Residence life managers' engagement with race and privilege
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This research employed the methodological approaches of Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry (CDAI) and Participatory Action Research (PAR) to facilitate conversations about race and privilege within the Residence Life and Administration department at the University of British Columbia. The research question guiding this study was: “How can the Residence Life Management team build capacity to meaningfully engage with the subject of race and privilege in an effort to contribute to the university’s purpose of advancing a just society?” Study participants indicated that capacity building for engaging with race and privilege can be enhanced in two key ways. First is an explicit organization-wide commitment that informs performance management metrics and second is intentionally designed spaces for learning through dialogue. This action inquiry study provided an opportunity to transform a leadership challenge within the Residence Life and Administration (RL&A) team into an organizational learning opportunity. This study also contributes to the current literature on race and privilege by identifying both barriers and factors that enable engagement with the complex and necessary dialogue about race and privilege in a Canadian university context.