This podcast features alums of the Fulbright Program who talk about their work and research, about regional and local ramifications of global diversity-related issues, and the impact their Fulbright experience has had on their personal and professional growth. Episodes will also feature advocates and professionals from diverse communities working towards greater inclusion in higher education/educational exchange. Please note: The views expressed in this interview series are entirely those of participants, and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State, or any of its partner organizations.
“I Refuse to Choose:” Exploring Identity, Language Teaching, and the Impact of Whiteness with Meilin Chong
In this episode of Fulbright Forward, Jeremy Gombin-Sperling, the Fulbright Diversity and Inclusion Liaison for Western Hemisphere Programs continues the conversation on English and language teaching in the Western Hemisphere with Bilingual Educator and alumna of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program in Ecuador, Meilin Chong. During the episode, Meilin shares how her experiences as a biracial Latina woman of Peruvian and Chinese heritage have informed how she understands the world, and the changes she believes need to happen in order to create more inclusive and equitable spaces for folks of color, as well as multiracial and multilingual communities.
Part of this discussion also revolves around a concept that Meilin introduces early on, the idea of "I refuse to choose." While this idea originally stems from a book by Barbara Shur of the same name on career development, our conversation takes the idea to more complex understandings. As Meilin will discuss, "refuse to choose" can also be about interrupting power such as in breaking assumptions abroad that the only people who can claim to be from the United States and/or teach English are white, or as she has done in her teaching, fostering spaces where young children of color from linguistic backgrounds others than English can celebrate and be celebrated for the many languages and cultures that make them who they are.
See below for resources and references discussed in the podcast episode:
Barbara Shur: Refuse to Choose Overview of Bilingual Education in the United States"Color Esperanza" by Diego TorresArticle exploring socioeconomic impacts of white families on bilingual immersion programs in U.S. Blog article on intercultural bilingual education in Latin America (Spanish)
Feminism and Women's Rights in the (Post-)Soviet Space - Dalia Leinarte
In this episode, Lithuanian author, historian and activist Dalia Leinarte and Susanne Hamscha, EUR Diversity Coordinator, talk about feminism and women's rights in the Soviet Union and the Post-Soviet space. Dalia experienced the former Soviet Union as an insider and and met the restoration of the Independence of Lithuania as a young woman. Dalia interviewed a large number of women and wrote the oral history book, Adopting and Remembering Soviet Reality: Life Stories of Lithuanian Women, 1945–1970 (Rodopi, 2010), which is referenced in this episode. Dalia is a current member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). She held a Fulbright scholar grant in 2002-03.
Please note: Dalia uses both "LGBTIQ" and "LBTIQ" in the podcast as the acronym LBTIQ is officially used in the context of CEDAW.
Disrupting the Master Narrative of U.S. English Teaching Abroad with Jonathan Peraza
In this episode of Fulbright Forward, Fulbright Americas Diversity and Inclusion Liaison speaks with U.S. ETA alum to Guatemala, Jonathan Peraza Campos about the critical need to redefine and reimagine how folks from the United States conduct English teaching abroad, in particular within Latin America and the Caribbean. As Jonathan shares in the episode, this is about disrupting “perceptions that the United States is a white, wealthy, and perfect English-speaking country by exposing [students] to the multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual diversity and history of the U.S.” Through this discussion we reflect on how Jonathan navigated his ETA-ship, how he implemented a critical English-teaching praxis with his students, and what any of us can do to move us towards a more politically conscious English teaching world where the full humanity of our students and ourselves is celebrated, and exclusionary narratives are questioned and dismantled.
Jonathan Peraza Campos, a U.S. Salvadoran/Guatemalan educator, organizer, abolitionist thinker, and Central American scholar whose work focuses on organizing around racial, immigrant, and educational justice, on providing a critical and multifaceted education to Latinx youth throughout the Atlanta metro area, and to building bridges built on solidarity and connection between communities in Central America and U.S. Central Americans. To learn more about Jonathan and the work in which he is involved, check out the links below:
Activist in Residence with Abolitionist Teaching NetworkLead Teacher with Ser Familia Inc. Migration News Curator with Central American NewsOrganizer with the Buford Highway People’s HubLinks to work by scholars and activists mentioned in the episode:
Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching by Dr. Suhanthie MothaWebsite of Dr. Bettina LoveDiscussion on the four part equity framework designed by Dr. Gholdy Muhammad Website of Dr. Christopher Emdin
Gender Equality in Higher Education, Science and Research - Sandra Eder, Daniela Jauk, Simone Poetscher
In this episode, Sandra Eder (Berkeley University), Daniela Jauk (University of Akron), Simone Poetscher (OSTA), and Susanne Hamscha (Regional Diversity Coordinator EUR) talk about gender equality and higher education in the US and Austria. Sandra and Daniela share how gender, class, and age factored into their career decisions, while Simone speaks from her rich experience of working with researchers and scientists. Sandra Eder and Daniela Jauk are both alums of Fulbright Austria; Simone collaborates with Fulbright in her capacity at OSTA and is also Connector in Chief at Thrycon.
Useful Links and Resources mentioned in the Podcast:
Elsevier Report Stride program, University of Michigan Gendered Innovations @ StanfordFaculty Activity/Workload dashboards Joya Misra on Inside Higher Ed Zippel, Kathrin. Women in Global Science: Advancing Academic Careers through International Collaboration. Stanford University Press, 2017.De Welde, Kris. 2017. "Moving the Needle on Equity and Inclusion." Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 1 (39): 192-211. Sociologists for Women in Society
Black Lives Matter in the Asia Pacific - Guled Mire
CW // This podcast contains discussion of violence, gun violence
The Black Lives Matter movement, while initiated in response to the state of racial relations in the United States, has reverberated in societies around the world. With the growing awareness of the global relevance of the movement, the call to address the historical roots and realities of contemporary violence and discrimination has also been taken up around Asia and the Pacific. This has started to facilitate difficult but necessary conversations about race and systemic forms of discrimination, and underscored the need for building solidarity between communities who have been marginalized on the basis of their identities in order to combat racism. This episode features Guled Mire, a Black Muslim activist and Fulbright Scholar from Aotearoa New Zealand. Guled is young leader and community advocate who is passionate about advancing and encouraging the social well-being and inclusion of New Zealand’s ethnic and former refugee communities. In our conversation, Guled shares his experiences of growing up Black in New Zealand and his role as an advocate for New Zealand’s Muslim community. As an organizer of the Black Lives Matter movement in the Pacific, he reflects on the challenges and potentials of addressing racial issues in the context of the region, and how his identity has shaped not only his activism but also his experiences as a Fulbright Scholar studying in the US.
You can follow Guled's work on his Twitter account.
Why I spoke up about racism after March 15th, and why others should too. Guled Mire, The Spinoff, August 31st 2020.
Black Lives Matter.com: Herstory.
George Floyd Death: Pacific Peoples in NZ Raise Their Voice After Black Lives Matter Protest, New Zealand Herald, June 4th 2020.
Supporting Black Lives Matter In Asia. Nithin Coca, Medium.com: Asia Uncovered, August 18th, 2020.
Migration to Europe - Hera Jay Brown
Hera Jay Brown, a Fulbright-Schuman alum, and Susanne Hamscha, EUR Regional Diversity Coordinator, discuss the European Union's position on migration in this episode. What is the human cost of "fortress Europe," as the EU's response to migration is sometimes referred to? Why does it matter how we talk about migration and people who migrate? And which role does compassion play in this context, particularly during this pandemic? These are some of the questions Hera tackles in this episode. Hera Jay Brown was a Fulbright-Schuman grantee to Belgium, Malta, and Lithuania in 2019-20 and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 2020.