Minority Serving Institutions Initiative Coffee Chat Series

The coffee chat series will serve as a space for scholars and practitioners to share ideas, best practices, and other resources related to R1 and Minority Serving Institutions' (MSIs) relationships and mechanisms of support for students that transition from MSIs into R1 institutions for graduate and professional education. The series will highlight examples from U-M, exemplars from across the country, and scholars and practitioners that explore and implement practices that foster positive experiences and outcomes for students from MSIs.

This series is primarily intended for faculty and staff that have existing relationships with MSIs, or for those who do not but are interested in forming relationships, as well as graduate students who have interest in this topic.

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Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, Professor of Higher Education, Illinois State University


To all who yearn to hear it, contrary to what it may look (and feel) like at times: YOU BELONG HERE. Sense of belonging is a basic human need, fundamentally important to our existence. Yet, the academy is comprised of racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, and other oppressive forces (e.g., policies, practices) that compound and conspire in the alienation, degradation, and marginalization of people of color, especially those who identify as "Black/African American" or those who learn, study, or work at historically "Black colleges" and universities (HBCUs). Without intervention, these forces threaten the safety, well-being, and commitment of Black folx in the academy, which can compromise their sense of belonging and leave them feeling like outsiders, imposters, targets, and tokens, to name a few. In this talk, Dr. Strayhorn will address this issue bearing witness to 'racialized fear' from the vantage of his current research studies (i.e., survey and interview), as well as his experience 'being Black' serving as chief academic officer at one of the nation's 101 HBCUs amid COVID-19, #BlackLivesMatter, and shameful bomb threats.

Don't miss this dynamic coffee conversation with scholar, author, DEI expert, and influencer, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, professor of higher education at Illinois State University. Strayhorn is one of the leading authorities on sense of belonging in learning and work spaces. Come to learn; leave ready to act!

Dr. Strayhorn's Bio:

Dr. Terrell Lamont Strayhorn is one of the most prolific and influential contemporary scholars in the fields of higher education, urban education, and the academic study of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). Named one of the country's "Top Diversity Scholars" by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and a "Bridge-Builder" between academic and student affairs by ACPA's Commission, Strayhorn has authored 11 books, including College Students' Sense of Belonging (2nd ed, 2019), and over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and nationally-circulated reports. His research has been cited, endorsed, or funded by the most premiere sociopolitical agencies in the world including Lumina Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, National Science Foundation, and European Association of Institutional Research (EAIR), among others. A respected thought-leader and highly-sought speaker, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Huffington Post, and Diverse often quote his perspectives and research findings. He has advised hundreds of university presidents, school leaders, and corporations on ways to boost belonging, achieve DEIB targets, and improve organizational health. Dr. Strayhorn is professor of higher education at Illinois State University and has served in a number of significant faculty and academic leadership roles at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, The Ohio State University, LeMoyne-Owen College, and Virginia Union University (VUU). He is a diversity scholar-in-residence at Harrisburg College, faculty affiliate at Rutgers' Center for Minority Serving Institutions, and inaugural director of the VUU Center for the Study of HBCUs. He earned his bachelor's in music and religious studies from the University of Virginia (UVA), master's in education policy from UVA, and Ph.D. in education from Virginia Tech. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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