How Did We Get Here?

A simple question with complex individual and contextual meanings that underpin the 2016 Higher Education Diversity Summit. “How Did We Get Here?” provides an entry point into critical inquiry and personal reflection. Derivatives of this question such as, “how did you get here?” and “how did I get here?” guide us through understanding others and gaining a greater sense of self-awareness. These questions facilitate a critique of our multiple realities and positions them parallel to, or within contemporary understandings of identity. This theme encourages the deconstruction of events, experiences, and interactions that shape who we are and how we may understand ourselves and others. The theme also serves as a point of reconstruction to connect historical, political and social contexts in order to explore more holistic meanings of the systemic tools that are used to organize our bodies. With very visible incidents of discrimination in our societies, this question captures the instant reactions we vocalize as we engage and attempt to understand the unique realities of marginalized populations. At a personal level, we attempt to understand inspirational narratives of individuals that defy struggles and challenge what is considered normal. At a systemic level, we attempt to reveal patterns of discrimination that persist and expose their effects on marginalized populations.