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In this presentation, Dr. LeeRay Costa will discuss the benefits and challenges of teaching about race, whiteness, and social justice from a contemplative feminist approach, including how it can help decrease burnout, enhance self-reflection and awareness, and build community accountability for change. Drawing on her own experiences as a white woman teaching at a small women’s college in Virginia, she will share how the theory and practice of feminists and womanists of color and contemplative scholars and teachers helped her to get comfortable with discomfort, and to be critically vigilant in her own efforts to unlearn racism and white supremacy. Similarly, she will share her experiences with using these methods to facilitate a more engaged, reflective, and meaningful learning experience for students that will resonate long after a course has concluded.
Dr. Costa will also be leading a workshop later in the day, Beloved Community and Social Justice in the College Classroom.
Contact Claire Reeger for event-related questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Costa is the Director of Faculty Development and Professor of Anthropology and Gender & Women's Studies at Hollins University. Her research, teaching, and community activism focus on social justice and a desire to understand processes of social change. Trained as a feminist cultural anthropologist, she has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Thailand on women’s activism and non-governmental organizations, and on transgender youth (Male Bodies, Women’s Souls, co-authored with Andrew Matzner), and in Hawai`i on the local food movement. Her research and teaching have been supported by grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Mellon, Teagle, and Luce Foundations, and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.