Shattering Glass: e-Mentoring and the Advancement of Diversity

Mentoring is a popular strategy to develop future leaders. Unfortunately, traditionally disadvantaged group members (TDGMs) face challenges in the mentoring process. Extending the analogy of the glass ceiling illustrates these challenges. First, the shortage of suitable mentors makes it difficult for TDGMs to pass through the “glass door” to access positions and establish early career success. Second, negative biases and discrimination limit the sponsorship of TDGMs to climb the “glass staircase” and develop leadership acumen. Third, the necessary career-related support needed to break the “glass ceiling” is lacking. e-Mentoring is argued to be a tool to help shatter this glass.

Diversifying Sexuality Education in Hong Kong

Education shapes the power relations in society. Foucault’s concept “discursive formation” has strengthened analyses of the ways in which institutions establish orders of truth and, specifically, reinforce certain identities or subjectivities in matters of sexualities and status. The present study addresses discursive formation by interrogating the relations between sexuality education, diversity, and self-formation in Hong Kong’s higher education institutions. There are two general components of the study. The first concerns the extent to which “critical pedagogy,” adopted in gender and sexuality curricula, fosters diversity and challenges the dominant discourses on sexuality perpetuated in higher education institutions, and how this pedagogy differs from the “school-based” sexuality education advocated in primary and secondary schools. The second component of this study will focus on student-initiated activities as well as youth perspectives relative to sexuality and identities. Interviews were conducted with university and college students between the ages of twenty and twenty-eight. The interviews addressed the potentiality of student-initiated activities (e.g., workplace practicum, sexuality- or gender-related gatherings) in cultivating students as critical and conscious subjects through a more informal and contextualized form of sexuality education. The findings suggest that there is an urgent demand for sex-friendly and diverse spaces where students may continuously, exploratively, and honestly reflect on sexualities.

Bonding and Bridging Social Capital among an Ethnic Minority Group: The Case of the Japanese Community in the Greater Boston Area

Ethnic minority groups continue to be the most vulnerable population in the United States. This is especially evident during traumatic events such as terrorism and natural disaster. They often report difficulties in accessing and obtaining appropriate support from formal service providers. Reasons for this vary, and may include language, cultural barriers, and mistrust. In recent years, research has attempted to understand the role of community in mitigating outcomes for minority groups. Social capital (bonding, bridging, and linking), for example, has been identified as a survival strategy for ethnic minority groups during traumatic events. Building on this body of knowledge, we investigate if and how different types of social capital had an effect on the Japanese community in the greater Boston area following the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Results of this study suggest that individuals who only had bonding social capital tended to face more difficulties adjusting than people who had both bonding and bridging social capital following the bombing. Further, people who were in the United States for a short period of time, those who had low English proficiency, and those who came to the United States to study reported more difficulties adjusting after the incident. To conclude, we propose strategies for community actions with potential to enhance the types of social capital available to communities. The goal is to promote and strengthen survival mechanisms.