Part 1

Foundations for dealing with difference

Equip consists of 14 distinct modules ranging from micro-aggressions to racial inequity, to online teaching. Each module includes focused content, thoughtful reflection questions, group-discussion topics, and helpful handouts. The entire course takes about 10 hours to complete, with about 5.5 hours for the online content, and about 4.5 hours for the self-guided in-person communities of practice.

Introduction and competencies: We introduce the course to you, and go deeper into the 10 core competencies that the content is built around.

Culture and Identity defined: We critically review a developmental model, and introduce concepts of identity and culture through Leyla’s story on campus. Through Emma and Aliyah’s story we learn about cultural appropriation and how to avoid it.

Ambiguity in judging and stereotyping: We learn through Kenneth’s story how to allow for ambiguity and how to reduce judgement. We further learn more about stereotypes and how to avoid having a single – reductionist – story about someone‘s identities that are different from ours.

Jamila, or is it Jamal: We learn about various types of micro-aggressions and various biases. We also approach these issues systemically through exploring the cycle of socialization. Finally, we look at how we can be allies… And how not.

Personal leadership: We focus on internal processes when something happens around us that causes us to react: how can we deal with challenging situations?

Part 2

Specific identities and their historical context

Race: We offer historical context to the issue of racism, starting in the 1400s, and focusing on the US. We bring it back to today’s reality, including systemic racism.

Religion: Religion is sometimes an overlooked aspect of diversity on campus, and educators might feel uneasy discussing it in class. We bring some context to support our conversations.

Gender, sexuality and intersectionality: We go through the history of the acronym LGBTQI2SA+. We further talk about intersectionality in terms of how people with various (marginalized) identities experience the world. Finally, we explore saliency, or how some identities rise more to the surface based on context.

Identity traits that can change over time: We explore the following three identities: age, class, disability and health.

Part 3


Inclusive syllabus and backwards design: We start at the very beginning: how can we design courses in a way that fosters inclusion. We explore how the syllabus can be used as a powerful tool of inclusion.

Creating norms: We learn about the hidden norms that often govern our learning spaces and that create exclusion and division. We explore the idea of “group norms” as a tool to fostering an inclusive environment and increasing ownership of the learning environment among students.

Inclusive pedagogy and student-centered teaching: What is the difference between a marginalizing and a centralizing classroom climate? We further learn how student-centered teaching can reduce stereotype threat and get to know practical tips on inclusive pedagogy.

Difficult dialogues: We explore how challenging situations can be turned into “teachable moments”. We further talk about what alternatives there are to opening up a classroom conversation on a difficult topic.

Online Teaching: We learn through Aliyah’s experience how online teaching can enhance differences in privilege among students and explore strategies to reduce these inequities through the way we structure courses online and by seeking to connect with students from afar.