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The Debate About Critical Race Theory - Implications for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace


In this episode, we present the Critical Race Theory (CRT) panel that took place on October 15, 2021 during the 47th American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) National Conference & Annual Meeting—themed Reset, Reflect, and Move toward Justice, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence. Moderated by your host Dr. Jamal Watson, this discussion breaks down the origins of CRT and its re-emergence as a tool for those who seek to attack diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.


Dr. Christopher Metzler
, Chair, LEAD Fund
Janai Nelson, Esq., NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
Dr. William Harvey
, AAAED Distinguished Scholar
Dr. Nicholas Gaffney
, Director, Center for African American Studies, Assistant Professor, History University of South Carolina Upstate
Margo R. Foreman M.P.H.
, Sr. CAAP, Interim Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Iowa State University


•    What is critical race theory?
•    The intense scrutiny around CRT - why now?
•    How the CRT backlash is affecting higher education institutions and their scholars
•    Reframing and reshaping the narrative around CRT
•    The need for leadership and the role of the federal government


“Critical race theory is so bothersome to so many people because it challenges the historical narrative that we would like to believe - that everybody is treated fairly and equally and always has been.”

“Academia is supposed to be a free market of ideas. It's the whole point. It is not to indoctrinate. We're providing people with tools, and they make their own decisions.”


American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED)

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Note: AAAED would like to extend a special thanks to Matchbox Virtual Media for producing their 47th annual conference, in which this panel originally aired.  

In The Margins is produced by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education and edited by Instapodcasts (visit at

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