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Diversity Teaching Modules

SOC Diversity Teaching Modules 

Members of the SOC Diversity Committee AY 10-11 created these three teaching modules with the support of a University Curriculum Development Grant. Each of these modules is meant to assist faculty in incorporating issues of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other forms of diversity into the curriculum of a wide range of media studies and skills classes. This website and the associated Blackboard site LIBWEB-COMM-999: Diversity Course Modules contain all of the materials needed for three 50-to-90-minute modules, one each in Film and Media Arts, Journalism, and Public Communication. This website features full-length videos of each of the module's creators teaching an actual class the module she created.

These videos are intended as a guide for using the materials provided on the Blackboard site (which include lecture and discussion notes, PowerPoints, helpful web links, and other materials. These videos are also meant to demonstrate leading a discussion and Q&A, or directing classroom interactions / exercises associated with each module. The students were not prepped or coached ahead of time, and at times ask difficult questions or bring up controversial points of view. As instructors, we don't purport to have the best solutions for each of these scenarios, but hope our belief in and passion for this teaching material will encourage further incorporation of these issues of identity an diversity into our curriculum.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or suggestions for these modules.

Profs. Angie Chuang (Journalism), Leena Jayaswal and Bill Gentile (FMA), and Gemma Puglisi (Public Communication)

Film & Media Arts Module: The Other: A Module for Exploring Diversity

Created by Professors Leena Jayaswal and Bill Gentile

This module for exploring diversity is ideal for the Film and Media Arts Division as well as the Journalism and the Public Communication Divisions. It contains both a written and a visual component. It is flexible and allows students to address diversity, or lack of, in any of its forms, including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability or any other bases under federal or local laws. It is experiential, in that it compels students to engage the issue of diversity on a personal, face-to-face level, to document that experience, to articulate that experience and to share it with others.

Faculty members instruct students to select and to propose inserting themselves into a situation in which they, the students, would experience the feeling of being the “other.” This situation could be a heterosexual student in the presence of homosexuals; a white student in the presence of blacks; a well-heeled student surrounded by poverty. Students work in pairs during a 20-minute breakout session to decide what to propose as their self-imposed “other” experience. The remainder of the class is dedicated to sharing and to discussing students’ ideas along with the faculty member who must give final approval to each proposal.

Pairs of students venture out to their “other” situations, which they document for print and visual class presentation, describing their experience as a minority among a numerically dominant population. They return to class with written as well as visual documentation of the experience and share with classmates and instructor.

Journalism Module: Beyond Black and White in a NYT Pulitzer-winning Story

Created by Professor Angie Chuang

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            Angie Chuang's Journalism Module

"Best of Friends, Worlds Apart," a New York Times story about the divisions between blacks and whites in Little Havana's immigrant / refugee communities, becomes the model for a broader discussion about stereotyping, frameworks, and challenging concepts of blackness and whiteness in the United States.  The story was part of the Times' 2000 Pulitzer winning series, How Race is Lived in America.  This module features PowerPoints and notes for a media-studies course, as well as an optional section for a skills course that addresses relevant reporting topics, ethical issues, and tips for addressing race in writing news stories.  Also available are DVD video clips of an interview with the NYT reporter, Mirta Ojito. This hourlong video is of Angie Chuang teaching this module to a reporting class.

Public Communication Module: PR Portfolio and Southeast Children's Fund, Inc.

Created by Professor Gemma Puglisi

In the fall of 2011, PR Portfolio students had the honor of working with the nonprofit, the Southeast Children's Fund, Inc. The students in PR Portfolio not only provided the SCF with a strategic plan to raise their visibility, but also spent time with the children in the community.  It was not only extraordinary to see the passion and hard work displayed by the students but the love and appreciation shown to them by the children in Southeast Washington and the organization.

This project is a perfect example of how a class can be involved with the community and make a difference. This video features Gemma Puglisi leading the PR Portfolio class in this module. Guidelines, additional materials and videos are available on the Blackboard site.