Showing Up for Each Other: Workshopping Thriving

By Susan M. Sterett and Taneisha Means

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Photo Credit: Mark Fathi Massoud. The fruits of procrastinating while an academic.

Improving inclusion in political science requires better conflict management, changing department culture, and cultivating strategies for taking care of ourselves, including moving past the inevitable rejection built into the profession. Political Science in the Twenty First Century synthesized the lack of progress in diversifying the political science profession, and the need for intentional effort to improve. This post consolidates some resources from a half-day workshop during the 2019 WPSA annual meeting about how to manage one’s life to thrive in the profession. We include resources for self-care since the academy can be hard, and we cannot control other people’s bad behavior, particularly indifference or anonymous hostile reviews. Legal complaints won’t fix it all, not least because it’s not illegal to be a jerk. Symposia in political science have suggested strategies to make collective claims. The APSA 2018 diversity and inclusion hackathon has great suggestions. Seeing the next steps we ourselves can take to thrive can still be difficult. The recent symposium in PS on stories and the profession offers reflections on thriving in difficult circumstances. Maybe the glare of attention and the recent APSA #MeToo short course will contribute to remedying sexual harassment and assault. Thanks to others’ contributions to blogs, Twitter, and reports like the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), we have plenty of information about practical steps we can each take to make it more possible to do our work, and transform institutions so that everyone can thrive. Here we suggest some practices to allow us all to thrive by focusing on what we can do.

On April 17, the WPSA Committee on the Status of Women held a half-day workshop to learn about managing conflict in our personal and professional lives in a way that contributes to everyone’s good health. We welcomed MarDestinee Perez of UCSD’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Later in the afternoon we joined with the Committee on the Status of Latinas/os to learn from each other about managing indifference and rejection.

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