Conferences have long been opportunities to connect, share information, develop new working relationships and uncover new ways to approach solutions to vexing problems. Before the widespread use of technology and social media, that information was limited to those in attendance. Even then, connecting with other attendees could be difficult. Anyone unable to attend the conference missed out all together!
From 2013 to 2014, my colleague, Lasana Kazembe, adjunct professor at DePaul University and I interviewed 33 African-American faculty members from institutions across the country. The results were disappointing, but not particularly surprising. Their personal experiences provide a unique perspective on "presenting while black."
We all have experienced interminable meetings: the hour-long meeting to accomplish 10 minutes' worth of work, or the meeting that seems to have no purpose. Whether on the department level or the larger institutional level, inefficiently run meetings consume inordinate amounts of our time and energy.