A group of student teaching assistance in a classroom

Navigating Differences and Disruption with “Dialogues”

Since 2019, the Office of Academic Diversity within DEI has undertaken numerous initiatives aligned with our goal of supporting faculty to take leadership and ownership in equity projects of their own design. “Dialogues Across Difference” advances faculty retention by addressing the negative impact of disruptive speech in learning environments. 

This grant-funded effort explores how disruptive speech negatively affects our students and faculty from historically marginalized backgrounds and explores faculty-driven solutions to address the problem without infringing upon the free exchange of ideas that is foundational for university learning.

Our first objective is to gather and document a wide range of stories so that we have a clear, deep, and broad view of the nature of disruptive speech and problems that arise from it in the learning environment.

How You Can Help:
Share Your Own Experiences of Disruptive Speech

To accomplish this objective, we created a questionnaire for UC Davis faculty and other instructional staff (for example, including Teaching Assistants) to share their experiences with disruptive speech in learning environments (a classroom, the lab, or in the field). You can watch a brief interview with the Principal Investigators to hear more about the effort here including how we define “disruptive speech” and the end goal of this project. Please help us by completing the questionnaire.

Learn More


  • Read more on our work to advance the recruitment, retention and advancement of faculty members whose research, teaching, and service advance multicultural perspectives in all fields of studies, as well as list of academic diversity initiatives.
  • Photo of UC Davis Teaching Assistant Conference at the Teaching Learning Complex on September 19, 2022 by Karin Higgins/UC Davis.



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