Teach-In Aims to Open Dialogue, Perspectives

September 7, 2020

This week, Fisher faculty have organized a teach-in as part of the national Scholar Strike movement designed to educate and encourage dialogue surrounding issues of police violence and racism.

The teach-in will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 8 and Wednesday, Sept. 9 and will be led by faculty from across disciplines. Classes will be held virtually and are open to all in the Fisher community.

Tuesday, Sept. 8

Zoom links for Tuesday’s sessions can be found online.

9:40-11 a.m. – Implicit Bias in Health Care, Dr. Jill Lavigne
This introductory session provides video of a Rochester, New York patient and her experiences with implicit bias in sickle cell anemia treatment. We then share a quality improvement case study in emergency department pain management from Boston and that resulted in surprises “Aha!” moments for providers who had not previously realized they were biased towards sickle cell patients. The no-blame quality improvement effort improved pain management of emergency department patients with sickle cell anemia.

9:40-11 a.m. – An Experiment in Empathy, Dr. Lucia Guarino
This session centers on empathy. By the end of the session, participants will hopefully be a little better at empathizing with people who are in some way different from us. After a short introduction to the session, view a TED talk by Sam Richards entitled, “A Radical Experiment in Empathy,” which will be followed by a small group debriefing activity using the It says.... - I say.... - And so.... protocol.

11:20 a.m.-12: 40 p.m. – Real Race Talk and Young Adult Books, Dr. Joellen Maples
This session will provide a space for students to talk about race and how their upbringing impacts their views on race, police brutality, and racial profiling. Young Adult Book recommendations will be shared to further read about these issues.

11:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Challenges of Underrepresented People in the Field of Pharmacy, Dr. Matt Zak
The theme of the class will center around the underrepresented minorities in the field of pharmacy as well as the challenges that minorities face when it comes to access to medications. Learn about higher risk of minorities getting chronic diseases as well as how they have been impacted by COVID-19.

1-2:20 p.m. – Racism: America’s Most Challenging Issue, Nancy Neslund
This class will discuss America’s most challenging issue—racism—in the context of our federal income tax system. Although neutral on its face, our federal income tax laws contribute to the ongoing structural racism in the U.S. In the context of understanding the share of the federal budget funded through individual income, social security, and Medicare taxes, we will look at some of the ways in which our tax revenues are spent indirectly that provide tax relief to different segments of our society. Discussion will be invited.

2:40-4 p.m. – Rap and Representation in a White World: What if Fisher Looked More like the Cast of Hamilton, Dr. Jeff Liles
The smash Broadway hit Hamilton used rap music as its soundtrack and cast actors of color in the roles American revolutionaries and Founding Fathers. The point was representation and bringing diversity to the “Great White Way,” the historical white Broadway show scene. Why and how was this important and what lessons can we learn about populating and integrating traditionally white spaces?

2:40-4 p.m. – Supreme Court and Law, Dr. Jane Snyder and Fionnuala Regan
This session will examine current events, including the murder of Daniel Prude, as they relate to the legal system.

4:40-6 p.m. – American Sign Language, Black Deaf Lives Matter, Stephanie Totin

Wednesday, Sept. 9

Zoom links for Wednesday’s sessions can be found online.

9:25-9:50 a.m. – Race is Not Real/Race is Real: The Biology of Human Race, Dr. Maryann Herman and Ginny Maier
Human groups are not races in a biological sense. In fact, individual humans are more genetically similar to each other than even individual chimpanzees or fruit flies! But our use of superficial differences among human groups to assign social position does have real consequences on human bodies.

10:05-11 a.m. – (Social) Media Coverage of the Rochester Protests, Jeremy Sarachan
The talk will consider the different versions and different perspectives of the protests occurring over Labor Day Weekend in downtown Rochester, focusing on how news outlets and social media differed in their coverage. A discussion will follow.

10:05-11 a.m. – The Dominoes of Racial Injustice and the Five Faces of Oppression, Dr. Roja Singh
Utilizing the contemporary writings of Dr. Ibram Kendi and Trevor Noah, issues of structural and systemic racism, as well as “the dominoes of racial injustice” will be examined. Connections to the death of Daniel Prude as well as the five faces of oppression will be examined.

10:05-10:30 a.m. – Race is Not Real/Race is Real: The Biology of Human Race, Dr. Maryann Herman and Ginny Maier (second session)

11:15 a.m.-12:10 p.m. – Learning and Practicing Cultural Intelligence, Dr. Shannon Cleverley-Thompson
Learn how practicing Cultural Intelligence (CQ) helps others be more effective in today’s multicultural, globalized world. Going beyond existing notions of cultural sensitivity and awareness, CQ captures the capabilities of individuals and organizations that successfully and respectfully accomplish their objectives, whatever the cultural context. Becoming more culturally intelligent starts from the inside out and ultimately helps individuals improve the ways they think, plan, and act in intercultural situations.

1:35-2:30 p.m. – Society, Mental Illness, and Racism, Dr. Eileen Merges
This session will provide a brief overview of the systemic racism in medicine and psychiatry and how that racism influences assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of BIPOC. We will discuss what we as individuals, and psychology as a discipline, can do to work toward the changes that are so long overdue and so very necessary. Issues will be discussed against the backdrop of the killing of Daniel Prude and community supports, or lack thereof, in Rochester.

2:45-3:40 p.m. – The 19th Century Irish Famine, Fionnuala Regan
This class will cover an overview of the 19th century Irish Famine in this Contemporary Ireland course, which will lead into a discussion of how the famine impact was worsened by ethnic/racial bias in attitude and public policy. Comparisons to our 21st century experiences will also be explored.

2:45-4:05 p.m. – 1964 Riots: Then and Now, Dr. Carolyn Vacca
We have seen our community torn apart by deep issues of social (in)justice and (in)equity in the recent weeks. Sadly, this is not the first time we have faced a reckoning; can our past help us to better understand our present and plan for a better future? We’ll spend some time looking back, and then discuss moving forward.

4:30-5:30 p.m. – Black or White, let’s ROC the mic, Dr. Sarah Miner, Dr. Yvette Conyers, and Erin Barry
This session will focus on how, we as friends and colleagues in the Fisher community, navigate crucial conversation around race, friendship and health.