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Refuse, Refute, Resist: Alt-Right Attacks on Engineering and STEM Education Diversity Scholarship

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Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Diversity Research - Session I

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Diversity Research

Page Count

19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29572

Download Count

131

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Paper Authors

biography

Donna M. Riley Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Donna Riley is Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education and Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

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Abstract

Recently, white supremacists rebranded as the “alt-right” have waged a national media campaign targeting critical education scholars, including STEM education diversity research and our commitments to equity, inclusion, and social justice. Many campuses have been besieged by white supremacist activity seeking to incite violence and attract media attention.

In this climate, many of today’s students are encountering conversations around difference, power, and privilege amid a flurry of alt-right propaganda, exposed in a new way to overtly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or ableist ideas through new media. This is a high-stakes, low-safety environment for all learners, presenting particular challenges for instructors.

This paper calls for a return to first principles, for us to make the case again and anew for the importance and value of diversity, inclusion and social justice, and especially the importance of dismantling white privilege and white supremacy, in higher education and in engineering. This paper thus revisits the arguments for diversity made in past decades and re-examines them in the light of re-invigorated white supremacist movements in the United States and Europe. It reviews the literature on proven successful strategies for countering hate activities in classrooms and on campuses. It calls for the explicit incorporation of these in engineering curricula without delay, and for widespread professional development of instructors, building on the success of the recent ASEE and NSF sponsored Safe Zone workshops.

Riley, D. M. (2018, April), Refuse, Refute, Resist: Alt-Right Attacks on Engineering and STEM Education Diversity Scholarship Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29572

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