Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable- Having Difficult Conversations about Race and Culture in the Classroom

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Classroom discussions can be difficult.  They can be very uncomfortable and difficult when race and culture are at the center of those conversations. This lightning talk will provoke a conversation on how getting comfortable with the uncomfortable can enhance openness in learning.  


Hi everyone! I'm an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Health Services Administration program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. My program is fully online which allows me to live in Tampa, FL but work in Lafayette, LA.

Extended Abstract

This presentation will delve into having uncomfortable conversations about race and culture in the classroom.  With zoom being our new best friend and the trauma that has been bestowed upon our country recently, no topic has been off limits in the online classroom.  These topics have undoubtedly brought on many difficult and uncomfortable conversations for faculty and students that have intertwined into our everyday lessons.

This lighting talk presentation will provoke conversations on how to engage in uncomfortable conversations on race and culture by enhancing the openness of the learning environment for everyone.  It is never easy to ask questions when they are on a topic related to race/culture.  Recently, in my online classroom we got comfortable with the uncomfortable.  My students asked questions, we had open conversations, had some disagreements but dealt with them head on in a professional way.

The audience will learn how my experience of becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable helped strengthen my health services administration students to become culturally competent and how they took the challenge head-on for themselves. 

There will be slides and an interactive question and answer segment accompanying this lighting talk presentation.