Book Club — Campus Counterspaces: Black and Latinx Students’ Search for Community at Historically White Universities


Days: Wednesdays, July 7 – August 25 (8 weeks)
Times: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Facilitator: Devin Wixon; Participants will lead discussions on a rotating basis
Location: Remote meetings on Zoom (link will be emailed to registrants)
Credit information
: N/A
Satisfies prerequisite toward the Delta Certificate: Δ (1 delta )
Register Here


How would learning about the experiences of Black and Latinx students at historically white universities shape your understanding of your students, yourself, and your teaching practices? We invite anyone and everyone to join this open conversation using the book Campus Counterspaces: Black and Latinx Students’ Search for Community at Historically White Universities as a jumping off point to explore inclusive teaching ideas.

Join for a discussion rooted in curiosity and cultural humility — whether you are totally new to these topics or have spent time immersed in ideas of equity and inclusion. This will be an opportunity for shared learning, with a focus on how we might apply these ideas in our teaching.

About the Book

Frustrated with the flood of news articles and opinion pieces that were skeptical of minority students’ “imagined” campus microaggressions, Micere Keels, a professor of comparative human development, set out to provide a detailed account of how racial-ethnic identity structures Black and Latinx students’ college transition experiences.

Tracking a cohort of more than five hundred Black and Latinx students since they enrolled at five historically white colleges and universities in the fall of 2013 Campus Counterspaces finds that these students were not asking to be protected from new ideas. Instead, they relished exposure to new ideas, wanted to be intellectually challenged, and wanted to grow. However, Keels argues, they were asking for access to counterspaces — safe spaces that enable radical growth. They wanted counterspaces where they could go beyond basic conversations about whether racism and discrimination still exist. They wanted time in counterspaces with likeminded others where they could simultaneously validate and challenge stereotypical representations of their marginalized identities and develop new counter narratives of those identities.

In this critique of how universities have responded to the challenges these students face, Keels offers a way forward that goes beyond making diversity statements to taking diversity actions.

Editorial Reviews

“This is an excellent book that offers a significant contribution to the existing literature. A sense of the trajectory of Latinx and Black students’ transitions is a new contribution that is needed in the field.”
— Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of The Unchosen Me

“The authors bring an important, specific focus to a number of populations that are often left less considered. The book is well written and engaging, drawing on  data that were clearly gathered with great care―the interviews are moving, intimate, and reflect a crucial rapport and trust.”
— Elizabeth Lee, Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at Ohio University, author of Class and Campus Life

“In this important book, Micere Keels amplifies the voices of Black and Latinx students and their search for identity-affirming community in the face of marginalizing forces on historically White campuses. It offers important insights and actionable recommendations to campus leaders who are serious about supporting the success of all of their students. Recommended reading!”
— Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., Author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations about Race

Get the Book

We will have copies available for loan. If you wish to purchase your own copy, please do!