The Black Lives Matter movement and widespread public demand for institutional accountability. Jordan Harper, a doctoral student at Rossier and a research assistant at the Pullias Center, proposed an idea: Higher Ed Conversations In Black. Inspired by Ed Gordon’s book, “Conversations in Black: On Power, Politics, and Leadership,” Harper envisioned a bimonthly publication that offered a space for Black educators to share stories and ideas around problems of racial inequity in higher education.
“The initial plan was to actually create a guide around racial equity more broadly for administrators, faculty, staff, students,” Harper said. “[We] realized time was of the essence, so if we wanted to do something we would have to move very fast.”
Three months later, Harper’s idea became a reality. With the support of the Pullias Center, Harper and Corwin released their first issue “Good and Necessary Trouble” in early September. The publication invited a handful of prominent Black USC educators, including Rossier Dean Pedro Noguera and professor of education John Slaughter, to answer questions about the online school year, the coronavirus pandemic, and ongoing instances of police brutality in the U.S.
The goal of the publication, according to the Pullias Center website, is to “curate questions around higher education issues” for Black scholars that will be answered in each edition. Invited contributors will offer 100-200 word responses that will be uploaded in a discussion-style format. Harper and his team at Pullias hope to use this question-and-answer structure to highlight the often-overlooked voices of Black scholars as they address key issues of inequity and inaccessibility in American higher education.