Radical Empathy

Course Description

Structural racism has impacted the lives of African Americans in the United States since before the country's founding. Although the country has made some progress towards a more equal society, political developments in the 21st century have shown that deep divides remain. The persistence of inequality is an indicator of the stubborn resilience of the institutions that maintain white supremacy. To bridge our divides, renowned political scientist Terri Givens calls for 'radical empathy' - moving beyond an understanding of others' lives and pain to understand the origins of our biases, including internalized oppression. Deftly weaving together her own experiences with the political, she offers practical steps to call out racism and bring about radical social change.

Course Outcomes

  • Participants will learn about and gain a better understanding of critical terms like implicit bias, structural bias, and internalized oppression.
  • Participants will learn how to use their own life stories and those of their colleagues to practice empathy
  • Participants will learn to develop their own strategies for taking anti-racist actions and create change in their own lives and in their communities.

Overview of the Course

  • Module 1 Willingness to be Vulnerable: explores participants' willingness to explore their own biases, and self reflects on their own identities perspectives.
  • Module 2 Becoming Grounded in Who you Are: Participants will recognize what racial bias is and how it works. Participants will change the way they see and view others' experiences. Participants learn how to identify their own privilege and reflect on how their past and history has shaped their sense of self.
  • Module 3 Opening yourself up to experiences of others: Participants will relate to each other by practicing empathy.
  • Module 4 Practicing Empathy: Participants will relate to each other by practicing empathy
  • Module 5 Taking Action: Participants will discuss ways to create action
  • Module 6 Creating Change: Participants will provide and receive feedback from both peers and the instructor on the actions they have taken in the course and discuss ways to continue to take action moving forward.

Radical Empathy Syllabus

The Center for Higher Education Mission Statement

The Center for Higher Education Leadership (CHEL) was formed to provide academic leaders with information and a supportive community for improving management and leadership skills in an environment of changing demographics, financial challenges, and advances in educational technology.

  • 1 - Radical Empathy Module 1: Willingness to be Vulnerable
  • 2 - Radical Empathy Module 4: Practicing empathy
  • 3 - Radical Empathy Module 5: Taking Action
  • 4 - Radical Empathy Module 6: Creating Change

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Terri Givens
Dr. Givens