PUBlic Professor Series talk examines inequity of representation with Dr. Sandra Dixon

Dr. Sandra Dixon is a registered psychologist, an award-winning researcher and an associate professor in the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Education. She is also a woman of colour in a predominantly white post-secondary landscape where colonial ideas are privileged over alternative ways of knowing and being.

Dr. Sandra Dixon

“Increasing research has shown that racialized faculty members are underrepresented and undervalued in higher education compared to their white peers,” says Dixon, who will speak to this disparity in the next PUBlic Professor Series talk, Owning my Voice and Speaking my Truth in Academic Spaces.

The presentation is Thursday, Feb. 29, 7 p.m., at the Sandman Signature Lodge.

Dixon says that while ULethbridge values its liberal education focus where individuals are expected to foster free inquiry and the critical interpretation of ideas, like many institutions, this expectation is not always translated into transformative and tangible actions.

“My goal for this talk is to identify a strong theoretical framework for us to have meaningful discourse around non-performative actions in higher education so that more voices and experiences can be valued and heard,” she says.

“By taking an action-oriented, accountable stance, the University, and by extension the broader community, will learn about the importance of championing equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) initiatives that dismantle social injustices instead of embracing a performative allyship position that fails to take a stand against anti-racism and other forms of “isms” in our society.”

Dixon’s research encompasses culturally adapted counselling practices amongst minoritized groups, cultural identity reconstruction and ethno-cultural diversity issues. She has received several awards for her excellence in research, including the 2023 Psychologists’ Association of Alberta Excellence in Teaching Psychology Award, the EDI Scholar Award at the University of Lethbridge (2021-2022), and the 2022 People’s Choice Award by the Alberta Black Therapists Network.

This is the fifth of the six-part PUBlic Professor Series of talks. Initiated in 2014, the monthly lecture series is designed to spark thought-provoking discussions and bring a diverse group of experts and researchers from the ULethbridge campus right into the community.

Check out the PUBlic Professor Series web page for the 2023/24 talk schedule, to register for priority seating or to join the series mailing list. View this advance video that discusses the upcoming presentation.