Race talk webinars: Making the discussion accessible

Picture 12Bellevue College supplements traditional classroom education with the creation and development of events, programs, clubs and other methods of education and personal and academic growth and understanding. Assistant Vice President of Equity and Pluralism Beabe Akpojovwo is doing just that by creating “Race Talk Webinars,” which are available to the entire campus.

Webinars are seminars that are conducted online. The first webinar in the series was launched on Monday, Jan. 14. “The topic was entitled: ‘SP/ELLing Out Institutional Barriers To Equality and Excellence with Luis Versalles and Deborah Mcknight,’” said Akpojovwo. This, along with all the other online-based seminars, will be surrounded by topics regarding race, power and privilege from what Akpojovwo described as a “systemic point of view.”

Akpojovwo also stated that: “During the webinar, there are pauses so those in the audience can discuss issues, or questions they want to ask the facilitator (there is a mechanism to type the questions live to the facilitator).  We also allocate time after the webinars for discussion.”

Akpojovwo explained how the Pacific Educational Group gave out an initiation to join the webinars. “The Pacific Education Group believe that systemic racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished capacity of all children, especially black children, to achieve at the highest levels, and contributes to the fracturing of the communities that nurture and support them,” said Akpojovwo. She went on to state that she believed that the webinars seemed like a good fit for BC considering the fact that BC brought Glenn Singleton on campus to facilitate the “Courageous Conversations” and “Beyond Racism” training several years ago. Singleton will be associated in these webinars, and will be the facilitator for the webinar that will be held on May 15 entitled, “Getting Inside More Courageous Conversations About Race.” BC has also been facilitating “Let’s Talk About Race,” a two-day workshop for about five years.  Akpojovwo also talked about her goals for the webinar series, saying, “I think the goal and outcome are the same: hopefully, these webinars will help bring attention to the role of race and institutional racism in marginalizing groups of students, to help us engage in a process of interrupting these damaging practices.”

These webinars are planned very thoroughly and well in advanced. BC faculty hopes the series will be a great addition to the diversity, equality and pluralism training and educational options on campus. Contact Beabe Akpojovwo  at beabe.akpojovwo@bellevuecollege.edu with any questions about the Race Talk Webinars.