TIE’s Most Buzzworthy Pieces from 2022

Part One

Banner reading "2022 TIE Highlights" with fireworks

As we look back on 2022, Toward Inclusive Excellence has compiled some of our most notable pieces from the past year, covering topics ranging from mass tragedies to cultural productions, ethics considerations in academia, banning books, and more. We hope you enjoy reflecting back on these articles as much as we enjoyed crafting and cultivating them.

Diminishing BIPOCs’ Opinions Is Common Practice among Many White People

Silhouettes of BIPOCs, symbolizing white dismissiveness

“This week, the leaked Roe v. Wade Supreme Court draft ruling had the entire internet riled up. The revelation that the Supreme Court is entertaining the reversal of five decades of federally protected rights shocked many abortion-rights advocates and those who believe in a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body.

However, one demographic on the internet was not surprised by the course reversal—many BIPOCs. Adding another critical point to the social media discourse, several BIPOCs noted that the majority culture has ignored their warning signals about encroachments on personal freedom and rights. This key point merits further exploration.”

How the New Interview with the Vampire Series Shifts the Elegant Black Man as Predator Trope

Silhouette of a predator

“For nearly 50 years, a certain portrayal of Black men in horror films (when the man is the central character) has remained relatively consistent: that of the elegant predator. This elegant predator is typically handsome, financially successful, well-spoken to an almost poetic extent, and impeccably dressed. His character’s transformation is often catalyzed by some racially tinged injustice that then propels him into a predatory state.”

We Must Stop Infantilizing White Mass Shooters and Treating BIPOC Youth as Adults

BIPOC children are often treated as adults while white mass shooters are treated like children

“Whenever a mass shooting happens in the United States, the national conversation shifts temporarily to encompass enflamed rage and lots of dialogue about reforming gun laws. We continue to take a circuitous path, shifting from shock to rage, anger, and often to empty calls to action that rarely catalyze any meaningful efforts. The only thing guaranteed to change is that more people will join the ever-growing legion of physically and emotionally wounded mass shooting survivors.

Survivors of mass shootings must be extended to include the countless millions who feel helpless, fearful, and shattered when these gruesome crimes occur. For some of us, our lives are indelibly reconfigured and upended as we contemplate whether it is safe to once again enter a house of worship, take public transportation, or go to the supermarket.”

A War of Words: The Bizarre DEIA-Related Battle between UPenn Law Dean and Professor Amy Wax

university building symbolizes need to reexamine tenure for DEIA purposes

“For the past few years, several higher education institutions have found themselves embroiled in controversies relating to statements made by faculty on multiple DEIA-related topics, including land acknowledgmentsaffirmative action, and ethics on human remains, to name a few.

Often, these institutions’ senior leaders (e.g., presidents, provosts, and deans) have addressed the controversies swiftly. I suspect that, in addition to concerns about organizational morale, institutions that acted quickly were focused on protecting reputational goals, as it is not ideal to espouse DEIA values yet allow an institutional member to behave in ways that conflict with those values.”

Inequities Within Side Hustle Culture Must Be Addressed

A person working many side hustles

“If you are like me, you may be hearing the phrase “side hustle” (paywalled) a lot—I mean almost every day.

This is not a figment of your imagination.

A quick Google News search of “side hustle” I conducted while writing this post netted a startling 3.5 million hits in less than a minute. Within January 2022 alone, no less than 200,000 mentions of the terms “hustling” or “side hustle” appeared in multiple news outlets. Publications like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal (paywalled), Business Insider, and the Financial Post are providing tips for “side hustlers” while all but abandoning the pre-pandemic term du jour “gig economy” (remember that phrase?) (paywalled).”

A Conversation with Deborah Caldwell-Stone

TIE's Spring Semester podcast focuses on the freedom to read

“We are excited to present TIE‘s first Spring Semester podcast, featuring an enlightening interview with Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, a nonprofit legal and educational organization founded in 1969 to protect and defend First Amendment rights.

In the episode, Deborah sits down with TIE editor in chief Alexia Hudson-Ward to discuss the shocking increase in book banning and challenges across the United States in recent years. In addition to her roles outlined above, Deborah also serves as the secretariat for the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, which supports library workers who are denied employment rights or discriminated against, placing her at the forefront of these challenges.”

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Interested in contributing to TIE? Send an email to Deb V. at Choice dvillavicencio@ala-choice.org with your topic idea.

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Header image is a detail of This is Harlem by Jacob Lawrence. Courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. © 2021 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. For more information, click here.