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Calling Out Xenophobia, Racism and Intolerance During the COVID-19 Crisis

Apr 17th, 2020

With more access to digital platforms it’s no surprise there has been a correlating rise in the number of incidents involving cyber bullying, racism, sexism and the like. With virtually all institutions online now due to COVID-19, what can we do to combat it and make the virtual world safer for students and faculty?This Diverse Talk Live will address standing up to cyberbullies in the online environment.

In this live webcast conversation, we will explore:

  • Creating communities and safe spaces for students of color online
  • Correcting, responding and properly addressing microaggressions
  • Combating incivility in the online classroom
  • Mental health ramifications from cyber harassment


DavisDr. Charles H.F. Davis ,
Assistant Professor of Clinical Education, University of Southern California

Dr. Charles H.F. Davis III is an assistant professor of clinical education at University of Southern California. Dr. Davis' research is broadly focused on race and racism, systems of oppression, and structures of domination in U.S. higher education. In particular, Davis' award-winning ethnographic work examines contemporary student activism at the intersections of campus and community, specifically focusing on the mobilization of resources and tactical repertoires used to achieve movement goals. Davis' work has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals to include The Review of Higher Education, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Urban Education, Journal of Negro Education, and Men and Masculinities. His research has also been cited in Amicus Curiae briefs in the Fisher v. University of Texas and SFFA v. Harvard Supreme Court cases as well as garnered references by dozens of news media outlets. Davis was named by Diverse as a 2020 Emerging Scholar.

Parris LeandraDr. Leandra Parris,
Assistant Professor, School Psychology, William & Mary

Dr. Leandra Parris is an assistant professor in School Psychology. Prior to joining William & Mary, she was on faculty at Illinois State University (2013-2019) and completed her doctoral internship with a specialization in crisis intervention with the Dallas Independent School District (2012-2013).

Dr. Parris focuses on peer relationships among middle and high school students within a trauma-informed framework. Her primary area of interest is coping with bullying and cyberbullying and the ways in which social media influences peer victimization and youth well-being. She also examines healthy romantic relationships among adolescents. Dr. Parris utilizes a multiple methods approach to research, conducting both qualitative and quantitative investigations.

Within the field, Dr. Parris focuses her efforts on social justice endeavors that help provide voice and empowerment to marginalized youth and families. She is currently the Co-Chair of the National Association of School Psychologists' Social Justice Committee.

SansoneDr. Vanessa Sansone,
Assistant Professor of Higher Education, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Vanessa Sansone is an assistant professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Her research agenda aims to advance equity and success for diverse student populations in higher education. Her current scholarly interests focus on college affordability, Latina/o students, student veterans, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and policy work. . She has been recognized by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) and the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) as a top Latina graduate scholar for her service and scholarly contributions to the Latina/o community. She serves as the co-founder and lead organizer of Colegio en Nuestra Comunidad, which is an annual citywide college fair that promotes college attainment to low-income neighborhoods within San Antonio, Texas. She hails from a historically underserved area of San Antonio and is a first-generation college student. Her experiences have shaped her commitment to advance social justice for marginalized students in higher education. To progress this agenda, she engages in equity-driven research, teaching, and service. Sansone was named one of the Top 35 Women in Higher Education by Diverse in March 2020.


Jamal WatsonDr. Jamal Watson,
Editor-At-Large, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Dr. Jamal Watson is an award-winning journalist. He has held numerous roles at Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. He has been a senior staff writer, executive editor and is currently the editor-at-large. He has written for the publication since 2005. A native of Philadelphia, Watson earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Theology from Georgetown University, a master's degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, a master's degree in Higher Education from the University of Delaware and a master's and a Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including The Baltimore Sun and USA Today. He is the author of a forthcoming biography on the Reverend Al Sharpton and is on the graduate school faculty at Trinity Washington University.

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