You Can't Be Anti-Racist If You Don't Understand Race: What, When, Where & How of Race (2020)



In support and collaboration with earlier sessions Amazing Grace, Finding Answers Together and Beyond Brave Spaces, the Center for Cultural Pluralism offers this two-part program to increase our awareness and understanding of race and how to seek justice through actions. Dr. Sherwood Smith discusses the topic of Race in the US with Prof. Alec Ewald and Prof. Nikki Khanna. This program format consists of two separate pre-recorded videos lectures that can be watched before the event dates followed by two live discussions with the presenters on Microsoft Teams. 
These are intentionally set up as two part events to allow participants time to reflect on the conversation and information the presenters share first. During the live discussions an hour of time is dedicated to a dialogue focused on the ideas and facts shared in the pre-recorded presentation with the presenters taking questions submitted from the audience through the chat.

Session One Materials

View Session I, Part 1 lecture: Race, What Is It? Video

View Session I, Part 2 conversation Video

Link to the evaluation of this session 

How was the concept of race created?  Is race an old or new concept?  What are the meanings of the term?  These and other questions will be explored in the presentation. Speakers will share their knowledge and personal experiences in the presentation with this discussion a chance to have a dialogue with participants on this topic. 
This session creates space to:
  • Explore the history of the race as idea and practice in general and specific to the USA’s unique context
  • Examine our own personal development of an understanding of the concept
  • Explore changes or lack of in the construction of race over time


Session One Guest Presenter: Professor Alec Ewald, Department of Political Science

American Politics and Constitutional Law. Current research is on the “collateral consequences” of criminal convictions.

Professor Ewald teaches courses in constitutional law and American politics. Within public law, his current research focuses on criminal justice, specifically on the restrictions of rights and privileges that often accompany a conviction – what are sometimes called the “collateral consequences” of criminal justice involvement.    He is author of The Way We Vote: The Local Dimension of American Suffrage (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009), and co-editor of Criminal Disenfranchisement in an International Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2009).  His work on felony disenfranchisement and other collateral consequences has been published in Criminology, Law & Social Inquiry, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Social Science Quarterly, the Fordham Urban Law Journal, the Wisconsin Law Review, and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.

Session Two Materials

View Session II Lecture Video: Multi-racial: What are you? Video

How has the concept of race continued to change over time? Is multi-racial an old or new concept? What are the meanings of the term? These and other questions will be explored in the presentation.  Speakers will share their knowledge and personal experiences in the presentation with this discussion a chance to have a dialogue with participants on this topic.
This session creates space to:
  • Explore the history of the term multi-racial in America
  • Examine our own personal development of an understanding of the concept
  • Explore changes over time

Session Two Guest Presenter: Professor Nikki Khanna, Department of Sociology

Professor Khanna received her PhD in Sociology from Emory University in 2007, and joined the Sociology Department at UVM the same year. Her primary areas of specialization are race/ethnic relations and social psychology, and much of her research looks at biracial and multiracial Americans and racial identity.  She studies how people racially identify and how identity is shaped and negotiated through social interactions with others.  In her most recent book, Biracial in America:  Forming and Performing Racial Identity (Lexington Books 2011), she looks at black-white biracial Americans and several social psychological processes underlying their identity development.  Professor Khanna also published in outlets such as Social Psychology Quarterly, Ethnic and Racial Studies, The Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Spectrum, and Teaching Sociology.  More recently, her work has expanded to look at transracial and transnational adoption and how people make decisions regarding who and where they adopt.  Her research has been featured in the Burlington Free Press, TIME, Vermont Public Radio, and NPR. 

Visiting Scholar Training Series with Leeva Chung (2020)


During this hands on faculty session, we will discuss fundamental approaches in applying intercultural communication and identity. This workshop will focus on various identity-based communication themes in contemporary US society and international arenas. Faculty will explore how active interactive exercises can be linked to intercultural and identity concepts to better support learning.


The complexity of intersectionality is an exciting challenge we all face. How do we work out a sense of multiple selves and identities to find common ground in this global reality of endless on + off buttons, hashtags and apps? Intersectionality is the result of our shared global space, relational diversity, and integrative lived experiences. This workshop will explore the issues of intersecting identities as they impact the workplace and will provides a better understanding of how to effectively communicate with each other.

Leeva Chung, Ph.D.


Leeva C. Chung, PhD, has been a member of the faculty since 1998. She is a professor of Communication Studies, an affiliate faculty member in Ethnic Studies, and faculty onsite coordinator for the Hong Kong intersession. Chung has developed a unique and innovative style of teaching recognized with numerous awards on campus, such as the prestigious Davies Award for Teaching Excellence, Faculty Changemaker Champion, Outstanding Preceptor Award, and the Innovation in Community Engagement Award. The City of San Diego awarded her the Leeva Chung day on December 16, 2016, for her work with Pure Water San Diego. Both her undergraduate courses and research focus on identity development, intercultural communication, and team development. She has published a popular intercultural textbook with Dr. Stella-Ting-Toomey, book chapters, and research articles. Chung is actively involved in the community, specifically with the San Diego Asian Film Festival, which premiered at USD in 2000. Since then, it has gained an international reputation as one of North America's leading Asian American film festivals.

Areas of Expertise

Ethnic and Global Identity Teaching Innovation

Areas of Interest

Dr. Chung's teaching style bridges the classroom to the corporate workplace. Since 2006, Chung has worked closely with alumnus Daniel McArdle-Jaimes (2005), who serves as a professional mentor and helps empower students by offering hands-on exercises to utilize their leadership, communication and problem solving skills in the classroom. In addition to teaching departmental classes, Chung has participated in a team-taught, interdisciplinary courses.  Dr. Chung conducts intercultural workshops and speaking engagements across the U.S. and for the past 20 years, has co-taught the "Teaching Intercultural Communication" workshop with Dr. Stella Ting-Toomey, Ph.D., for the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication.