For 2021 International Education Week, we’re sharing a list of curated resources that connect diversity, inclusion, and equity considerations to virtual exchange and international education more broadly.
We know that there is power in diverse representation and inclusion on both sides of virtual exchanges. When traditionally marginalized individuals are included in global education, the skills and positive changes gained through their participation represent a step towards a more equitable future. As we wrap up this International Education Week, we encourage you to read, watch, and listen to these resources and consider the accompanying reflection questions.
The Global Impact Exchange from Diversity Abroad is a quarterly publication that serves to advance domestic and international conversations around diversity, inclusion, and equity in global education, with a thematic focus identified each quarter. From the summer 2021 edition, Exploring Opportunities for Global Engagement Within Local Communities, the following articles share lessons for virtual exchange practitioners specifically:
- Approaching Virtual Exchange from an Equity Lens (pg. 17)
- Transatlantic Virtual Exchange and Collaboration: Examining Diversity (pg. 34)
- To what degree have you seen equitable institutional partnerships included in the project development and implementation of virtual exchange programs?
- How can you provide a space in your exchange for learners to engage in respectful dialogue around relevant current events or identity issues?
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is a disability-led non-profit organization headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, U.S. advancing disability rights and leadership globally. MIUSA shares multiple resources for international educators, some that are of particular interest to virtual exchange implementers. Accessible Virtual Exchanges offers a brief introduction and then links to multiple resources at the top right of the webpage, including considerations for video exchanges, web forms, presentations, and others.
- Which accessibility features are included in your e-learning platform and how can you use these tools to make your virtual exchange more accessible?
- How could you create a space for feedback from participants on the program’s accessibility and encourage them to offer suggestions on ways to improve?
This podcast hosted by NAFSA highlights the progress made over the past two decades in the field of international education as conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion have been prioritized by exchange leaders. With significant evidence of a more diverse pool of students participating in study abroad opportunities, there remains a need for more intentional efforts towards creating inclusive workplaces that better represent and support these students.
- How does your organization work to create diverse and inclusive workplaces?
- In what areas have you witnessed progress in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion in your professional environment and how active have you been in contributing to that change?
The update from our sponsored research project, Engaging K-12 Educators and Students in Virtual Exchange: Opportunities and Obstacles (scroll down to the first update) examines a practical example of how virtual exchanges might both serve traditionally marginalized populations and discuss issues of race within the educational content of the exchange.
- What approach do you take when it comes to outreach for your program and how do you ensure that your outreach efforts extend to underrepresented communities?
- What resources do you engage with to help guide you as an educator on holding discussions on race in a way that is both authentic and culturally-responsive for learners?
This edition of the NAFSA periodical examines multiple types of global learning and how DEI issues manifest in these programs. From comprehensive overviews of campuses to exploration of how SIOs and Chief Diversity Officers can collaborate, this resource is important for all global educators, particularly when investigating some of the blind spots that exist when implementing DEI initiatives.
- How can you work to create a baseline understanding with international partners that may view or define diversity from a different lens?
- Do you consider the framework of intersectionality in your approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
The Action to Catalyze Tech (ACT) report is the culmination of Aspen Digital’s yearlong effort to develop a “holistic, collective, and sustainable” new approach to making the tech sector more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The report shares four broad recommendations and 10 specific actions that can serve as examples for spurring change in a wide range of fields or organizations. As international educators and virtual exchange practitioners continue to partner with tech companies, these recommendations and actions become increasingly relevant.
- Which of the four recommendations or the 10 specific actions seem most relevant or urgently needed in your context, and what might you do to start a conversation about them with your colleagues or tech partners?
- What limitations exist that prevent you from fully implementing some actions into your professional environment and what are some practical first steps you can take to tackle these obstacles?
This webinar aims to empower global educators to explore their role and responsibility in working to break down structures of inequity within the field of international education. It discusses the need for self-reflection by facilitators in order to better serve their learners and provide them with tools needed to build critical competencies that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Have you built in an opportunity to listen to the experiences of underrepresented learners in your program as a part of your monitoring plan? What steps can you take to make sure they feel comfortable sharing their experiences with you?
- To what extent do you make an intentional effort to recognize your own unconscious bias and confront it?
- What steps have you taken to ensure that you are keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind when considering professional development opportunities?