Mentoring and Decolonization
What is the intent of mentoring university students from marginalized groups: students of color, first-generation, low-income, LGBTQ, and disabled students? Is it merely to increase their numeric representation in higher education and atone for past wrongs? This would serve only to assimilate marginalized and minoritized students into academic norms, values, experiences, and dominant knowledge systems that are the heritage of European colonization. However, given that these students can bring unique perspectives to bear on the deeply pressing social and scientific concerns of our times, mentors might take a decolonizing approach that could transform the academy by introducing powerful subjugated knowledges and new research methodologies.
Because mentors teach Eurocentric disciplinary norms and knowledge bases – the rules of the game, so to speak – they risk alienating students from marginalized groups; this is especially so when mentoring occurs across social differences....
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