Unlikely Allies in the Academy Series

Registration is now CLOSED for the third cohort of the Unlikely Allies Series! The third cohort kicked off May 20, 2020 with a virtual interest meeting.


Based upon the book Unlikely Allies in the Academy: Women of Color and White Women in Conversation, this multi-module series creates opportunities for intragroup dialogue (among those with the same racial and ethnic identities) and intergroup dialogue (between those of differing identities) with the goal of cultivating bonding and bridging capital among the UNT community.

Piloted in the fall of 2016, the series began with campus visits from Dr. Karen Dace, the book’s editor, followed by sessions with some of the book’s contributors. (Click here for the Unlikely Allies Library Resource Guide, including videos of previous sessions.) By demand, the series evolved into a dialogue-based curriculum exploring commonalities and barriers that affect coalition building.

To ensure effective participation, attendance is required at the interest meeting. The cohort will continue with four 1.5 hour sessions led by trained facilitators ranging from 4 – 14 participants over the summer months (to be scheduled) allowing those with common identities to share their perspectives (those who identify as biracial/multiracial can participate in a multi-racial and/or mono-racial group). Participants must also attend their first assigned intragroup session to continue with the program; there may be multiple groups available based upon the number of registrants. Pre-work is encouraged before the intragroup sessions to encourage reflection and participation. Participants can also receive professional development credit for these sessions through UNT’s Learning Management System.

During the spring 2020 semester, all participants will reconvene to share perspectives from their intragroup sessions in a multi-racial group, and discuss next steps for allyship and accompliceship.

For more information, contact assistant director of diversity and inclusion Teresita Hurtado Ramos at Teresita@unt.edu or 940-565-3724.

INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine Unlikely Allies Panel

On July 22, 2020, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Shani Barrax Moore, participated as a panelist in "Women of Color Need Courageous Allies in the Academy: An Open Dialogue with White and Black Women." Watch the recorded panel below!

Past Participant Experiences



  • As a participant, the INTRAgroup Dialogues were such a powerful opportunity and I am so grateful for all of the super important, hard work that you all do! Being able to discuss with individuals with experiences that were both similar and different from mine was something that I found to be extremely enlightening. It helped to be able to process with others in a smaller group setting that felt safe and comfortable for me to be able to be open about my own thoughts.
  • It has been meaningful to me to re-engage with these topics and find that others on campus have shared experiences. It reduces the feelings of isolation.
  • I think the articles, videos, websites, discussion topics and questions, organization of the Unlikely Allies INTRAgroup modules, and the leadership of the facilitators was all carried out really well. It was very helpful to have "homework" before getting together and having an agenda basically because we could've easily gone off topic for too long!
  • Although we belonged to a certain (racial) group, we expressed varying viewpoints which lead to an open and informative dialogue.
  • I think it was helpful to have a group of white allies of POC get together like this because we could deal with some of the white guilt/white tears without silencing POC in a dialogue about racism. This was very beneficial to do before we get together with the INTERgroups because hopefully all that stuff is out of the way for us. It was actually nice to be with other white people experiencing white guilt so we could work through it together.
  • It was amazing meeting other employees on campus and building strong relationships that are rooted in authenticity.
  • I'm soooooo happy the Unlikely Allies in the Academy program was created. This should be continued!!!
  • The INTRAgroup conversations allowed us to support one another, find shared experiences, and recognize the strengths and challenges we face as a group. More than anything, I found these conversations to be an opportunity to build relationships and identify things on campus that are better than I sometimes expect, because feeling like the only voice or the only one who faces some of these (race) challenges is so isolating that it starts to feel like it's my problem rather than a systemic issue.
  • The Unlikely Allies in the Academy INTRAgroup dialogues was amazing. I absolutely loved it. It was like a group therapy session.
  • Thank you for providing this platform of self-reflection and opportunity to learn from each other on how to be better so that we can take what we learn and ripple it through our sphere of influence.
  • It was a great and enlightening experience.
  • Getting to know passionate people on this campus. What a gift!
  • I loved this series! It helped me see other points of view.
  • Hearing other ethnicities talk and discuss their different perspectives was impactful.
  • The INTERgroup series was a great opportunity to engage with a diverse group of employees. Great to know that I’m not alone.
  • Being able to sit with a diverse group and openly discuss comfortably and safely was most impactful for me in the INTERgroup dialogues.

Previous Entries in the Series


"Creating Space for Difficult Conversations & Opportunities for Cross-Cultural and Cross-Racial Conversations” - Part III with Dr. Theresa Torres and Ms. Lisa McCarty November 14, 2017

"Continued Conversations: Women of Color and White Women in the Academy” – Part II with Dr. Frances Kendall April 20, 2017

"Moving from Unlikely to Likely Allies in the Academy” - Part I with Karen Dace October 2016