Promoting Diversity, Defending Free Speech. Amna Khalid

In the months after George Floyd’s murder, colleges, universities, non-profits, and large corporations across the country embraced anti-racism and diversity training as a way to promote inclusion and racial justice.

But do these programs actually work to change minds and achieve their goals? Our guest, associate professor of History at Carleton College, Amna Khalid, argues that while training can improve customer service and knowledge of CPR and Excel spreadsheets, it’s woefully inadequate when confronting complex social problems such as poverty, inequality, discrimination, and racism. 

Amna grew up under several military dictatorships in Pakistan and came to the U.S. with a passionate commitment to free speech and belief in the power of education to promote curiosity, understanding, and imagination.

"Through all my journeys what I've come to realize is that people are individuals more than any category that you can put them into," Amna tells us.  "If we really begin to engage with people as individuals then we will do a far better job of diversity and inclusion."

While critical race theory (CRT) can be one useful tool in our conversations about race, this episode includes criticism of efforts to promote one all-encompassing view of diversity. 

Recommendation: Richard enjoyed watching "Soul", which won the Oscar this year for best animated feature movie.


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