Thirty-second Annual National Conference
Implicit Racial Bias and the Academy
Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN
October 28-30, 2022
In his 2020 book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for our Own, Princeton professor Eddie Glaude writes extensively about what he calls “the lie” regarding race in the United States. “The lie,” he argues, “is a broad and powerful architecture of false assumptions . . . that support the everyday order of American life, which means we breathe them like air. We count them as truths. We absorb them into our character.”
In light of Glaude’s argument, this conference asked about implicit racial bias in the academy—how we organize the academy, how we think about knowledge, how we structure a curriculum, how we frame our disciplines, how we recruit and admit our students, how we do our scholarship, and how we teach.
Further, the academy is devoted to critical thinking, but to what extent is our ability to think critically about race also hampered by implicit racial bias?
Finally, the Christian gospel rejects racial bias, both explicit and implicit. How might church-related colleges and universities employ the gospel narrative to expose and undermine implicit racial bias on our campuses?
These are the questions that framed the 2022 Lilly Fellows Program national conference.