28 min

Interview with Dr. TJ Stewart from Iowa State University The Innovating Together Podcast

    • Education

Today we’re sitting down with Dr. TJ Stewart from Iowa State University.  Dr. Stewart’s research interests include college students with stigmatized identities, anti-Black racism and non-Black communities of color, identity based student activism, creative and critical qualitative methodologies, and more.  He says once we think we have our arms around major issues around gender, race, class, etc. our job is to ask who is still missing and why?  Fatphobia is one example we can examine and ask how students are experiencing fat phobia?

Another group we don’t often think about is students that are engaged in sex work as a labor choice. We know hyper marginalized students exist, but they’re not in our everyday equity conversations.  Dr. Stewart says it’s important to remember that these students are sometimes not visible because they choose not to be.  Some would like to be visible, but they don’t know if they can trust their institutional leaders.  Being in the margins sometimes operates as a protective feature.  So we have to ask, what are the experiences students are having that have corresponding stigma?  For example, with fat students, in society and on campus, the prevalent and problematic thought process is that fatness is something you can and should change, so why should I think about it as a justice issue?

We see research emerging around homeless students, students who are food insecure, students transitioning from foster care, former gang related youth, etc.  There’s more work we can do in all of these groups and others.  There have been a lot of conversations in mainstream media about critical race theory.  It's important to note that CRT was created 40+ years ago by legal scholars.  It’s a framework that allows us to think about inequities that exist in laws and legal structures.  CRT is concerned with outcomes.  It’s not new or uniquely or suddenly a threat.  CRT is also not a catch-all for all things diversity and inclusion related.  Another myth is that CRT is dangerous and divisive.  It’s safe to say we’re often obsessed with equal opportunity, but we have to ask why aren’t the outcomes proportionate to the opportunities?  It’s because there are structural barriers in place that limit students. What would it mean if we took a step back and all agreed that racism is normal? If everyone were on board with that idea, it would be a useful tool.


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Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/innovationalliance/message

Today we’re sitting down with Dr. TJ Stewart from Iowa State University.  Dr. Stewart’s research interests include college students with stigmatized identities, anti-Black racism and non-Black communities of color, identity based student activism, creative and critical qualitative methodologies, and more.  He says once we think we have our arms around major issues around gender, race, class, etc. our job is to ask who is still missing and why?  Fatphobia is one example we can examine and ask how students are experiencing fat phobia?

Another group we don’t often think about is students that are engaged in sex work as a labor choice. We know hyper marginalized students exist, but they’re not in our everyday equity conversations.  Dr. Stewart says it’s important to remember that these students are sometimes not visible because they choose not to be.  Some would like to be visible, but they don’t know if they can trust their institutional leaders.  Being in the margins sometimes operates as a protective feature.  So we have to ask, what are the experiences students are having that have corresponding stigma?  For example, with fat students, in society and on campus, the prevalent and problematic thought process is that fatness is something you can and should change, so why should I think about it as a justice issue?

We see research emerging around homeless students, students who are food insecure, students transitioning from foster care, former gang related youth, etc.  There’s more work we can do in all of these groups and others.  There have been a lot of conversations in mainstream media about critical race theory.  It's important to note that CRT was created 40+ years ago by legal scholars.  It’s a framework that allows us to think about inequities that exist in laws and legal structures.  CRT is concerned with outcomes.  It’s not new or uniquely or suddenly a threat.  CRT is also not a catch-all for all things diversity and inclusion related.  Another myth is that CRT is dangerous and divisive.  It’s safe to say we’re often obsessed with equal opportunity, but we have to ask why aren’t the outcomes proportionate to the opportunities?  It’s because there are structural barriers in place that limit students. What would it mean if we took a step back and all agreed that racism is normal? If everyone were on board with that idea, it would be a useful tool.


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Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/innovationalliance/message

28 min

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