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Welcoming Dialogue on Gender Bias ASU

This To Be Welcoming course sets out definitions of sex and gender to consider questions about gender equality and equity in media, work, and pay. The course will break down biases about gender, while creating opportunities for meaningful dialogue.

About This Course

This To Be Welcoming course breaks down some taken-for-granted notions about gender and sex. We begin with key terms like sex and gender, followed by a video module featuring faculty experts answering commonly asked questions. Next, we provide context by exploring specific representations of gender in media, what we mean when we talk about sex and gender identity, and gender-based disparities in income in the United States. We conclude with points for starting your own discussions on gender bias and considering appropriate responses.

Learners who complete this course will earn a digital certificate of completion.


English proficiency

Prior to taking this course, it is highly recommended that you complete TBW100, To Be Welcoming: Foundational Course. The Foundational course will provide you with the context and vocabulary necessary to make the most out of this course.

Meet Your Instructors

Course Staff Image #1

Dr. Mako Ward
Clinical Assistant Professor
School of Social Transformation
Arizona State University

Mako Fitts Ward's research focuses on intersectional, feminist analyses of hip-hop cultural production and community organizing. She is the co-founder of "Women Who Rock," a digital archive project at the University of Washington and collective of musicians, media-makers, performers, artists, scholars and activists committed to documenting the role of women in popular music and the formation of cultural scenes and social justice movements. Ward has been a contributing blogger for Ms. and Huffington Post and has published popular and scholarly essays on body ethics and aesthetics among women of color, media and gender images, women in hip-hop, gentrification and cultural displacement, and Black women’s social movement organizing in the early 20th century. She teaches courses on intersectionality, gender and hip-hop, ethnic studies, the African diaspora, justice and women’s social movements.

Course Staff Image #2

Dr. Jessica Solyom
Associate Research Professor
School of Social Transformation
Arizona State University

Jessica Solyom, Ph.D., received her doctorate in Justice and Social Inquiry from Arizona State University. She has worked in research, program development, and program evaluation for postsecondary institutions in promoting diversity in curriculum, pedagogy, and classroom management for over 10 years. Her research focuses on diversity, belonging, and justice. Her scholarly publications have explored the justice-related struggles of historically underrepresented students including explorations of race and gender in student leadership, persistence for students of color in predominantly white postsecondary settings, and education rights activism among Indigenous college students. She is currently an Associate Research Professor and teaches courses on Research and Inquiry, Critical Race Theory, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Dr. Solyom serves as a mentor at the Center for Indian Education (ASU) in preparing and training rising students of color as community embedded researchers and servant-leaders.

Video Contributors

Course Staff Image #3

Dr. Heather Switzer
Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies
School of Social Transformation
Arizona State University

Heather Switzer has a background in English and gender studies, and she has been teaching undergraduate students at research 1 universities since 1992. She received her doctorate in public and international affairs with a graduate certificate in women's studies from Virginia Tech in December 2009. Switzer joined ASU's faculty in women and gender studies in the School for Social Transformation in 2010. Switzer's interdisciplinary research combines several fields including critical girlhood studies, critical development and globalization studies (emphasis: East Africa), transnational feminist theory, feminist disability studies, feminist methodologies, and feminist methods (emphasis: ethnography, qualitative interviewing, and visual and textual analysis).

Course Staff Image #4

Dr. Keon M. McGuire
Associate Professor
Mary Lou Fulton Teacher's College
Arizona State University

Dr. Keon M. McGuire is an Associate Professor of Higher and Postsecondary Education in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and a Faculty Affiliate with the School of Social Transformation. Dr. McGuire's research agenda focuses on the status and experiences of minoritized students across postsecondary educational settings. Drawing from Africana and other interdisciplinary frameworks, Dr. McGuire examines how race, gender and religion shape minoritized college students’ identities and their everyday experiences. Additionally, Dr. McGuire investigates the ways racism, sexism, and heteronormativity undermine the experiences of minoritized college students as well as they ways students resist and respond to such marginalization. In 2019, he was named a National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow and ACPA Emerging Scholar.

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