Episode 4 | Racial and Social Equity in the Humanities and Higher Education

In this episode, Dr. Antoinette Burton talks to Lisa Betty (PhD student, Fordham University) and Dr. Timothy Emmanuel Brown (University of Washington) about racial and social equity in higher education and the path forward.


Lisa Betty

Lisa Betty is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Fordham University. She teaches on themes of labor, migration, and diaspora in the Americas, the Caribbean, and Africa. She has worked in the field of nonprofit advocacy serving in organizations that advocate for children, families, immigrants, and incarcerated people. Lisa leads antiracist teaching training and workshops. Proud of her family’s U.S. southern and Jamaican roots, Lisa contributes to the development of safe, sustainable, and healing spaces for Black and brown people.

Lisa’s writing can be found on Medium. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter as well.

Dr. Timothy Emmanuel Brown

Tim is an incoming Assistant Professor for Bio-ethics at the University of Washington. He was previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate working primarily on a National Institutes of Health–funded project on the effect of neurotechnologies on user agency. More generally, Tim’s work lies at the intersection of biomedical ethics, philosophy of technology, (black/latinx/queer) feminism, and aesthetics.

Follow Tim on Twitter.

Audio Transcript

JM 0:04 [Intro track] – This is PhD futures now, a podcast on collaboration, career diversity, and graduate education in the humanities. This podcast is a project of humanities without walls, a sixteen-university consortium, headquartered at the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, and funded by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Deepthi Murali 0:32 [Episode intro] – Hello, everyone. Welcome to Episode Four of PhD Futures Now. I’m Deepthi Murali, the producer of the podcast and I’m here to introduce our three special speakers in this episode. Our host is Dr. Antoinette Burton. She’s the PI of HWW. And our guests are two of the HWW pre doctoral career diversity fellowship workshop alumni, Lisa Betty, who’s a student at Fordham University, and Timothy Emanuel Brown, who is now the incoming professor for bioethics at University of Washington. When we recorded this podcast earlier this year, Tim was a postdoctoral scholar. So he will refer to his experiences as a postdoc, and as a graduate student, in the course of our conversation here. This episode is a special one, because this is our very first episode looking at the lived realities and experiences of graduate students in higher education, particularly black graduate students. And so we are very honored and privileged to have Lisa and Tim share their experiences so candidly with us in this episode. So thank you for being here. And now over to Antoinette Burton, the host for Episode Four.

Antoinette Burton 1:53 – So the first question that I wanted to ask is the following. Equity, inclusion, anti-racism, social justice. These are watchwords in certain spaces of higher education in the US today. Tell us what you hear when you hear these words.

Timothy Emmanuel Brown 2:13 – If I can go first. I think it depends on the context, right. So there are so many different contexts within higher education where you might hear these words. And depending they might be lip service, they might be honest, good faith efforts to think about the way institutes of higher education have harmed marginalized communities. They might be misguided, misused, or they may be certain kinds of code switching for some students, you know, there are so many different contexts. So I would say it really depends. But for me, if somebody is using these words, in good faith, it means that they at least recognize that there are problems that marginalized people face within these institutions within institutions of higher education. And that doesn’t necessarily, you know, indicate that they have a commitment to things like anti-racism, or anti-sexism, or inclusion. But at least it indicates that they’ve heard of the problem. And that’s more than I’m used to. Things have been pretty bad for a long time, but at least people are starting to understand that there are problems. At least some people are.

Antoinette 3:50 – Thanks. Lisa?

Lisa Betty 3:53 – So for me, I’m more skeptical. [Laughter] And I am because I see these specifically, these these watchwords that are used–equity, inclusion, anti-racism, social justice–kind of go in tandem to like microaggressions, stereotypes, threat. They’re just a part of the narrative that is produced. These are the words you use when you’re trying to clean up an incident or a mess that has just occurred. So when I hear these words from human resources departments at institutions, higher education institutions, the provost, the president’s office, or even the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion offices, that’s just kind of codeword for something happened, and we’re trying to act quickly as possible so it doesn’t get out of hand. It’s also so I do see it as rhetoric, but it’s also rhetoric attached to a lack of accountability because you have students for decades, from the 60s and 70s, in particular, when integration was a part of the status quo in higher education, that students of color, or the most marginalized students, have been addressing these issues. And I think only from the 1960s and 70s, that’s the height of when some sort of accountability was occurring… from then, I don’t see any significant, to be honest, any significant changes. So for the height of equity, inclusion, anti-racism, social justice, those right now, those are just, that’s just rhetoric, because the real progress that was made is like 1968 1969, you know, 1971, when some of these ethnic studies departments are created or scholarships created. But after that, I’m just seeing a lot of just clean up. So for me when I hear that from HR, from administration, it’s: something happened, and it’s quick, clean up.

Antoinette 6:04 – I think it is a kind of nomenclature, it’s a vocabulary that we know is been assimilated into a variety of institutions, including and especially higher ed, because for people who are really invested in reanimating those terms, and operationalizing them, actualizing them for social change, it’s important to be reminded that too many ears, they sound empty, or cynical, or, like appropriations, so I appreciate that. What are some of the impediments that hinder movement toward actually dismantling structural inequality, and making academia a space where black people, women and people of color, and first and family PhD students, among other kinds of students feel that they rightfully belong? What would what is the beginning of that conversation in your mind, in your view?

Tim 7:04 – Well, honestly, I think that one of the impediments is a kind of aversion to concrete action. When I said earlier that words like equity, inclusion, anti-racism, social justice, and many, many, many others, can be a kind of lip service. It’s usually because the words stop there, they stop at being words, right. And so we’ll talk about anti-racism. And honestly, we haven’t really been–I haven’t really seen people talk about anti-racism until fairly recently, at least in those administrative spaces. But when we talk about anti-racism, it has to come with anti-racist acts, it cannot be in the abstract. So for example, if we’re putting together a panel or a committee or something like that, it cannot be an all-white panel and an all-straight panel and an all-male panel, it can’t be. Not in 2021, when we’re putting together curriculum for classes, it can’t the curriculum cannot just be old white men, as we see a lot in philosophy, you know, the history of philosophy courses, usually just, you know, Plato, recounting Socrates… [Laughter] You know, he is just historical figures that are all white male, and that cannot be the case going forward. And so in my own brushes with different organizations, these organizations are still white male, and so that means hiring people, and then supporting those people, and then making sure they succeed and making sure they’re paid and feel fulfilled. Right? So those kinds of things, concrete actions, that change or terraform the communities. Or? Creating new ones, and then dismantling the old ones, new institutions entirely. But yeah, maybe, maybe we can talk about that a little bit later.

Antoinette 9:24 – Thanks. Lisa?

Lisa 9:26 – For me, it would be first these institutions really, kind of grounding in the fact that they are colonial institutions. They are white supremacist institutions from from the inception. And they’ve only been inclusive for the past 50 years. So it’s like they have to really 50…, really inclusive, we’ll say, 70s even though, 60s you had some of some of the first classes that are coming in in large numbers. So for one that this is something thing that’s new. For them, they’re mostly they’re used to being in segregated institutions, white only, and majority male. So that’s the first thing that they have to know that they’re not good at this. Their institutions are the opposite of inclusion, equity, anti-racism, belonging, social justice–inherently. 50 years out of a 400 year history, say, for a place like Harvard, or 300, 200-year history is not very long. So I think that’s the first thing.

Lisa 10:32 – The other thing, even when these institutions have said: yeah, we’ve been white supremacist, colonial, and these are the ways that we have been a part of been a part of part of that type of space, either, if it was through chattel slavery, or all of these types of things. There’s no accountability. They’ll do the most bare minimum thing to appease people in that moment. And then as things kind of simmer down, and then maybe even the people who were agitating, are even quelled, either, you know, oppressively, by telling that person, they may need to leave, not giving that person tenure, or the different ways for students who are threatened, it can be oppressively, or by way of just giving them personal or interpersonal concessions, like supporting them in particular types of ways to not agitate for systemic change. There’s a lack of accountability. So I think there’s a lot of just untruthfulness. And that happens when these situations of, you know pushing for systemic change within academia and higher education happens, where we were not really privy to the actual system, because there is a lot of trauma and harm that happens to make sure that people acculturate to the culture of the academy and the culture of higher ed.

Antoinette 12:12 – Lisa, I’m gonna ask you to kind of pivot on to this next question, which is connected. Have you faced some of these impediments that you’ve described personally? And if so, how have you navigated them, if you’re willing to talk about it, or if you want to generalize in some of the ways that you did earlier in your, in your earlier response, whatever you feel comfortable with.

Lisa 12:36 – I’m really open, you know, with my institution that I don’t really respect the way that they treat black people they treat, you know, poor people. Whether if it’s working class people that are in the Bronx–I’m at Fordham–having me come into, and I’m just being very frank, having me come into a history department that didn’t really know what to do with me. And because I’ve worked in administration, from the from the time I got out of college, when I was 22. I was really just like, this is a circus like, this is not how, how I treated doctoral students that I supported as a faculty assistant and coordinating programming. So I didn’t really understand that what I was dealing with was maybe pieces of tokenism, maybe, you know, I can’t really fit, I can’t really think about how people are see me coming in and that institution, what they think that they can, how they think they can support me, but it felt like they wanted me to be lost and just go away. But the reason why I’m getting my PhD has absolutely nothing to do with me attempting to be a part of the academy. It’s a lot more than that. So I had to, I had to navigate differently.

Antoinette 14:01 – I appreciate that candor, I think we really need to hear that kind of honesty and frankness and institutional critique. Tim, I don’t know if there’s anything in there, you want to echo or whether you want to take us in a different direction, whatever you want to do in terms of how you’ve navigated this, these issues yourself.

Tim 14:23 – I would say that my experience is similar. Um, you know, I did my, my graduate work in two different places. I did some of my early graduate work in at the University of California, Santa Cruz, about an MA’s worth of work. And that was an experience. That’s also where I did my undergraduate work. So I was familiar with with the context, the university. It tries to have its fingers in social justice issues, but it’s not clear how much they’re recognizing the day-to-day struggles of its graduate students. But also, I’m a philosopher by training, and philosophy is historically white, as I mentioned earlier, and historically male and dismissive of anything that doesn’t fit within a very narrow focus of, of pretty well-maintained philosophical canon. And so no matter what you do in philosophy, you’ll always be compared to a very small core of white male philosophers. And that’s been a challenge throughout the entire my entire time in graduate school. And so that means that I’ve never had a black professor, that means that the administration is mostly white. And the folks that you interact with are people doing, like Lisa said earlier, you know, cleaning up for some catastrophe that’s happened in the past.

Tim 16:10 – And it means that you’re extremely limited in what you can think or say, with regard to your own identity, in ways that are really difficult to navigate. And so from the very beginning, where I applied to, as a graduate student, or as a graduate student, moving between departments had to be very well calculated, I had to be very careful about how to present myself. And that created a kind of difficult to navigate internal dialogue. And that’s, that’s always been difficult for me. So, am I being too black? Am I being too male, because black men are evil. As far as they’re concerned, they’re dangerous. Or at least defiant. That’s the bad D words. And so I have to be very careful, usually about how I present myself. And that’s kind of why I’m really interested in concrete ways forward, because it seems like a lot of the people that were trying to be helpful, couldn’t be helpful, because they didn’t know. I’m going to use a philosophical term, _akrasia_, right, this weakness of the will, it felt like they had weak wills, and they didn’t know how to overcome the the kinds of white supremacy that were laid into their institutions laying into their intellectual frameworks, or didn’t know how to reach out to the resources that were on campus. And we had that other campuses didn’t. But they were also trying to play clean up, right. So, this has been a pretty difficult matter for me. And it means that now, I’m thinking more about social justice as a part of my work.

Antoinette 18:14 – So thank you, as well for sharing that. I think it resonates uncannily with what Lisa has been saying. And if we were to think about kind of benefiting our audience, our listeners benefiting from those experiences, if that’s not too terrible thing to say. What advice would you give a person of color, a black person, a black woman, who’s coming into a PhD in the humanities in 2021? What would you say to them, either by way of advice, or warning, or counsel?

Lisa 18:54 – I mean, I don’t necessarily have any warnings, because if you’re at that point where you want to do a PhD, or move further in your education, any type of way, it’s very, it’s a very personal decision that has, and if you’re at the intersections of different, marginalized, and even, you know, interesting, and, you know, survivor, and all of these types of identities, that you just have to stay on course, and that’s the most important part. And sometimes you’re not going to be light. So it’s also learning what what the academy is, is about. So just, you know, take the experience as the PhD experience or the graduate student experience as a learning experience. For one, to even know if you want to engage with the academy in that way, that’s why it’s so important. So it’s like, do I want to engage within the academy in this way because I see some of the issues within the academy that do not work for me at all?

Lisa 20:11 – Another thing I would say is, have a persona outside of the academy. I have not been published by an academic journal, I have not been published by by, you know, any type of academic even, you know, mainstream blogger. However, I published myself through the Medium platform, and I have my, you know, academic work on black immigration out there, I have and you know, academic work on just you know, Harriet Tubman, but then I also have important work that I do that’s somewhat outside of history that’s critically thinking about white supremacy, is thinking about white feminism, that’s thinking about all these different issues within social movements that have marginalized the most liberatory and radical thinkers, at the either the fringe of those movements or the alternatives of those movements. So thinking about that, and I couldn’t do that within the framework of history in the history department at Fordham, but I have done it outside of Fordham, and it was kind of my experience within Fordham, that made me be critical of certain things that I was seeing, feeling, in the way that I was being, and even being seen within that space. That allowed me to, you know, understand and just do my own investigative, [Laughter] personal ethnographic anthropology, anthropological research on like, what’s wrong with this place?

Lisa 21:52 – Then also no hard feelings because everyone is attempting to survive the academy in a particular type of way. And so I can’t be, I can’t take anything personally. So I think putting yourself outside those institutions, and then publishing and writing and creating a persona outside those institutions. I’ve seen, particularly so many people of marginalized identities do that. Not until March did I actually use my professional Instagram in a particular type of way, I only had maybe like, 100 followers, and it was people that I knew in the social justice space that I’ve worked with, in the nonprofit social justice space. And then now I have like 7000 [followers]. And I just post the things that I actually, you know, that I really believe in, in a different spaces that I’m a part of. Although I work on the Caribbean diaspora and the English and Spanish speaking Caribbean, I’m talking about food access, sustainability, decolonization, white supremacy, all of those spaces: education, language, linguistics, because I have found expertise in a lot of those spaces, mostly because trying to figure out where the reason why I was being treated or marginalized in a particular space. So I just had to be different. And I had to see okay, what are, what are other people who have a similar presentation, you know, black fam, working class, you know, you know, a part of these institutions, a part of social justice movements, a part of sustainability movements, how are they moving and maneuvering in these institutions? And I think they just find communities within themselves, and like-minded people, but then they also create platforms for themselves. They create websites for themselves, they create podcasts for themselves. And I think that’s where the academy is falling behind.

Antoinette 23:48 – Thank you. I’m gonna turn our conversation a little bit toward career diversity, since this is part of our consideration on this podcast.

Tim 24:01 – Also, if I can jump in, is there any way I can add on to what Lisa just said?

Antoinette 24:05 – Yes! Absolutely. Go ahead.

Tim 24:08 – So, first of all, I wanted to say that everything that Lisa mentioned is great advice. I also want to acknowledge that white supremacy and the structures of it, and the ongoing colonization of academia, these forces turn inward, and they make it very hard for us to live in these spaces in academic spaces. And so I kind of wanted to offer some advice for dealing with that internal struggle.

Tim 24:45 – So one of the things that I think is important is to just realize that you are enough and that your contributions matter. A philosopher Myisha Cherry built on Audrey Lorde’s notion, that anger is a tool for unmaking oppression, for criticism for all of the things that we want to do in the academy. And that if someone tells you that you’re a little angry, or you’re a little bit defiant, those are good things, lean into those things, that means you’re doing something, right. Even if you don’t get the validation of a community telling you that those things are right. And of course, that can be a slog that can be so difficult to not get that confirmation that you’re doing the right thing. But just know that it’s the right thing. And so I just wanted to put that out there, that if if you can’t make it work right now, it might work one day, so persist. And don’t let them talk you out of it. Don’t let them convince you that you’re doing the wrong thing.

Antoinette 25:56 – What you said earlier, you are enough. I think it’s so profound and re-centering and mindful of self-sufficiency in all kinds of ways. Thank you for that. So as I said, I wonder if we could talk about career diversity. And career diversity is in many ways an extension of higher education, of the higher education enterprise in the US. That is to say, it’s part of larger Eurocentric traditions. And it’s embedded in the same systemic inequalities that are characteristic of the western academy itself. So what can people working in career diversity initiatives, like HWW, do to decolonize, or dismantle that project? And I mean, I use those words intentionally–decolonize and dismantle–even as I recognize, apropos of our earlier conversation, that they’re in danger of being just words, how should we think in an anti-racist, pro-black, pro-indigenous, pro-women, pro-trans, LGBT way, in this space, in more with more than just words?

Lisa 27:11 – I think the only fear that I have, and sometimes with career diversity, specifically with people with PhDs or people with, you know, an array of pedigrees coming into certain spaces, and which were kind of community designed, and allowed for an array of candidates and leaders with, you know, not a PhD, maybe a bachelor’s, or maybe even not higher education or not as much higher education as that these, you know, people with PhDs will then replace people that have 20 years of experience or 15 years of experience, particularly for community based organizations, or organizations that represent marginalized identities, and particularly social justice and, you know, nonprofit spaces, nonprofit advocacy spaces. That is a real thing. Because when the job market is going to, which it is now, squeeze people out of the academy, their first, the first place that they’re going to want to go is to these social justice institutions, especially if their work is geared towards that, or their work is geared towards ethnic studies or studying communities have been marginalized systemically.

Lisa 28:37 – So that’s, that’s kind of the biggest thing I see. So it’s about understanding. Just because the job sounds good, is the job for you? Meaning, is there someone else that could be better, that is better fitted, more community-grounded that can, you know, be do this do this work? I think that’s one of the most important part for career diversity is to come in knowing that there is intersectional marginalization in these spaces already. So you don’t want to create or add to or be complicit in additional marginalization, particularly if you’re in a you know, particularly if it’s the social justice nonprofit advocacy arena, because we already know there is a nonprofit industrial complex. So you have, you have particularly for me, black scholars and people who have PhDs and MAs having to find work in other spaces, and literally being you know, having four roles in society, being educators within the academy, but also within secondary and elementary education, just the education system writ large, being social justice activists and pioneers, being people that are part of creating economic systems, alternative economic systems and, and support systems for which we’re part of. And then scholars writing books, doing that. So I’ve always thought that my role within society by getting a PhD is not necessarily about me getting a tenure track position. Never.

Antoinette 30:33 – Tim, did you want to respond to that question about career diversity and its outgrowth from these very Eurocentric patriarchal, white supremacist institutions?

Tim 30:48 – Yeah, sure. But I’ll, I’ll start by saying that, I’ve always wanted to be a professor always, always wanted to be a professor, I was a kid, I was 12 years old. And I said, I want to be a professor. And I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know that you had to go and finish a bachelor’s, and then, you know, maybe get into a master’s program and then not finish it, go to a PhD program and spend eight years on it. I didn’t know. But I knew I wanted to do that. And I knew that I knew no one who did that. Like there was no one around me who had a PhD. Like, I didn’t, I didn’t have anyone to ask, and no one in my community could correct me or warn me or give me guidance. Not even the teachers, right, you know, we were too busy thinking about the new metal detectors that were put up in front of the school to keep the gangs out, right, or whatever, keep them from bringing guns on campus, at least. You know, so. So that’s, that’s, that’s a part of my history.

Tim 32:00 – And, and so in a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve been flirting with the idea of jumping ship from academia, when I’ve been on the ship for so long that I’ve been on this ship for a long time. I got my PhD, I’m on the job market, the academic job market. It’s exhilarating, and makes me feel very anxious. But Humanities Without Walls gave me the opportunity to sort of dip my toes into a lot of different possible careers, possible identities, possible expressions of my identities. And to do that, in a way that did lead me to trying to get a job at Microsoft at one point, as part of their ethics team. In ways that made me a better mentor for students who weren’t philosophy students, but well, they were philosophy students, but they were also computer science students or med students like pre-med students, or so on and so forth. Right.

Tim 33:09 – And so when I think of career diversity, I think of a sort of intersectional approach, a collision of identities, intellectual identities, gender identities, racialized identities, you know, socio-economic identities, and, and people shifting through those, becoming one thing rather than another, learning to express one thing rather than another. And then, at the end of the day, trying to figure out what job fits that, right. And it’s like being a complicated jigsaw puzzle in need, I mean, a jigsaw piece of a jigsaw puzzle, looking for the right fit, and then having to jam yourself in somewhere because there is no place. Or creating a new part of the puzzle to fit yourself into. That’s, that’s how we should be thinking about career diversity, as a diversity, like both kinds of diversity: identity, diversity, and a diversity of jobs at the same time, and trying to bring those together. And I think that’s where Humanities Without Walls was, its strongest.

Antoinette 34:27 – Thank you. So we’re coming to the end of our time. Unfortunately, there were lots of other questions I wanted to ask you. But if there was one thing that you could suggest for those of us, you know, thinking about the future episodes of this podcast, which is, you know, trying to envision the future of the humanities PhD, what would you like to see developed as a segment, or an episode, to follow up on some of the issues we’ve been talking about? Just one one thing.

Lisa 34:57 – I would say really talking about student debt crisis, because I think, you know, I have no citation or anything for this. But most of the, you know, student debt, a large amount of the student debt, you know, carriers are black women, or women of color. So I have no citation. AB 35:28 I bet we could find one.

Lisa 35:29 – So, yeah, easily, just Google it. [Laughter] But, so that’s also a problem because we’re also fed, within colonialism, there’s assimilation and acculturation. So we’re also fed a story that if you, if you jump through these hoops, and you do all this work, and you get this paper, we will finally respect you, and you will finally be able to live a substantial and positive life within our society. And that’s a goddamn lie. All you know, and it doesn’t stop us, we fully understand that life, but it’s kind of like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t, especially if you’re in that space, where you do want access to information, and the networks and the quote-unquote, expertise, it’s really the information that you know, these libraries and accessing books and articles.. there’s a lot of information you can get just from being affiliated with a higher education institution. So if you want to kind of navigate in that way, and even if you’re specifically, if you come from a financially marginalized space, that may be your only way to move to get to the next level. But I think that the financial crisis that’s attached to the PhD, because then there’s a sense of failure and not even an imposter syndrome in the way that it’s been put out, put forth, but an imposter syndrome within your own community. I have a PhD, why am I struggling? Why? I mean, I have even, you know, an MD, why am I struggling? You know, they have people that are navigating and moving through higher ed in these particular types of ways of taking on a lot of debt, and still struggling. So I think the student debt crisis definitely needs to be a part of this because with the job, you know, with issues with with getting positions in jobs and the anxiety around that.

Antoinette 35:43 – Thank you, Lisa. You put your finger on that perfectly, Tim?

Tim 37:45 – So on the flip side of Lisa’s suggestion, I think there’s a need to address issues of overwork within academic spaces, but also in spaces that you’ll end up in if you’re an academic, or you have academic credentialing. And this kind of overwork that we experience as people with marginalized identities that intersect is a little unique, right? It’s not just okay, the job is hard. There’s a lot of workload, a big workload. It’s the kind of things we experience from day one, right? I like how Lisa keeps saying passive-aggressive aggression instead of instead of micro-aggression. But one thing I’ll add on the top of that is macro-aggression, like there are some macro level, mezzo level aggressions levied against us on day one, right? Like, just things that people say, that are incendiary. And depending on the identities you inhabit, right, they may be extremely difficult to navigate. And this has a psychological toll.

Tim 39:15 – So, for example, think of what it is to be a black trans woman in academia at all, but in particular, in philosophy, with people making arguments over whether or not you exist, or ought to exist, or, I mean, and this is an argument that people have made that trans women are just gay men who are confused. It’s just maddening and to have to do the work of defending who you are and what you are, and where you’re positioned, while at the same time, being part of a support structure for other people. People who have similar identities, right? Or people who are dealing with the same kinds of marginalization, or the same kinds of macro-aggressions against them. Being the mentor, being the person who organizes them, the the emergency conference against, you know, against Trumpism, that happened in my department, a lot of us, folks who were worried about what Donald Trump’s election, back in 2016 would mean for this country. And we saw in great detail what it meant for this country, it means, you know, 400,000 people and counting dead capitol with excrement on the walls. That’s what it meant back then. But we were trying to digest it. And so a lot of us got together to organize this panel discussion is very concrete concretized panel discussion, but who gets called on to do that kind of work? The people of color in the department. And so, when we talk about career diversity, we’re also thinking about, like, what is it like for us to be in these academic spaces? And what is it going to be like down the road, when we end up in an alternative space, or, like, we may not be doing that direct advocacy work, but a lot of that work is going to fall in our laps. If we get jobs in industry, we’re going to have junior colleagues, that we have to navigate this also white supremacist space, also, sexist space with together, right? And then we’re going to have to fight against administration. And if we become administration, there are going to be people below us who need our help. And that can burn us out really quickly. So how do we protect our time? How do we protect our mental health? How do we protect one another? How do we coexist? How do we not step on each other’s toes? How do we make the space into the kind of space where we can kind of relax every now and again, without worrying about the macro- and micro-aggressions against us and the passive-aggressive aggression? And all the aggressions? How do we how do we do that? Without without hurting ourselves? And what does self care mean? Even? So, I have one suggestion, that would be it.

Antoinette 42:41 – Thank you so much for that, and thank you both for sharing your insights and experiences and reminding us of what’s hiding in plain sight in many cases, and that we take that very seriously and we’ll go forward with all these questions front of mind. So, thanks again.

Deepthi [Outro] 43:06 – Thank you for joining this episode of PhD Futures Now. In the next four episodes we bring to you professionals who have humanities PhDs, but who now work outside academia. In Episode Five, that is the next episode, we have Dr. Matthew Costello, Senior Historian at the White House Historical Association who will talk to us about being a historian outside a university setting. Please join us for that episode in three weeks. Till then please stay safe.