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Keep it Real

I hope you enjoy this week’s blog.

Remember that MTV show “The Real World?” Specifically, the intro: “This is the true story, of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real…”

”Will there come a time in academia when we can talk about race, gender, and the harm all of us humans can cause one another? In our true story of people coming together to work toward a common cause – helping students achieve higher education and better lives – is it possible to engage in real talk to better understand ourselves, our own biases, and how these biases show up and impact the choices we make on behalf of our team and the student body?

Is this type of honesty among coworkers a dream, or is it actually possible? The phrase, “Committed to social justice, inclusion and equity” often shows up in Mission Statements, but how do we commit to these values if we aren’t willing to do the work ourselves? If we don’t look at ourselves, if we assign the responsibility and heavy lifting to others and the others are usually are people of color? Are we as individuals truly committed or are these simply values of the collective organization? Or are we just resting on the fact that we have assigned the responsibility to one person and one office.

If we were stuck in a house together with nowhere to run and hide, would we be forced to confront our greatest fear of getting real, being vulnerable, and sitting in and voicing our fears? Could we do it? The real question is… do you have the WILL to face your own demons and biases and do the work needed or will you continue to have those demons and biases impact others negatively and continually inflict harm.

Step one – make the time to start getting real!

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