Coalition Building to Advance Diverse Leadership and Address Discrimination in Political Science

Wednesday, September 2, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Hilton Union Square 22

This short course will develop and disseminate strategies for building coalitions to advance diverse leadership and address discrimination in political science and law and the social sciences. The course meets this challenge by applying to academe social science research on coalition building, offering curricular materials and professional development resources, and building networks among participants. The intended audience includes white women, scholars of color, and their allies drawn from a variety of backgrounds and all career stages, and targets those in relevant APSA status committees and sections, as well as those from HBCUs, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges. This short course builds on a previous mini-conference, roundtable, and short course (2013 SPSA, MPSA, and APSA) and a 2015 workshop convened at NSF. Those activities have identified the organizing themes for the short course’s three panels: Coalition-BuildingAgenda Setting for Diversity Coalitions; Forging and Expanding Inclusive Diversity Coalitions; and Sustaining Diversity Coalitions. Each panel will feature a moderator and panelists specializing in the literature on coalition building and/or race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality and intersectionality. In addition to the panels, the course will feature two group activities that will be followed by discussion reflecting on processes, achievements and challenges. The last activity will invite all presenters and attendees to draw conclusions from the short course overall. The first group activity will tackle a series of concerns and challenges related to diversity.  Our work to date on diversifying the profession and addressing discrimination has generated a set of thorny questions about what diversity means, who it should benefit, who should enact reform to achieve it, and why.

In this first activity participants will grapple with these questions through an interactive icebreaker. Participants will divide into groups twice. The first set of groups will each be given a different question to discuss; each participant will record a summary of her group’s consensus. Participants will then divide again into a second set of groups. This second set will be comprised of one member from each of the original groups. Each participant will then report to those in her second group the question her first group discussed and their consensus. Each participant will thus speak during this activity and meet in a small group setting with many participants.

The second activity will focus on how to put into practice the strategies being developed in the panel presentations. Participants will divide into groups and be assigned an APSA status group or section to represent. They will be asked to imagine a profile for their group, meaning its membership demographics, numbers, shared priorities, history at the APSA and with other status groups and sections. Participants will then be asked to evaluate the strategies and ideas presented in the workshop based on their imagined profile.  Which, if any, of the strategies, do they deem feasible and do they want to act on now? Why? What obstacles do they envision given their group profile? How might they overcome these obstacles? What additional strategies might they propose?


View more short courses to the APSA 111th Annual Meeting & Exhibition.