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About Inside Out / Outside In

The podcast began as a collaborative project among several like-minded faculty in Connecticut. However, many of my colleagues could not continue to participate due to the many demands and various responsibilities. So, after being awarded a small grant from the Hartford Consortium of Higher Education, I launched the first episode, and the rest is history. 

The content in the podcast is an extension of my classroom and my op-ed essays published in the Hartford Courant. The podcast is a space to engage in conversations that I wouldn’t usually have in the school because there isn’t enough time or the curriculum doesn’t allow for them. The podcast is also an opportunity to create something new and forward-thinking that can be transferred into classrooms everywhere while creating a space for dialogue with faculty, students, parents, and the community. Most of all, it is an opportunity to educate, raise awareness and build community while bridging the gap between academia and its surrounding and supporting communities. This podcast allows me to center people of color, particularly Black people and other marginalized groups, in a way that rarely happens in American spaces, including academia.

While I don’t recall exactly how we arrived at the name Inside Out / Outside In, I feel it is very befitting of who I am - an immigrant, a woman, and a person of color.  As an immigrant, I often feel like an outsider in the United States, even after living here for most of my life. However, since I migrated here from the Caribbean as a teenager, I don’t feel quite at home when I visit there either. As a Black woman, I am continuously given messages that communicate that I don’t belong or am not welcomed in many of the spaces I navigate, yet I show up and make these spaces my own.

In line with the theory of insider-outsider (Lindbeck and Snower, 1984), I have and continue to enter the very spaces that are usually limited to people of great privilege. My academic achievements and employment record are a testament to that. Yet, as a Black, immigrant woman, I often feel restricted, marginalized, and at times invisible in these settings. Yet, I continue to leverage my position to create and hold space for others like me.

 

The joy and gratification I get from listening to the stories of people of color and marginalized groups while creating spaces where they are centered serves to amplify them and their experiences and minimize their invisibility and the erasure of their accomplishments, pain, and resilience.

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About Dr. Christiana Best-Giacomini

Dr. Christiana Best-Giacomini is the host and creator of the podcast Inside Out/Outside In, which engages in conversations between academia and its communities and is framed by the themes of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Dr. Best is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice at the University of Saint Joseph. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare and is a licensed social worker.

To learn more about my work and publications, visit www.christianabest.com

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