Advocacy for Diversity Begins with the Self: Unleashing Silenced Stories: A Duoethnographic Account


  • Hilary Brown Brock University
  • Dolana Mogadime Brock University


White privilege, Duoethnography, Teacher education, Race and gender, Higher education, Critical race studies, Black feminism


This paper introduces the research methodology duoethnography as a viable tool or strategy to get at the underlying biases and assumptions that both a Black and White teacher/researcher hold. How we teach for diversity was the central topic of our duoethnography, however, this evolved into a series of dialogues where we came to question our own practice. Through the mutual creation of a respectful space we were able to speak about race from a critical position. Through a poetic analysis of the data, the shared themes of unleashing our own silenced stories, wrestling through our different interpretations of empathy versus sympathy while continually moving toward a place of vulnerability where we both felt welcomed and validated, emerged. Our work came to a turning point at the White Privilege Symposium at Brock University where Hilary Brown came face to face with what it means to be a recovering racist, and where Dolana Mogadime found a home where she was unafraid to talk openly about race and racism. The duoethnographic dialogues created the foundation where both authors are ready to change.

Author Biographies

Hilary Brown, Brock University

Hilary Brown, Ph. D., is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University. She is the recipient of the 2012 Brock University Award for Excellence in teaching for Early Career Faculty. Hilary uses duoethnography as a pedagogical tool to encourage her students to delve deeply into the self in order to both expose as well as reconcile their vulnerabilities around the concept of diversity.

Dolana Mogadime, Brock University

Dolana Mogadime, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Joint Ph.D. in Educational Studies Graduate Program Director, and an affiliate of the Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI) at Brock University in St. Catharines Ontario, Canada. Dolana’s research interests are in social justice, equity studies and feminist theories.



How to Cite

Brown, H., & Mogadime, D. (2017). Advocacy for Diversity Begins with the Self: Unleashing Silenced Stories: A Duoethnographic Account. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 7(2), 15–38. Retrieved from