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In this article, three professors of color speak out in response to the continuation of White police killings of Black people in the United States. We contend that there is a strong need for everyone, professors and educators in particular, to be proactive in confronting racism by tackling not avoiding, difficult questions and conversations. We propose that through the enactment of deep understandings and thick descriptions in our classrooms at all levels we may encourage a critical humanitarian response to the challenges of not knowing the diverse “Other.” We present real experiences from our teaching to illustrate the kinds of activities that can be done to engage our students in developing thick descriptions and deep understandings of diverse Others. When we all participate in the development of deep understandings and thick descriptions, maybe the killings and misperceptions will cease and we will think first before making devastating and destructive actions, statements and assumptions about “Others” because we truly recognize our shared humanity


Originally published in

Sachs, Gertrude Tinker; Rachel Grant; and Shelley Wong. "Deep Understandings and Thick Descriptions: Tackling Questions about Race." Intersections: Critical Issues in Education 1, 1 (2017).