April 23, 2020
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Beverly Tatum, an innovative leader in higher education, will lead a discussion on the formation of racial identity at 11:10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, in the Community Foundation Theater in the Gund Gallery.
Tatum, the president emerita at Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in understanding how race functions in education.
Associate Provost Ivonne García, also associate professor of English, last year formed a reading group with other Kenyon faculty and staff to discuss Tatum’s 2007 book, Can We Talk about Race? After positive feedback from the group, she decided to invite Tatum to Kenyon, with the support of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Center for Innovative Pedagogy.
Particularly transformative for García was Tatum’s idea of “stereotype threat,” that is, when a student underperforms due to the fear of fulfilling a particular stereotype. This gave García the “vocabulary to talk to my students about what was going on,” she said.
In 2014, Tatum received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement to Psychology, the highest honor bestowed by the American Psychological Association.
Tatum’s 13-year tenure at Spelman College also garnered accolades and awards. President Barack Obama appointed her to the Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2010, and she received the Brock Prize in Education, a prestigious award that honors innovative leaders in education, in 2005. Her first book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, was selected as the multicultural book of the year in 1998 by the National Association of Multicultural Education.
Tatum also will hold a workshop for faculty and staff Monday, Feb. 22, at 4:10 p.m. in Olin Auditorium.