For $40K, universities can learn about microaggressions, equity

University administrators can pay $40,000 for a training with the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center.

The modules for this virtual training include ‘Microaggressions And Stereotype Threat: Navigating Invisible Racism In The Classroom’ and ‘Foundations of Racial Equity in Higher Education.’

The University of Southern California (USC) Race and Equity Center recently launched “USC Equity Institutes” for college and university administrators.

USC charges $40,000 for teaching 20 administrators from each institution. Participants in the training work on “[d]eveloping shared understanding of racial equity” on their campuses. 

Testimonials include Auburn University, the University of Virginia, and Kent State University. A participant from Auburn wrote, “The USC Equity Institute is an impactful modern strategy for any Chief Diversity Officer or institution seeking to provide high-quality, rich content, [and] equity-focused learning for faculty and administrator leaders on campus.”

As Campus Reform has reported, universities are hiring chief diversity officers as they seek administrators to oversee other administrators in implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

[Related: EXCLUSIVE: Public university spent $53k on DEI training]

The intake form has options for participants to fill out the breakdown of their universities’ faculty, students, staff, and even president’s cabinet by race. 

The Institutes include eight modules delivered weekly to remote participants. Two of the modules, “Foundations of Racial Equity in Higher Education” and “Talking about Race, Racism, and Racial Inequities,” will, respectively, help participants “engage in identity exploration and the mapping of identity salience” and show leaders “how to raise race questions… [and] develop a broader anti-racist vocabulary."

Other modules include “Understanding Campus Unrest and Responding [to] Student Protest,” which provides administrators with three tactics: acknowledging inequities, providing resources for safe student protests, and addressing protestors’ demands.  

Another module, “Microaggressions And Stereotype Threat: Navigating Invisible Racism In The Classroom,” helps instructors respond to stereotypes. Those who attend “will engage in a series of activities aimed at identifying classroom interactions and incidents” and “will also present the academic and psychological consequences of classroom microaggressions.”

The mission of the USC Race and Equity Center is to “illuminate, disrupt, and dismantle racism in all its forms.” 

[RELATED: Northern Illinois hosts equity workshops this semester]

“We do this through rigorous interdisciplinary research, high-quality professional learning experiences, the production and wide dissemination of useful tools, trustworthy consultations and strategy advising, and substantive partnerships,” the center’s website continues.  

The center, founded by education and business professor Shaun Harper in 2011, has “more than 100 professors across academic schools at USC who are experts on race and racism, people of color, immigration, and other important dimensions of equity.” 

Harper has written about “misogynoir,” which he describes as “a distinctive cocktail of misogyny and racism” in Forbes. He has also been selected by the Biden administration for the National Board for Education Sciences

When speaking with Campus Reform, Harper noted, “Most participants in our USC Equity Institutes are higher education executives and senior-level administrators.” 

For these administrators, he said, the Institutes are “incontestably worth the cost.” 

“It would cost around $2,000 (possibly more) to pay for an executive or senior-level leader to attend one national conference (registration, flights, hotel, meals, and ground transportation),” Harper continued in his description of the virtual program. 

Funding for the Race and Equity Center, according to Harper, comes from USC, city and state governments, private individuals, and other donors. 

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed and will update the article accordingly.