The field of adult education has always drawn those committed to providing equal access to opportunity for all adults through the transformative power of education. The act of educating adults is deeply rooted in racial and social equality, with examples of literate enslaved people organizing to teach literacy to other enslaved adults, or the influential work of Paulo Freire and John Dewey, who knew that education could not be neutral in the face of social inequity. At the same time, as we grapple with the pandemic, we have also come to see that issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) demand our entire system’s full and deliberate attention.
As adult educators, we face our work positioned in a world where those with opportunity and privilege benefit from barriers to opportunity that are erected for others. It is also important to recognize that, as individual adult educators, our unique identities can dictate the conscious or unconscious biases that inform our interactions with colleagues and students. Within the Program Support PD Center (PSPDC) and across SABES, we are examining our own roles to ensure that we use our resources and power not only to forward the values of DEI, but to also offer concrete and actionable strategies that help programs become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning places for all staff and learners.
To do this, we are collaborating with national DEI experts and developing high-quality resources for program use. Beyond our DEI-specific offerings, our aim is to infuse the values of DEI into all our internal work and throughout our PD efforts regardless of the topic.
Please read further to learn about upcoming opportunities, resources for your program, and the work we are engaging in at the PSPDC. Each topic offers actionable steps your program can consider. We hope you will reach out to us if we can offer additional support.
- Article 1: Implicit Bias and Identity: Combating Privilege and Prejudice in Adult Education
- Article 2: Building Our Own Capacity: Conversation Prompts for SABES and Your Programs
- Article 3: Trauma-Informed Practices for Inclusive Learning Environments
- Article 4: Justice Involvement, DEI, and Restorative Practices
- Article 5: Moving the Dial on Equitable Access: Creating High-Quality Distance Education and Blended Learning Services
- Article 6: All Aboard: Involving the Whole Team to Make Programs Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive
- Article 7: Volunteers Helping to Increase Inclusion