Diversity Conversations and Programs Continue

Today I had lunch with a group of students whom our chief diversity officer Sonia Mañjon invited to my office for sandwiches and conversation. I learned a lot from the students’ candid comments about some of the barriers to inclusion that still exist on campus. We spoke about ways in which students can sometimes feel a lack of respect in the classroom, and how they can feel that the campus climate might prevent those from under-represented groups from getting the most out of their Wesleyan experience. We talked about ways of improving our recruiting and retention of students in the sciences, and I also heard about a plan to recognize those on campus who go the extra mile to help others succeed at Wesleyan. This was just one in a series of conversations I will have with student groups. These will help us develop policies to make our university a more equitable and welcoming place for all.

Developing a campus climate that makes excellence inclusive is the subject of our MLK celebration tomorrow, Friday, February 1. “Diversity University: From Theory to Practice,” is the theme of this year’s daylong commemoration.

Diversity University: Moving from Theory to Practice

Friday, February 1, 2013

Schedule of Events

10 a.m. – 12 noon: Session Block I
1 p.m. – 3 p.m: Session Block II

Film Screening & Discussion: Cracking the Code: The system of Racial Inequity
Facilitators: Dr. Shakti Butler & Dr. Sonia Mañjon
Location: Usdan 108 (Session I); PAC 001 (Session II)

 Film Screening & Discussion: Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible
Facilitator: Professor Sarah Mahurin & Professor Lois Brown
Location: Usdan Multi-Purpose Room (Session I); PAC 002 (Session II)

Exploring Privilege by Examining Socialization
The messages we grew up with have implications for how we perceive ourselves and others. The power and privilege associated with our group identities often account for how we experience life. By reviewing the Cycle of Socialization and taking the Privilege Walk it will illuminate dynamics that impact the situations we find ourselves in on Wesleyan’s campus.
Facilitators: Tanya Bowers & WesDEF’s
Location: Fayerweather 106 – Theater Rehearsal Room (Session I & II)

Inside-Out & Outside-In: A Creative Identity & Ally Workshop
This workshop will use the arts to explore the perception and reality of our own identities. The impact of examining what we perceive from others and who we really are will inform an understanding of our own bias. We will then use that information to explore key concepts in allyship.
Facilitators: Elisa Cardona & Joanne Rafferty
Location: Usdan 110 (Session I & II)

I’m especially looking forward to the keynote address. You can learn more about the programs here.


3:15pm, Memorial Chapel

Keynote Address by:

Dr. Shakti Butler