Amarachi Adannaya Igboegwu is a Diversity and Inclusion expert with vast international training and coaching experience.
With her work the alumna of the Global Diplomacy Lab aims to empower both private and public institutions with a view to enhancing and building their human capacity by improving communication lines and promoting belongingness.
Her doctoral research study at Heidelberg University connects critical self-reflection and self-knowledge to the conscious teaching of elements that are necessary for dealing with structural racism. She has pioneered pre-service teacher training courses on the topic of conscious teaching, led workshops and given talks on the importance of critical self-reflection and the impact of implicit bias in daily life.
"I feel very privileged to have been a recipient of a grant out of the Mercator Alumni Fund this year. The grant afforded me the opportunity of acquiring relevant skills and tools for conducting Empathy workshops. I was able to organize a one-day UNBIASME Seminar for in-service teachers and pre-service teachers from the Mercator Alumni Network. The seminar focused on empathy, implicit bias, and a LET’S Talk discussion that highlighted vulnerable students' voices in culturally diverse classrooms.
After a long yet participative and informative seminar, the feedback I received the most was that the seminar was the first time they- the participants- had learned about implicit bias or the terms to express some of the experiences they had had or heard but never quite knew how to put them to words. As an education researcher focused on designing teaching strategies that prepare pre-service teachers for culturally diverse classrooms, I am humbled by the positive feedback and the enthusiasm of the participants. It also demonstrates the need for more to be done in supporting pre-service teachers and in-service teachers as they teach more culturally diverse classrooms.
To fulfill the Sustainable Development Goal 4: access to inclusive and equitable quality education, teachers, too, must recognize that they enter their classrooms with various types of implicit biases that can marginalize and undermine their students. Therefore, engaging in conscious teaching that includes self-knowledge, an awareness of implicit bias in the classroom, and the implementation of critical self-reflection in their teaching praxis will be a giant step in the right direction."