Today@Sam Article

Doctoral Students Create Podcast Series On Building Antiracist Colleges & Universities

June 18, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Preparing culturally responsive educational leaders who promote meaningful societal change is the mission of the Department of Educational Leadership in Sam Houston State University’s College of Education. Aligned with this objective, doctoral students in the Educational Leadership program recently released an 11-part podcast mini-series focused on building antiracist colleges and universities.

Paul Eaton, assistant professor of Higher Education Leadership, tasked his students with creating a podcast by conducting research, inviting guests, recording, and editing episodes on their own. Each episode was designed by one doctoral scholar in the Diversity & Culture in Higher Education course.

Advancing their education to become future leaders, students learned how facing challenging issues can spark a powerful change. Eaton says he chose this semester-long project for his students because it is vital that they understand the organizational challenges in practice and policy.

“As the future leaders of our institutions, researcher centers, government, and policy makers, it is important for doctoral students to understand how race and racism have functioned in our colleges and universities,” Eaton said. “Institutional racism is structural, and therefore difficult to recognize and eradicate at times. Through this project, I hoped students would understand the complexity of the anti-racist project, the hard conversations and solutions to institutional racism, and have a vision for how to enact those structural changes on the campuses they will lead in the future.”

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Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

Eaton explained that disseminating and engaging in conversations through podcasts is an important part of being a 21st century scholar.

“This is just as rigorous as writing a research paper, and is a skill needed by scholars graduating today. Podcasts are an important part of our information network in the digital age,” Eaton said. “Seeing who they invited to their episodes and hearing the amazing conversations these students had with others in the field, was really inspiring. The scholars took very seriously the project of designing an episode that could be used to enhance our understanding and engagement with building anti-racist colleges and universities.”

The mini-series has multiple ways to reach audiences, with downloads available through Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and through the episodes uploaded at http://bit.ly/antiracistcollege.

In addition to the episodes themselves, users can find show notes and episode transcripts with detailed write ups from each student about the episode they created at http://bit.ly/antiracistcollege.

“We have 11 episodes that cover very different topics, and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Eaton said. “As people listen, I hope they will be challenged to think about some contentious issues, and how those issues play out on their individual campuses. But most importantly, I hope these podcasts spark structural changes on college and university campuses - to really enact the policy and practice changes that are desperately needed to make our institutions anti-racist.”

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