Priorities:North Dakota State University Faculty Projects

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Project Name: Awareness to Action: Identifying and working through barriers to doing anti-bias work

Project by Faculty Innovation Fellows Candidate Laura Jayne Parson

Why is this project important to you, your department, & your Fellows?

This project aims to create a more equitable and inclusive higher education environment, which is a key area of development for my fellow faculty and our Fellows.


This project aims to develop, test, and refine programming for higher education faculty, administrators, and staff to help them understand and work through their positionality in order to better serve stakeholders who identify as traditionally marginalized persons in higher education. The final aim of the project is to develop a program that would be available to faculty, staff, and administrators. Programming will focus on the ways to identify one’s positionality (e.g., understanding layers of privilege and how privilege and marginalization impacts one’s position), strategies to respond and work through any resultant guilt and shame with a focus on self-compassion as a tool to develop empathy, and following lessons that focus in on different areas of life (e.g., work, daily life activities, social media) given what one knows about their positionality. The intent of this program is not to replace excellent existing programs and books created by BIPOC who discuss the impact of racism and concrete ways that white people can be allies and work toward racial justice – instead, the goal of this project is to create an intervention that seeks to help individuals be ready to engage with anti-bias programming, learning, and action.

Stakeholders served

  1. Faculty
  2. Administrators
  3. Higher Education Staff

Key Milestones

  • March 2023: Complete literature review of best practices in working through positionality (including my own work and research).
  • May 2023: Ask for volunteers to participate in a beta test of programming at NDSU.
  • June 2023: Beta-test Positionality programming.
  • September 2023: Revise Positionality programming based on feedback and present to stakeholders for inclusion in trainings offered to all faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • December 2023: Launch Positionality programming.
  • March 2024: Refine based on feedback.

An Innovation Portfolio

  • Full lesson plan of Positionality programming
  • Activity vignettes for Positionality programming
  • Slides from Positionality Workshop programming
  • Worksheets from Positionality programming
  • Positionality programming curriculum

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