We Matter Too: Employing Counterstorytelling to Expose the Equity Paradoxes Arresting Mattering and Racial Healing Among Faculty of Color

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The present article problematizes faculty relationships within academic departments by applying critical race theory (counterstorytelling) to generate equity cases promoting racial healing. These equity cases illustrate the utility of an emergent typology, the equity paradox. More specifically, the equity paradox describes the web of reprisals endured by faculty of color who advocate for the authentic actualization of university-sponsored diversity goals. Each case is a fictional collage of counterstories created by the co-authors and informed by actual events personally experienced or directly witnessed. This approach allowed for ample complexity, authenticity, and utility because many faculty of color will relate to aspects of these case studies. Simultaneously, administrators and colleagues will gain insights into how racism impacts their colleagues of color. We integrate the racial healing and mattering construct throughout the equity cases to illustrate how racism impacts the individual, communal, and systemic functioning of academic departments. We conclude with implications for departmental transformation to redress the social, emotional, and professional harm of racism and reconstruct professional environments that foster healing and mattering among faculty of color.


© 2021 International Institute for Qualitative Inquiry.

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International Review of Qualitative Research