PSD Roundtable Talks

The Roundtable Talks series have concluded for this academic year. We invite you to revisit this page in the fall for details on future educational workshops/sessions.


As part of the PSD's ongoing efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), we are hosting a series of three Roundtable Talks—small-group conversations—which will explore EDI topics ranging from race and privilege to anti-racism. Through honest conversations aimed at building awareness, Roundtable Talk participants reflect on their understanding of EDI and identify how, as individuals and collectively, they can address the existence and extent of institutional racism and its impacts. Participants will engage in dialogue with colleagues from across the Division and will walk away with:

  • A better awareness of EDI topics 
  • Definitions of EDI-related terms and concepts 
  • Tactics to approach inclusive conversations
  • Insight into experiences and perspectives of marginalized and underrepresented groups within PSD


PSD's Roundtable Talks are a series of three sessions that include a maximum of ten participants and two facilitators, so that each individual can engage in the session’s topic. Each session begins with a short presentation by UChicago EDI professionals and is followed by a facilitated conversation, often involving real-life, anonymized PSD case studies. The sessions are designed to make space for participants to explore and candidly talk about EDI concepts.

All PSD faculty, academics, and staff are invited to participate. Parallel sessions will be designed and offered to students in the future.

The Roundtable Talks are designed to be taken as a series. We recommend attending the series of three sessions within the same week. If you are not able to fit all three sessions in one week, you may indicate your preference for a session from another week.  

Session Topics

I. Beyond cosmetic inclusion

In this session we will explore the concept of "inclusion" and  “inclusive conversations."  We will begin to look at the need for engaging in talks that do not center solely around STEM research, and examine the impact of not doing so.

II. Engaging in inclusive conversations - suggested tools

Honing the skills to conduct meaningful conversations on potentially polarizing topics such as race, belief systems, and gender is critical for anyone viewed as an authority figure. In this session we will introduce some suggested ways to engage in difficult conversations and provide insight on how specific language and approaches can connect or alienate marginalized communities.

III. So exactly what is Anti-Racism? 

Our society has spent centuries engaging in (and often avoiding) difficult conversations about race. Drawing from Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility, this session will introduce vocabulary, context, and better practices to help with confronting racism at the individual level and beyond. We will look at systemic racism and inequality from the point of view of marginalized groups and touch on the role white privilege plays in creating a sense of immunity for white people (individuals of European origin), a sharp contrast to the challenges people of color routinely face.