When the White Privilege Symposium was held at Brock University in the fall of 2016, Dolana Mogadime knew the important conversations surrounding race that were kick-started had to be continued.
As the editor-in-chief of the Brock Education journal, the associate professor in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education felt she could offer a platform to continue those discussions and began working to turn that vision into reality.
“The symposium provided a space for us to talk about these difficult issues openly, in a way that supported us positively,” Mogadime said. “The next step was to share the conversation with others.”
The idea came to fruition last December when the journal’s latest edition was published. It includes seven articles focused on the intersectionality of identities and touches on issues of sexism, racism and colonialism. The double special edition in collaboration with Understanding and Dismantling Privilege journal, extends the publications to involve conference keynotes, a co-authored research article, tools and strategies, creative works and self-reflection as well as youth and student voices.
“I think it is a promise made and a promise carried through about sharing our knowledge that came out of this forum,” said Mogadime, who was also the symposium’s program director. “We were encouraged to think deeply about issues that are difficult and that we often struggle with. What we did is create a space for that knowledge to continue.”
The initiative was far from a solo effort, she pointed out.
She worked alongside Sociology Professor Abby Ferber from the University of Colorado, a co-organizer of the national White Privilege Conference, to put out a call for article submissions. The response was positive, Mogadime said, with many academics eager to participate.
In addition to the insightful articles found within, the journal’s cover features a sculpture by Six Nations artist Ben Henry to honour the Indigenous community at Brock.
Narratives are an effective way to teach and learn, and this is what the journal aims to accomplish, Mogadime said.
“This is a transformative opportunity to hear each other’s stories — ones we will act better and know better by hearing,” she said. “We all have to realize our role in talking about our history and our history of diversity. This is a way for us to create better awareness about race and understanding.”
Mogadime believes there is still “plenty of room to continue these conversations,” and is looking at potentially adding a section for similar articles in the journal going forward.
“For both the symposium and this (journal) issue, it really did take many people working together and believing in making a difference,” she said. “I think it reflects on our desire to make our University a better place.”
Available through the James A. Gibson Library website, the Brock Education journal was created more than 20 years ago and is published twice annually.