reflections1-01Conversations about social justice, racial justice, diversity, and inclusion work in student affairs abound. And yet, on occasion our well-intended speech (or silence) or action (or inaction) harms others. If White people desire to grow, learn, and be more effective in working against racism, how can we engage in critical reflections on our mistakes so to be better aspiring allies for racial justice?

In this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Heather Shea Gasser connects with a panel of educators who identify as White to share their critical reflections on when they have messed up and the lessons learned. We will also engage in critical reflection of how we can remain in the conversation and participate in ongoing healing work as part of our shared liberation.

During the episode, we will discuss:

  • Our critical reflections on our own personal stories of messing up.
  • How we respond and react when we unintentionally cause harm within conversations on diversity, inclusion, or social justice.
  • How White people can stay engaged, hold each other accountable, and also accept their own imperfections with the underlying purpose of becoming effective social justice allies within racial justice movements.

Please tune in to this free webcast live at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 by visiting or return to this page at any time to watch the episode archive. No advance registration is required.


Episode Host

Heather Shea

Heather Shea

Heather Shea's career in student affairs spans nearly two decades and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she identifies as a student affairs generalist. Heather is currently serving as the director of Women*s Student Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Michigan State University having just completed her Ph.D. in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_


Craig Alimo

With the love, care, compassion and patience of his colleagues and friends, Craig has stumbled and fumbled his way through the past 19 or so years as a social justice educator. As an administrator, Craig has worked in a variety of College Student Developmental settings such as Residential Life, Orientation Programs, Living/Learning Programs, and Multicultural Affairs. As a teacher, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on social justice educational content and process. He has designed, administered, facilitated and researched social justice educational and leadership programs around the country. Additionally, Craig has consulted with a variety of government, public, private and not for profit organizations.


Stephanie Bondi, PhD

Stephanie Bondi’s scholarship focuses on teaching and learning; student affairs preparation; dominance, equity and oppression; and neocolonialism. She is a faculty coordinator of the student affairs program at University of Nebraska – Lincoln and has been a leader within ACPA’s Commission for Social Justice Educators. She is an alumna of the Social Justice Training Institute.


Keith Edwards, PhD

Keith E. Edwards, PhD is a speaker, consultant, and leadership coach. Over the past 15 years, Keith has spoken and consulted at more than 100 campuses, presented more than 100 programs at national conferences, and written more than 15 articles or book chapters on sexual violence prevention, men’s identity, social justice education, and curricular approaches to student affairs. His research, writing, and speaking has received national awards and recognition including ACPA Doctoral Writing Award and ACPA Diamond Honoree.


Dr. Craig Elliott II

Dr. Craig Elliott II works as the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA and holds a rank of Assistant Professor. Craig’s research interests explore white caucus work, the intersection of Transformative Learning and Social Justice work, inclusion and equity, and institutional change. Craig has presented numerous programs at the local and national level on diversity, gender, class, social justice, social change and leadership, and served ACPA, NASPA, and NCORE in a variety of capacities. He is a Social Justice Training Institute alumnus, a past faculty intern with SJTI, and a Lead facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute.


Jessica Pettitt

For more than a decade, Jessica has been educating college and university staff members to support and guide diverse students to success. Her social justice and diversity curricula are used nationwide. This background uniquely qualifies her to educate employers on building welcoming, productive, and innovative teams. The ability to communicate, listen, learn, take responsibility, acquire and retain talent and resources will lead to and maintain a welcoming, and dare we say, fun workplace environment. She is an open book, be careful what you ask her, she will answer it.


Beth Yohe

Beth Yohe is a facilitator, consultant and training designer with over 20 years of experience. She has written and delivered training programs on a variety of topic areas including addressing bias, understanding privilege, religious respect, ally-building, analyzing curriculum through a social justice lens and facilitation skills. Beth is a next generation faculty member for Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI) as well as a faculty member for the Matrix Institute. She serves on the advisory board for MTV’s LookDifferent and the AD Council’s Love had No Labels campaigns. She also serves on the boards of the International Bullying Prevention Association, The Privilege Institute and Mapleton Education Foundation.   Professionally, Beth works as in fund development and is an instructor for the University of Colorado at Denver’s Culturally Responsive Urban Education teacher licensure program.



Elaine Brigham

Elaine Brigham, M.Ed., Ed.S. has 22 years of teaching and facilitation experience in both K-12 and higher education and she consults nationally on social justice issues working with students, staff and faculty.  Elaine’s higher education teaching includes UMass Amherst, Mount Holyoke College teaching their January Term courses, the Education Department as a Visiting Faculty at Smith College, and an Adjunct Faculty at Westfield State University. She presents regularly on social justice issues at regional and national conferences and served a four-year term on the National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE). Elaine is currently Case Manager in the Dean of Students Office at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She is completing her doctoral study in the Social Justice Education Program at UMass Amherst, which is also where she earned her M.Ed. and Ed.S. Elaine has been involved with the Five-College Sustained Intergroup Dialogue Initiative in Western Massachusetts since its inception in 2007.  In this role she wrote the curriculum for the Dialogue on Gender for staff and faculty, co-facilitated a Dialogue on Race, and served as a coach/consultant on two dialogues for staff and faculty (Socio-economic Class and Rank, and Religion and Belief). She co-authored a chapter with Dr. Tanya Williams titled “Developing & sustaining effective co-facilitation.” in The Art of Effective Facilitation: Reflections from Social Justice Educators. Elaine’s undergraduate degrees in History and Women Studies, with a Concentration in African American Studies and a Minor in Education, are from Guilford College.  Elaine was also the inaugural Director, for over 15 years, of a social justice, diversity, inclusion, arts and outdoors residential summer program for youth.