promote student engagement, classroom equity, and inclusion, as outlined in the paper. The discussion weighed the pros and cons of each strategy, and how execution of each strategy may be contingent upon classroom size, observed student engagement, student demographics, and other factors. Dr. Tanner also mentioned that these strategies can not only be applied in the classroom but other academic settings, such as group/lab meetings, conferences, faculty meetings, seminars, and grant meetings.


During the workshop, participants grouped into teams and were provided with materials to construct a mobile. Each team presented their mobile to the rest of the workshop participants, and it was during this time it became evident some groups had different starting materials; some groups even had to work without scissors, markers, and other materials to make their mobile. During the debriefing of this activity, participants discussed their awareness of some groups not having the same materials and the implications of this. It was considered how the experience from this activity parallels how students experience classrooms differently from one another, and how these factors should be considered in our approach of teaching.


We again would like to thank Dr. Tanner for leading this workshop and discussion and providing us with many resources to learn and practice inclusive teaching. We would also like to thank the BSD Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT), IME Dean’s Advisory Council, and our CCT fellows for their assistance for making this event possible. For more resources on inclusive teaching in the sciences, please visit our Resources page.


– Evelyn Campbell (2018-2019 RPWG Coordinator)

Upcoming Event: Inclusive Teaching in STEM

Please join us on Tuesday, February 26th for our event on Inclusive Teaching in STEM. We will be having guest speaker Dr. Kimberly Tanner, science education advocate and Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, leading a paper discussion and interactive workshop (lunch included)! All are welcomed to attend. Information and flier for the event are as follows:

Tuesday, February 26th
William Eckhardt Research Center, Room 161
5640 South Ellis Avenue Chicago, IL 60637
10 – 11am: Paper Discussion with Dr. Tanner
11:30am – 1:30pm: Workshop with lunch
Link to RSVP


This event is supported by the BSD Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the Chicago Center for Teaching, and the IME Dean’s Advisory Council. If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact Evelyn Campbell at

Teaching Race in the Core – November 12, 2018

This passed Monday, the Race and Pedagogy Working Group hosted its first event for the 2018-2019 school year. The objective of this event was to examine the racial presuppositions that inform the Core courses/syllabi we teach and explore approaches to designing syllabi that center race as an object of inquiry. The event began with a conversation to define a few key terms that would work as a basis for the rest of the discussion. These terms were anti-racist, inclusive, race, and intersectionality.


Following this, invited speakers shared their experiences with addressing race in the classroom. Among these speakers were Nicholas Baer, PhD (Humanities), Omi Hsu (Social Sciences), Allyson Nadia Field, PhD (Humanities),  Jordie Davies (Social Sciences), Gourav Khullar (Physical Sciences), and Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, PhD (Humanities). We then discussed as a group various strategies, questions, obstacles, and concerns other participants had with regard to addressing race in the classroom. Some strategies discussed include facilitating classroom discussion that allows all students to feel comfortable and able to make a valued contribution, recreating the “traditional” canon of what is taught in your specific discipline, acknowledging contributions of non-Western scholars that may have been erased in your discipline, and including scholars from marginalized groups in class readings, lectures and the syllabus.


Lastly, participants were left to discuss what practices mentioned at the event could be useful for diminishing racial oppression in the classroom. Upon the conclusion of the event, many participants continued discussion in small groups and even as they were leaving the room. We are thankful for participants that attended and shared their knowledge and experiences to help create a more inclusive environment in the Core.


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