Owning my Voice and Speaking my Truth in Academic Spaces
This talk will address my positionality as a woman of colour at a predominantly White university that values liberal education, where individuals are expected to “foster free inquiry and the critical interpretation of ideas” (University of Lethbridge, n.d., para 2). However, this expectation is not always translated into transformative and tangible actions. As such, I will shed light on how the resilience of my faith has empowered me to deal with complexity, diversity, and change in dominant White spaces, where colonial ideas are privileged over alternative ways of knowing and being. My scholarship and research that aim to give voice to the unheard stories and othering of people from non-dominant backgrounds will be highlighted. Attendees will be invited to reflect on their own privilege and consider ways to take actionable, meaningful steps to “walk the talk”. By taking an action-oriented, accountable stance, the university and by extension the broader community will learn about the importance of championing EDI initiatives that dismantle social injustices instead of embracing a non-performative allyship position that fails to take a stand against anti-racism and other forms of “isms” in our society.
Dr. Sandra Dixon is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and an Associate Professor at the University of Lethbridge. Her program of research encompasses culturally adapted counselling practices amongst minoritized groups, cultural identity reconstruction, and ethno-cultural diversity issues which include but are not limited to the intersectionality of spirituality/religion, class, race, and gender across socio-cultural contexts. She currently serves on the Boards of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta and the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women (ANIW). She has published a wide range of work that addresses anti-racism, racial trauma, faith, immigration and multicultural counselling.
She has received several awards for her excellence in research, including the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Research, Professional Article Award, The Professor Cecille DePass Research Award through the Farquharson Institute of Public Affairs (FIPA), the EDI Scholar Award at the University of Lethbridge (2021-2022), and the 2022 People’s Choice Award by the Alberta Black Therapists Network.