News By/Courtesy: Athul Joseph | 26 Jun 2020 20:32pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • An inadequate response to the death of George Floyd will diminish universities in the eyes of their increasingly diverse students
  • What’s more, 600,000 international students are expected to study in UK universities alone in the next ten years, notwithstanding Covid-19’s impact
  • Why are people rarely called out on racial microaggressions

Will foreign educators be at the forefront of anti-racist education? The problem was prompted by the recent police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The long wreath of racism on the American political system has exploded again, with marches in hundreds of US cities and more than 50 countries around the world. Nevertheless, the US is not special in its history of sexism, the negative effects of which are deeply resonating with millions of people. Protesters marched in solidarity with those living under the symbolic boot of police brutality, against the injustices perpetrated by those who wield state power in the service of racial ideologies, and against inequity. The coronavirus pandemic and major employment losses, all of which have culminated in a serious and disproportionate toll on African Americans, have only served to intensify the misery of the present moment.

We must investigate the role of foreign educators in anti-racist education. Global educators in the US have traditionally left this job to chief diversity officers and professors who teach these subjects in their respective disciplines. Whether it is the inability to see a link between racism and international education, the lack of direct experience as a victim of racism (the overwhelming majority of international educators are white), or the belief that anti-racist education is not within their reach, international educators remain largely away from active engagement in this agenda, even to the point of not being adequately prepared. It is no longer possible to remain quiet in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the overwhelming global reaction. Although foreign educators have traditionally been involved in cross-cultural and intercultural education, this is not always a tidy mapping of race issues. Yet such intercultural research is a reversal of multicultural education, and similarities are numerous and close enough to compel foreign educators to be similarly energetically engaged in anti-racist education.

Besides, white supremacy is a global threat that poses a direct attack on the values that we have long established as important for people to live their best lives and achieve their full potential. Global victims, who are subjected to forms of oppression similar to those experienced by African Americans in the US, demand the attention of international educators. Fortunately, the global scope and culturally diverse nature of the demonstrations suggest that there is a rising consensus on the eradication of racism and injustice. More voices are now calling on leadership to dismantle the structural frameworks that have allowed racism to thrive. How, then, will foreign educators lead the way in creating a vision for the post-racist world? How will they exploit the various opportunities that intercultural interaction and cross-cultural contact offer for creating the next generation of anti-racist leaders? Why do they work to normalize cross-cultural and intercultural diversity in the cultures in which they live?

It can be accomplished by employing unique and explicitly specified learning outcomes related to intercultural growth. With that focus on personal agency, students may also be encouraged to co-create their learning outcomes relevant to intercultural interaction and racial and social justice in the sense of learning contracts. In the meantime, the secret curriculum must be deeply investigated by challenging which voices are absent and whose information is privileged. As a high-impact activity, service-learning enables students and faculty to have meaningful human contact with community members, particularly those who might look and think differently. It creates collective mechanisms to identify, challenge, and eradicate oppressive structures that stand in the way of social justice. At the end of the day, interacting with cultures that, in some cases, are just steps away from home institutions can be as successful as sending students to universities abroad. Intercultural and global competencies are essential skills for someone who interacts with several others, whether in the workplace or everyday life. Such competencies help to create bridges, particularly in a globalized environment that needs more engagement and were traditionally marginalized voices are demanding to be heard and valued. Finally, many international educators are qualified to identify stereotyping in international programming. By changing the focus from global to local, these skills can be applied in collaboration with colleagues in diverse offices to recognize and combat instances of racism and stereotyping within university policies, curricula, and programming. Global educators and multicultural educators have the expertise to lead people through tough discussions, through conflicts and problems, not only to raise awareness of prejudice and injustice but also to establish effective strategies to end it. 

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 26 Jun 2020 21:54pm IST


Tags : Racism education international

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