Building Inclusive Communities

During a recent workshop, TAs learned foundational knowledge and skills for building toward socially-just classroom communities. Keep reading for a learning activity you can do on your own and strategies you can start implementing right now.

For a deep dive into social justice education opportunities at UW–Madison, visit Inclusion Education, a part of Student Affairs.

Learning Activity: Exploring the Self

Consider 3 social identities you hold. Then, open up a blank page and reflect.

  • How do these identities show up or influence how you navigate your role as a TA?
  • How do your identities influence your relationship building and decision making in your department?
  • What makes you feel welcomed, included and validated within these identities?

Strategies for Action

  1. Do the Self Work. Interrogate your identities, your positionality, and how you exist within these systems.
  2. Acknowledge and Embrace Differences. Who do you center in your communities? What stories are celebrated? What experiences validated?
  3. Challenge your Assumptions and Beliefs. What must you unlearn? What bias do you hold? What stereotypes are you leaning on?
  4. Normalize Being Wrong and Asking for Help. Share times that you struggled or needed support. Provide space for questions.
  5. Build Authentic Relationships. Practice vulnerability, participate in cultural exchange, invest in the group by intentionally engaging.
  6. Develop the Skill of Being Accountable. Acknowledge, apologize, and act. When harm is done, do something about it.
  7. Utilize your Network. Reach out to fellow instructors; find support to amplify your impact.




The mission of Social Justice Education Programs is to cultivate learning opportunities that develop and support self-exploration, critical dialogue, and the capacity to build just and inclusive communities.