A Time to Break Silence: Resisting Islamophobia in the Trump Era

Professor Rhonda V. Magee speaking during the panel “Counteracting Anti-Muslim Discrimination in Connection with Other Targeted Communities”

On April 4, 2017, over 150 people attended A Time to Break Silence: Resisting Islamophobia in the Trump Era, a symposium that brought together USF students, faculty, and staff along with members from the community. More than 90 USF students attended. The event ​was inspired by ​the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” ​The interactive workshops​ ​connected ​the rise of Islamophobia with the increase in other forms of hate and discrimination against marginalized communities. This symposium was created and funded through the Interdisciplinary Action Grant sponsored by CRASE.

To start the event, Dr. Clarence Jones, inaugural Diversity Scholar Visiting Professor, connected Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words to current sociopolitical and cultural issues, especially as they relate to Islamophobia. During the workshops and panels, speakers drew connections between Islamophobia and undocumented students, Anti-Semitism, and Anti-Black Racism. Dr. Suzanne Barakat discussed her personal experience and the tragedy of Islamophobia in her keynote speech. Performances from comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh, spoken word artist Mohammed Bilal, Diana Kalaji, and the Lyricist Lounge closed the event.

Opening Remarks and Keynote by Dr. Clarence Jones

Dr. Suzanne Barakat’s Keynote Address

Artist Performances and Closing Comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh, Spoken Word Artist Mohammed Bilal, Diana Kalaji, and Rayan Mustafa.

See coverage from ABC7 News on Dr. Clarence Jones speech >

CRASE Negotiating Book Contracts

During the CRASE Negotiating Book Contracts Panel, Monisha Bajaj from the Department of International and Multicultural Education, Keally McBride from the Department of Politics, Dean Rader from the Department of English, and Manuel Vargas from the Department of Philosophy and School of Law shared their experiences developing book proposals, negotiating contracts, and working with different publishers and editors. Collectively, their experience includes academic publications, poetry, edited collections, and textbooks.

negotiating book contracts

When beginning the book proposal process, all panelists emphasized the importance of considering why you want to write a book in the first place. Are you writing the book for tenure or promotion? Are you trying to raise your reputation as a scholar? The prestige of the publication press is important if you are writing for scholarly prestige. As you develop your proposal, be honest and realistic about the audience for the book, and target publishers who have previous experience with your research or topic area. Attending conferences will allow you to  know the press, field, and market, and to find editors. Another strategy shared by our panelists was to look at the acknowledgement section of books you enjoy where you may find names of people who are reputable in the publishing business.  Something to keep in mind is that the timeline for publication with a university press can be significantly longer. One panelist had a book that took 14-18 months and another took approximately 3 years. If you have a shorter timeline, other possible venues for publication include a commercial press or a book series, which can be good for networking and visibility.

As you develop your proposal, consider your audience. The editor who might initially review the proposal might not be a scholar, but for a scholarly book, the proposal will be sent to external reviewers. Your proposal should be targeted to the people who are reading the proposals, and the panelists discussed being courteous and cautious if sending simultaneous proposals because sometimes reviewers work with a few presses and might notice if they see your proposal multiple times.

When a press is interested, there are several elements up for negotiation in your contract including artwork customization, author discounts, number of free copies, timeframe for publication in paperback, copyediting costs, and copyright reversal. One panelists suggested asking the price of your book in your contract. Deciding what to negotiate is usually personal and depends on the book. For example, if accessibility for your students or field practitioners is important to you, having your book in paperback might be something to consider. During negotiations, you can be better positioned for negotiating if you have another publisher interested in your project, but you need to be mindful what you are using your leverage for.

Once your book is published, stay in communication with your press to help with advertising and marketing your book. While the marketing plan will be different for every project, there are things you can do to sell your work, which includes letting your publisher know if you attend conferences so they can make sure to stock your book and coordinate signings. Also, inform your publisher if you are on a panel or if you have articles published. If you publish a textbook, you can pitch your book to professors and department chairs.

At the University of San Francisco, scholarly communications librarian Charlotte Roh provides one-on-one consultations on book contracts and is a resource on scholarly publications. If you would like to see an example of a book proposal, please contact crase@usfca.edu

The CRASE OpEd Project

At the end of Spring 2016 semester, 20 faculty members from each school and college participated in the CRASE OpEd Project where they developed ideas for public scholarship by considering evidence-based arguments that are timely and have public value. During the two day workshop, participants learned about establishing credibility, structures of op-eds, and tips on refining and pitching their ideas.

op-ed project

When writing an op-ed, academics must first understand that their communication goals and style for writing are different than they write for scholarly journals. On the first day, much of the discussion focused on ways of establishing credibility through evidence, being right versus effective, and how to engage in larger conversations. The goal of an op-ed is to speak about your knowledge to a general audience without jargon and get the reader to say, “Tell me more.” Unlike traditional academic writing, it is useful to bring in your personal experience because it connects you to the reader in a way that data can’t.

In the op-ed, there’s a common structure to develop your argument with evidence. Start with a news hook to establish the case for why your op-ed is important now. Common hooks include employing a current event, anniversary, holiday, trend, release of new data, something in popular culture, or highlighting news that should be news. Throughout the op-ed, utilize various types of evidence and anticipate bias from the audience that you want to reach. An important component is to include the technique known as a “To Be Sure,” which addresses potential counter arguments in such a way that it is acknowledged but then persuasively dismissed.  For example, validate the counterargument and trump it with something more urgent or provide a personal caveat. It’s important to create a space to address your opposition with respect and to treat the audience as morally intelligent. In the conclusion, include a call to action that is specific and doable.

Using these ideas, participants developed drafts of their op-eds, and on the second day, they received feedback from their peers. The OpEd Project provides detailed resources on their website including basic op-ed structure, tips for op-ed writing, how to pitch, and submission information for over 100 outlets.

Many of our participants are currently working on their op-eds for submission.  Monisha Bajaj, Associate Professor of Education, published “Community Walks: A Day of Learning for Schools” on Teaching Tolerance. Violet Cheung, Associate Professor of Psychology, was featured on MTV News “The Stakes: Raw Heart Podcast Part 3.” Christina Chong, Assistant Professor of Law, published “Is Hollywood Still an All-White Boys Club?” with the American Bar Association. Lisa de la Rue, Assistant Professor of Education, published the op-ed “Teen in police scandal is a victim, not a ‘sex worker’” in the San Francisco Chronicle. Professor of Law Alice Kaswan published “As court weighs clean power plan, rule’s approach could reduce carbon emissions, improve public health” on The Hill. Assistant Professor of Education, Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales published “Democracy for Some, Not for All” on the Huffington Post. James Zarsadiaz, Assistant Professor of History, published “Why candidates should court Asian American voters” in the San Francisco Chronicle. Assistant Professor Desiree Zequera published “More than Nuance: Recognizing and Serving the Diversity of the Latina/o Community” on EdExcelencia Hispanic-Serving Institutions .

USF for Freedom: A Symposium on Refugees, Forced Migrants, and Human Security

On May 23rd, over 100 people attended the USF for Freedom: A Symposium on Refugees, Forced Migrants, and Human Security where scholars, migrants, service providers, and activists discussed the current state of migration, refugee resettlement in the Bay Area, and local resources that are available. During the symposium and the reception, participants had an opportunity to connect with scholars and activists and learn about the latest developments.  This symposium was created and funded through the Interdisciplinary Action Grant sponsored by CRASE.

Missed the symposium? Check out the Storify from Annick T.R. Wibben and video of the symposium below.

Displacement and Human Security:

Relocation, Resettlement, and Human Security:

CRASE Academic Social Media for Faculty and Librarians

CRASE hosted a workshop on Academic Social Media for Faculty and Librarians where CRASE Co-Directors Christine Yeh and Saera Khan provided a brief overview of ORCID, Google Scholar, Academia.edu, and ResearchGate. 12 participants from the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Law, School of Nursing, School of Management, School of Education, and Gleeson Library had the opportunity to set up profile pages and learn the specific and unique features of each site. By the end of the workshop participants learned about how to disseminate their research, increase citations, and connect with researchers all around the world. Below are some quotes from participants.

“Great pace, very manageable tasks for the time frame. I learned about some new things – such as ORCID – and got to try some things I’d heard about (ResearchGate). We had enough time to work with the different tools.”

“Helpful combination of big picture overview of faculty social media sites, with hands-on step-by-step activities. Specific examples. Helpful dialogue with the participants, too.”

CRASE & CTE: Turning Teaching into Publication

During this partnership between CRASE and the Center for Teaching Excellence, Professors Saera Khan and Violet Cheung, Department of Psychology, presented their experience of co-authoring a pedagogy article and Professors Jonathan Hunt, Keally McBride, and Christine Yeh shared advice and ideas for turning your teaching into publication. Participants learned about the different categories for pedagogy publications, and then worked in small groups to brainstorm ideas for articles and provide feedback. 39 people attended 2 Turning Teaching into Publication events in April and some of the tentative article titles include: “A Long Time Coming”:  Building Critical Diversity Studies at a Small Liberal Arts College”, “Re-Centering the Pacific in Asian Pacific American Studies”, “Using Participatory Action Research to explore the transition to college writing”, “Social Media and Health Education: An Innovative Online Course for Healthcare Professional Students.” Faculty participants shared the following feedback:

“All three facilitators did a great job. Their experience provided a base for believing this is possible.”

“[It was helpful] hearing about others’ own experiences and the types of articles that might be publishable.”

We’ll be offering a follow-up event in Fall 2016, and Saera Khan and Violet Cheung will be offering further insights in upcoming blog posts.

CRASE Faculty Salon: Identity Representation and Global Politics

During the faculty salon, Aysha Hidayatullah, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and Taymiya R. Zaman, Department of History, outlined the impetus for writing and publishing their article, “Speaking for Ourselves: American Muslim Women’s Confessional Writings and the Problem of Alterity.” Saera Khan, Department of Psychology, and Rebecca Mason, Department of Philosophy, provided commentary on the article before opening up to a lively discussion with 19 people from several departments. Faculty shared some of their feedback about the event.

“I think it was great that the paper was circulated in advance so that everyone could discuss it with prior knowledge. This led to excellent participation among the participants. The respondents did well setting up good points of entry to the text.”

“I thought having two responses was effective by providing two different perspectives (from philosophy and psychology), and the speakers did a great job fielding an array of questions. A lively discussion was the result, so it is fair to say that the facilitators were effective.”

“It was an important topic. The speakers were dynamic and engaging. Reading the article ahead of time allowed us to use our time to focus on the discussion rather than going through the arguments of the article.  I really liked the format. It was interesting to get responses from people from different disciplines, and see how those responses were and weren’t influenced by their disciplinary backgrounds.”

CRASE Online Writing Challenge

During CRASE Online Writing Challenge, 55 faculty members of all ranks and from each schools and college committed to writing at least 20 minutes a day for 14 days and participated in an online discussion group to share advice, offer support, and share progress. Facilitators from CRASE shared daily quotes, writing tips, and reminders to keep participants motivated and focused.

Over the course of two weeks, faculty wrote over 202,379 words and logged over 34,065 minutes of writing. Faculty completed a range of projects including book chapters, articles, policy briefs, conference papers, and blog posts. The challenge proved to not only foster productivity but also created a strong support network for faculty. Below are some examples of the feedback we received.

“I felt compelled to push myself to write everyday since I was accountable to a group. No one forced me to write, but I knew that I had to fill out my daily writing log. I also felt inspired by the comments the other participants wrote about their processes.”

“[I] completed two book chapters and one revise/resubmit to a top tier journal.”

“[I wrote the] first draft of this article. I’ve never written in this way (another binge writer), but I’m glad I’m doing it. I will try to continue the process until my draft is finished, but it will be hard to keep at it without the challenge. It also reminded me how much I enjoy writing.”

“This challenge far surpassed my expectations!! The support of others on a daily basis, the simple reflective discussion questions on writing to more broadly tap into why we do what we do, and a private log for personal progress all hit the mark on so many levels. And 20 minutes is almost always feasible, and a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the project.”

“The Writing Challenge has reminded me how difficult it is to write regularly, especially when my teaching responsibilities increase at times during the semester. I’m thankful for this challenge and the support of all you online writers! I usually criticize myself for needing the structure of writing teams, writing retreats and this online challenge — I should be able to do it myself, right? But lately I’ve shifted my thinking instead to one of gratitude. It is what it is — very difficult to carve out regular writing time when you have responsibilities other than writing, and these writing communities help me carve out the time I need. Thank you!”

CRASE will be hosting another Online Writing Challenge in Fall 2016.

CRASE Innovations with Geographic Information Systems

The USF Geospatial Analysis Lab (GsAL) partnered with CRASE to host three workshops on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The workshops were developed and facilitated by David Saah, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science  Director of GsAL, and Megan Danielson, GsAL Manager.

CRASE Innovations in GIS
CRASE Innovations in GIS

The first workshop provided an introduction to GIS resources on the USF campus and allowed participants to explore features of GIS by creating a map of earthquake risk in California. Two additional GIS Boot Camps allowed participants to develop further their skills and consider how to use GIS in their own research, teaching, and collaborations. Many faculty and staff worked on proposals for specific GIS mapping projects such as investigating unsafe public transportation to public high schools in San Francisco; migration patterns in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa; community-based ecological asset mapping; mapping urban development and arts nonprofits in West Oakland over time; and looking at voting patterns by geography. During the semester, nearly  50 people participated in the GIS Workshops. Here are some of the testimonials from our participants:

“The instruction was great–it was tailored to each of us and also gave an overview of GIS and various applications in different disciplines. It was also great to have research assistants/helpers there to provide 1-on-1 assistance.”

“Including tables and figures in my work is about as visual as my work has been. This definitely opened my eyes to how I could display information visually. It also made me think about kinds of research questions I can ask given the data sets that are available and the tools I have access to. I also see a lot of room for collaboration in this space. For example, as someone who studies workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, I see how I could collaborate with folks in politics or law to map non-discrimination policies, instances of discrimination, political attitudes, cost of discrimination, etc. ”

CRASE plans to continue its collaboration with GsAL in the 2016-2017 academic year, and we are excited to see further development of the proposals started by faculty and staff.

CRASE Going Public with It: Blogging and Advocacy for Social Justice

Huffington Post blogger and USF Assistant Professor Rick Ayers, from the Department of Teacher Education in the School of Education, led a three-hour blog writing workshop for CRASE where 14 faculty and staff from across the university  developed ideas for blog posts. During this workshop, faculty brainstormed ideas, started drafting their posts, and received feedback from peers. People wrote about a range of topics including human rights education, the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag campaign, advice to junior colleagues, art and identity, educational policy, fatherhood and race, and the Trump campaign. Faculty also shared some of their feedback about the event.

“I so appreciated having dedicated time to actually write a blog. I was able to get many ideas down and begin a blog that I have been meaning to write. I really appreciated sharing the blog drafts with my partners and hearing their ideas and perspectives. They gave great advice.”

“I loved hearing what others were working on and all the issues folks wanted to address in their own blogs I appreciated hearing different examples of blogs that Rick had done or had read. I loved hearing and reading different writing styles to expand my idea of how folks can actually write a blog.”

“It was great to have a space to write in. I loved the mix of advice and real-time pressure to write. I was surprised that I wrote something pretty coherent just in the 30 minutes allocated to write silently. This helped me see how much I can do in such a short period of time.”

Due to popular demand, Rick Ayers will offer another CRASE blog writing workshop on June 21st. More details and registration information here.