Yahoo: UC faculty working to challenge racist behaviors, build friendships

Meet 11 women at UC beginning the painful work of ending racist behaviors

Long before the most recent protests calling for racial justice started across the nation, 11 women at the University of Cincinnati had begun the painful work of ending racist behaviors at UC. The faculty group has garnered local and national media attention.

Associate Vice Provost Keisha Love launched the effort a year and a half ago to build and repair relationships between UC’s Black and white female faculty members. It grew out of Love’s work to help women of color advance within the university. In that work, she said she kept hearing about tensions and communication problems between white and Black female faculty.

A mutual friend introduced Love to Karen Faaborg, a retired UC professor and former senior-level administrator who is white. When Faaborg was a vice provost at UC, she said, she worked on efforts to address racial tensions on campus but never saw much progress.

Love and Faaborg decided other women on campus could benefit from the kind of frank and open discussions the two of them had. Soon, a group of women comprised of three Black faculty and four white faculty began meeting with Love and Faaborg, while two UC staff members provided support. The women decided to name the group BRIDGE, for Building Racial Awareness and Insight through Dialogue and Education.

WCPO interviewed Love and Faaborg together and conducted separate interviews with three other members of the group: Littisha Bates, associate dean for inclusive excellence and community partnership and associate professor of sociology in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences; Karen Bankston, an adjunct professor in UC’s College of Nursing; and Theresa Culley, a professor and head of UC’s Department of Biological Sciences. The story was picked up by Yahoo News.

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