Anthology editors will share insights from powerful collection of personal narratives with UNC-Chapel Hill community
During the process of editing their book, Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance, co-editors Manya Whitaker and Eric Anthony Grollman read through hundreds of stories spanning many disciplines, career stages and geographic locales.
Manya Whitaker (she/her/hers) is an associate professor of education at Colorado College. She is a developmental educational psychologist with expertise in social and political issues in education.
Eric Anthony Grollman (they/them/theirs) is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Richmond and a Black queer non-binary scholar-activist.
The authors will discuss their motivation and hope in creating an entire book of narratives from women of color academics on Oct. 17 at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. They will hold a discussion for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty members from noon to 2 p.m. in room 209 and a public dialogue from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium. A reception will follow in the Stone Center lobby. Registration is requested.
Whitaker is an associate professor of education at Colorado College and a developmental educational psychologist. Grollman is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Richmond and a Black queer non-binary scholar-activist. Whitaker’s academic work specializes in social and political issues within education, and Grollman’s academic work investigates how prejudice and discrimination affect the health and well-being of oppressed communities.
Whitaker said the discussion will provide an opportunity for those in attendance “to hear positive stories about women of color academics – women who, too often, are painted as victims of oppression and marginalization in the academy.
“Such oppression and marginalization are undoubtedly pervasive; however, we want to clarify that within that narrative, and despite the obstacles we experience on a daily basis, women of color can and do thrive in academia.”
In the afternoon public dialogue, Whitaker and Grollman will share what motivated them to edit Counternarratives, Grollman said, “and how we got through reviewing over 350 submissions – many of which were narratives of trauma and pain.
“We saw one half of the story of academic life for Latina, Black, Indigenous and Asian faculty women missing from existing discourse: that of thriving despite the well-documented stories of marginalization. And, we took up the task of editing an anthology to elevate stories of thrival, of self-definition, of speaking truth to power, of using one’s position as an academician to promote social justice.”
Each chapter of their book is inspirational in nature or offers very specific strategies to succeed, Whitaker said. “Our ultimate hope is to provide a supportive space in which women of color can share their stories and receive advice about how they can have a successful career while also maintaining emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.”
Kathy Wood, co-director of The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success (DSS) program, said DSS was excited to co-sponsor the event with other campus partners.
“This will be an opportunity for our diverse graduate and professional scholars to engage in a candid discussion around stories of resilience. Importantly, this space will allow the participants to garner insight and strategies for not only surviving but thriving as women of color at a predominantly white institution like Carolina.
“We invite our broader campus to join in this dialogue with Drs. Whitaker and Grollman to advance the narrative of race and academe.”
Event sponsors are the Carolina Women’s Center, the Center for Faculty Excellence, the College of Arts & Sciences, DSS and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.