Resources for Discussion Difficult Topics

(Email: January 14, 2021)

As a follow up to recent discussions about addressing difficult topics and current events in your classroom, I’m sharing a short list of additional resources. This is by no means complete, and not all may apply to your classroom, but it shares what some major universities are doing to provide guidance for faculty on dealing with discussions centered on difficult issues such as racism, politics, and tragedy.  I also encourage you to take advantage of workshops offered on these topics in our own Faculty Commons.

“This page provides helpful classroom ideas for dealing with tragedies and crises.” 

Contains a lot of links to subcategories on topics such as hate speech, politics, tragedies, etc. 

Responding to major events. 

“This guide seeks to help teachers feel more confident leading difficult dialogues by encouraging reflection on how such discussions connect with larger learning goals, and by providing specific strategies and resources that teachers can use to create more productive conversations in their classrooms.” 

While not a university and aimed more at K-12 teachers, this site has a lot of discussion about addressing specific events. 

Hope this helps! Please feel free to share others! 

Training and PD Opportunities for Remote Learning

(Email: August 31)
While we have learned a lot in the last 6 months, I know that all of us are still learning new strategies and practices for teaching remotely.  I encourage you to continue to take advantage of professional development opportunities in this area and to share your own successes and lessons learned with your colleagues. 

To help let you know and share what opportunities are happening out there, we’ve compiled the list of PD activities (internal and external). Please feel free to share other opportunities in the comment box (via the link) and we regularly update this page with new opportunities.

The link I provided is a new Academic Affairs Blog – called Instructional Meanderings.  I’ll plan to archive any informational emails (such as this one), as well as other news and resources from Academic Affairs, on that site.  Please bookmark it and come back often. 

Preparing Faculty to Lead with Racial Equity Teaching Online During COVID-19

(Email: August 20)
I’d like to invite anyone who is interested to attend the SBCTC’s Fall Faculty Institute (Sept 9-10) which is focused on “Preparing Faculty to Lead with Racial Equity Teaching Online During  COVID-19” (see the agenda below). The meeting is entirely online and open to anyone from BC. Thanks to Jennie Mayer for promoting this opportunity earlier this week!
We have purchased an institutional license, so all you need to do to register is sign up at ( and select Institutional Pricing $0 for the conference fee on the registration form. 
I hope you are able to take advantage of this opportunity while you enjoy the rest of the summer break!

2020 Fall Faculty InstitutePreparing Faculty to Lead with Racial Equity Teaching Online During  COVID-19
Wednesday, 9/9/20 to Thursday, 9/10/20
10:00 AM to 4:30 PM 

Short URL to this Document:

Link for A la Carte Registration:
Link to Institutional Pricing:
Follow-Up DEI Programming:
Follow-Up DEI Programming for faculty on instruction-specific topics is being developed and will be available by August 31st, 2020.

What is the Fall Faculty Institute?
The 2020 Fall Faculty Institute is designed to support faculty learning by providing sessions on:

Sessions will be informed by the SBCTC vision statement and antiracist criteria currently in development by a subcommittee of the DEI Instruction workgroup (one of the DEI in WA CTCs Initiatives).

Who Should Attend the Fall Faculty Institute?

Sessions will be useful for faculty in all 3 mission areas: Basic Education for Adults (BEdA)Academic-TransferWorkforce (Prof-Tech)Full-time faculty, faculty beginning or in the tenure process, and part-time  faculty are all welcome.


Day 1
10:00 AM to 10:30 AMOpening Welcome
10:30 AM to 12:00 PMPlenary Session Part I: Leading with Racial EquityFacilitator: Dr. Debra Jenkins
12:00 PM to 1:00 PMLunch on your own
1:00 PM to 2:30 PMPlenary Session Part II: Leading with Racial EquityFacilitator: Dr. Debra Jenkins
2:30 to 3:00 PM Break
3:00 to 4:30 PMTeaching Online During COVID-19: Choose 1 of  3 Concurrent Sessions
(1) Moving from “Surviving” to “Striving” to “Thriving” Facilitators: Dr. Todd Waters and Whatcom Faculty Members, (2) Increasing Retention and Completion in Your Online Course Facilitator: Dr. Tish Lopez (3) Critical Pedagogy Online Facilitator: Laura Adele Soracco

Day 2
10:00 AM to 10:30 AMLand Acknowledgement
10:30 AM to 12:00 PMOpening Plenary: What is the Faculty Responsibility in Interrupting Systemic Racism? Facilitator: Dr. Xyan Neider, Whatcom Community College
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Lunch on your own
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Antiracist Assessment Practices: Choose 1 of 3 Concurrent Sessions
(1) Antiracist Assignment Design Across Disciplines & Programs Facilitator: Dr. Xyan Neider, Whatcom Community College, (2) For Faculty Who Teach or Assess Writing: Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies and Labor Based Grading Contracts Facilitators: Asao B. Inoue (ASU) and Emily Beals (GRC), (3) For STEM Faculty: Contextualized Learning and Labor Based Grading in STEM Facilitators: Karina Vega-Villa and Bobbi Johnson, Wenatchee Valley College
2:30 to 3:00 PMBreak
3:00 to 4:30 PMClosing Plenary Session: Reflection and ActionFacilitators: Dr. Judy Loveless Morris, Tacoma; Amanda Rasmussen, Spokane; Peg Balachowski, EvCC