As you may be aware, a group of over 600 scholars from across the country are organizing a protest of police violence and racism, Tuesday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 9, 2020. The goal of the #ScholarStrike, which involves pausing teaching and administrative duties at colleges and universities, is to unite the higher education community to show support for people of color and promote racial justice.  

More information can be found on the following link:  https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/08/28/professors-plan-strike-racial-justice

Below are talking points that may guide conversations with faculty, staff, and students:

  1. We are aware and understand the need for scholars to form a unified front given the recent national attention on racial injustice.
  2. We believe such efforts are necessary as they shine light on race relations and police brutality in our country.
  3. We encourage our campus community to continue to self-educate on the topics of race, racism, and social injustice.
    1. https://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/antiracism  
    2. https://diversity.uiowa.edu/
  4. As a campus, we encourage faculty in relevant disciplines to “teach-in” and engage with students in conversations around race, and social injustice.
  5. It is imperative we remember that campus and local communities are uniquely intertwined entities.
  6. One of the core values of higher education is to provide public scholarship.
  7. This initiative lends support to BIPOC faculty, staff, and students who may be adversely affected by police brutality.

The Diversity Resource unit within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is equipped to assist faculty needing guidance on this issue. I encourage you to contact DDEI as a resource if you have specific questions, and/or concerns.

- Liz Tovar, Ph.D., Interim Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Hosting a Teach-In?

Teach-ins are lectures, discussions, or educational forums that examine complex issues of public interest and are focused on engaging participants as active members in a call to action.

Teach-ins have a rich historical significance dating back to the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War protests. The teach-in practice has been utilized across different social movements as a way to both inform and engage the community. Different from a typical lecture or seminar structure, teach-ins are an effort to de-center a singular expert and focus on discussion, questions, and shared learning from those participating. 

In order to have effective teach-ins, they must be:

Practical, Participatory, and Oriented Toward Action
Connected to a Strategic Goal or Plan

As you are thinking about how to structure your teach-in, consider the questions below in how best to present or frame your information:

The Issue


What is the focus on the teach-in? What is vital for all of us to consider in order to move forward?

Learn More


What are some of the resources connected to the issues? Where could participants go to explore after the session?



What information do the participants need to be able to engage in the conversation? What concepts or values are you hoping to promote? What are you hoping to empower your participants to do?

Calls to Action


What are the actions someone could do on the individual level? What actions could someone do on a community level? What are other ways to advocate for change?

As you start to narrow your scope and understand what you and others hope to achieve from hosting a teach-in, consider who else needs to be brought into the process. Do you need to have a committee? Are there other faculty, departments, or community organizations that would enrich the event? 

Also, consider the logistics of your program:

  1. Do you need to set up a separate location to host the session? Will your teach-in simply replace your class as it was set-up before?
  2. How will you deliver the session? Some ideas include Zoom, WebEx, GoToWebinar, YouTube Live, Facebook Live and Instagram Stories Live. If you are not familiar with these tools, seek out support who can help you know which platform might be best for you!
  3. What is your full agenda and is everyone participating aware? If not, how can you get everyone on the same page?
  4. How will you be communicating about the event both before and after? If the event will be recorded, how have you informed the participants so they are able to opt-out if desired?

There are many things to consider when hosting a teach-in, but don't let that deter you from engaging! The most important thing is to create a space in which individuals are discussing a complex issue with a broad and global lens while finding ways to act locally.

Looking for Resources?


Virtual Education Opportunities

Group Consultation


We will be hosting two open sessions for individuals to consult with Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion staff on how best to implement strategies during the #ScholarStrike period.


Tuesday | September 8, 2020 | 11am-12pm | Register Here!

Wednesday | September 9, 2020 | 7am-8am | Register Here!

Consider Engaging with These Online Resources



1619 (Episode: "The Fight for a True Democracy")

Code Switch (Episode: "A Decade of Watching Black People Die")

Pod Save the People (Episode: "No In Between")

Radical Imagination (Episode: "Police Abolition")

Reveal (Episode: “The Uprising”)

The Daily (Episode: "The Systems that Protect the Police")

If you would like to request a workshop, panelist, or coaching session, please fill out our service request form.


**Special Note: If you are with the Carver College of Medicine or UI Health Care, please complete the service request form on the Carver College of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion's website.**