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Microlessons & Skillshops

Microlessons are an effective way to deliver diversity, equity and inclusion training that is digestible and actionable for learners. Faculty and staff will be offering a series of microlessons each semester, which campus community members are welcome and encouraged to attend and engage in. DEIA Micro-Lessons and Skillshops are sponsored by the Inclusive Excellence Council (IEC).

Spring 2024 DEIA Microlessons & Skillshops

RSVP for a Microlesson & Skillshop

Rachel Freeman-Cohen, Director of LGBTQIA+ Student Services

January 24
Noon1 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

The Gender Pronouns Microlesson is aimed at fostering understanding and respect for the correct use of gender pronouns. This is a beginner workshop, but all participants are welcomed regardless of level of knowledge. In this workshop, participants will: 

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of what gender pronouns are and their significance in affirming individuals' identities
  • Learn about the different types of gender pronouns used such as 'he/him', 'she/her', 'they/them', and neopronouns
  • Understand the impact of misgendering and how it can be harmful to individuals, particularly those within the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Discover practical strategies for using correct pronouns in everyday life, including in conversations, emails, and on social media
  • Discuss methods for creating an inclusive environment that respects and normalizes the sharing and use of correct gender pronouns

Through interactive discussions, real-life examples, and role-playing activities, participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective allies in promoting the use of correct gender pronouns. This workshop aims to encourage a culture of respect, inclusivity, and affirmation of personal identities for all.



Nadine Stecklein, Assistant Director for Internship Programs, The Career and Community Engagement Center

January 31
Noon1 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

This workshop will provide examples for combatting the racial battle fatigue they may experience. Everyone is at a different level of knowing what it means for that fatigue to continue. I plan to give the background/ define racial battle fatigue and allow folks that may be comfortable (in the small group exercise) to share how they experience it and what are some things they do to help. As a large group we will come together with tools they can use to combat the fatigue.

After attending this workshop attendees will be able to:

  • Define racial battle fatigue (RBF)
  • Identify strategies to cope with racial battle fatigue RBF
  • Identify ways to support the Black community and resources for allies.



Tebraie Banda-Johns, Director of the Intercultural Center

February 7
12–1 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

Tebraie Banda-Johns will lead a lesson on how “Subtle Acts of Exclusion” can cause harm to others and how to avoid using them. Participants will learn key terms and as a group develop. This lesson is open for all community members. Participants will learn key terms and as a group develop language to use to create an inclusive environment. 



Cassandre Beccai, Director of Equity and Compliance, Title IX Coordinator

February 7
4:30–5:30 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

During this session, attendees will learn effective techniques for responding to disclosures and discussing any reporting responsibilities with others. A sample script and additional resources will be provided.



NiQo Bullock, Associate Director of Student Activities, and Stace Sievert, Assistant Director of Student Activities

February 14
Noon1 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

Recognizing that we all hold myriad identities, this foundation-level conversation will help participants understand why what intersectionality does is more than what it is.   Core tenets and themes of resistance will be named, as well as ample opportunities for self-reflection and group conversation.  Diving into recognition of our own lenses in viewing the world, and articulating ways to share them with others, will set up participants for future synthesis of this content both in the Whitman community and in the wider world.



Dr. John Johnson, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

March 6
4:305:30 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

This microlesson will focus on the concept of inclusive excellence and the principles that have been posited as integral to the practice. Dr. Johnson will provide a brief summary of the emergence of the concept in higher education and go through each of the seven elements he regarded as essential to the advancement of inclusive excellence at Whitman. This session is open to all members of the Whitman community.

After attending this microlesson, participants will:

  • Have a clear understanding of how inclusive excellence is distinct from previous approaches to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Understand the implications of an unwelcoming climate on institutional success and their roles and responsibilities related to the advancement of inclusive excellence at Whitman.

  • Be able to explain the interconnectedness of the seven principles of inclusive excellence.



Adam Kirtley, Interfaith Chaplain

March 27
12 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

Our ability to engage in constructive conversations about controversial topics is eroding.  Increasingly, it seems, we peddle in the currency of "being right", but as we clamor to prove our point we too often lose sight of the fact that dialogue is by definition a shared experience.  It does us little good to "be right" in front of a brick wall.  Recognizing the dignity and worth of our conversation partner (and having our own humanity recognized by them), is a critically important step toward conversations that increase understanding and bolster community. 
 
This microlesson will discuss strategies for the art of difficult dialogue- how to infuse compassion into our controversy and dignity into our disagreements. 

Albert Schueller, Mina Schwabacher Professor of Mathematics

April 3
12 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207



Andrew Padilla Johnson, Interim Director of Residence Life and Housing

April 10
4:305:30 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

This session will connect diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging with radical listening and affirmation. It will draw on work in Intergroup Dialogue and Ecological Validation to give participants a deeper understanding of how listening and affirmation can create more inclusive environments. This work is used in Residence Life and Housing at Whitman to teach Resident Assistants (RAs) how to build inclusive communities, and is a valuable skill for participants to use in a variety of work and personal settings. 

Participants will: 

  1. Leave with a greater understanding of the connection between DEIB and radical listening 
  2. Practice listening and affirmation through a brief structure validation activity
  3. Consider how they could integrate listening and affirmation into a variety of community spaces



Makaya Resner, Assistant Director of Admission (deia-Focused) & Lily Painter, Assistant Director of Admission

April 17
4:305:30 p.m.
Reid Campus Center 207

In a world of shifting populations in a country that is home to people of all backgrounds, the conversations around race and identity have neglected to include the broader experience of “mixedness”.  Peoples from mixed-race or mixed-ethnic identities experience different social and political challenges, but their unique positionality carries a valuable skill set toward building connections across differences. This session, we’ll discuss themes such as code switching, perceived “racial hierarchies”, and how to navigate mixedness as an asset for initiating social change. Open to all but conversations will most likely lean on personal experiences of mixedness.

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