What does it mean to include the whole student? This is the question at the heart of this interview with Kalyan Balaven for the Inclusion Factor and Professor Heidi Mirza.
In this interview Dr. Mirza covers what it means for institutions to include the whole students. She gives an example of a school that seems to have done it and explains why, she explores the culture of brochurism in independent schools and universities and talks about what real representation looks like, and finally touches on the impact for diversity in faculty.
“Professor Heidi Mirza is an icon—for over 4 decades she has been a champion for inclusion on a global level as the pre-eminent scholar for Black Feminist Studies, Intersectionality, and the role of Education in relationship to Diversity and Inclusion in the world. I met Heidi in 2013, in Brighton, UK, after she had finished addressing our group of diverse global educators on what the real challenge of inclusion was, specifically speaking to the cost paid by the individual being included, when they became an exemplar or token for the institution, but could not thrive as a full community member due to the way they were being included. I was struck by the sophistication of her presentation, the nuance she provided, and the guidance she willingly shared. I approached the podium to share my gratitude and was surprised to find a kindred spirit, one who I still call my sister, and reveled in how many connections we had beyond the topic at hand—later I invited her to America, where she visited the school I was working at, and she single-handedly helped us move forward in leaps and bounds in our understanding of the complexity in the intersection of identity, within an eduscape, our responsibility as educator’s therein.”
This conversation builds on the last Inclusion Factor interview conducted by Kalyan Balaven with former NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf about inclusivity in organizations. It is also a series of resources focused on the Whole Student Inclusion and a critically well-received micro book on Whole Student Education.