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January 17, 2024: Spring Learning Opportunities

By Dr. John Johnson, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

Snow covers the ground, with a driftwood sculpture (“Styx”) in the foreground and Penrose Library in the background.

We want to welcome everyone back to campus for the Spring 2024 semester. This is likely to be a semester filled with ups and downs, joys and challenges, and there will be an abundance of opportunities for our community to learn, build and engage with one another. 

The Division of Inclusive Excellence (formerly known as Diversity and Inclusion) will continue to use Whitman Today to share information and resources with the campus each Wednesday. More details will be coming from the college regarding the Dialogue and Dignity initiative, but today, we want to announce a number of opportunities that folks can explore independently or in teams this semester to increase their capacity for advancing inclusive excellence and enhance their DEIA competencies. Additional details about each of the listed resources is offered below.

  1. Engaging Equity Live
  2. Microlessons and Skillshops
  3. Nonviolent Communication virtual conference
  4. ADL’s Antisemitism 101 for the Workplace
  5. Understanding Islamophobia in the Global Context
  6. University of Pittsburgh Diversity Forum

  1. Engaging Equity Live is an online professional learning series available through our institution’s affiliation with the Liberal Arts Racial Equity Leadership Alliance. This series of live sessions will feature the USC Race and Equity Center’s Chief Learning Officer, Jade Agua, in conversation with the Center’s founder and celebrated education scholar, Dr. Shaun Harper. Participants must register for each session they wish to attend. The full schedule can be found here.

  2. The Whitman Inclusive Excellence Council (IEC) is rolling out a series of Microlessons and Skillshops that provide the campus community with tools, resources and strategies to advance inclusive excellence. This curated collection of presentations and learning sessions are facilitated by Whitman staff and faculty and is part of an effort to promote a culture of learning and community of accountability. The full schedule for spring semester can be found here.

  3. In advance of the Nonviolent Communication workshops that will be offered through the Dialogue and Dignity initiative later this semester, the Division of Inclusive Excellence is providing sponsorship for individuals interested in registering for the Center for Nonviolent Communication’s annual conference scheduled for January 26–28. This virtual conference will provide attendees with access to a diverse collection of certified NVC trainers and an immersive experience with the practice of NVC. There is a modest fee to register and individuals in need of institutional sponsorship to attend can submit a request via this form.

  4. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes its purpose as working “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” ADL tracks reports of antisemitism and offers an online educational module “to support professionals in their understanding of antisemitism” and to “help employees enhance their knowledge of Jewish identity and culture.” The module is free and takes about 45-minutes to complete. You can register for ADL’s Antisemitism 101 for the Workplace course here.

  5. The Othering and Belonging Institute (OBI), based out of the University of California, has a robust collection of resources aimed towards documenting and combatting Islamophobia. OBI recently organized a panel focused on Understanding Islamophobia in the Global Context. Check out the video and visit the OBI’s microsite on Islamophobia for more information.

  6. Whitman College has an institutional membership with the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). Through NADOHE, we are connected to a network of senior inclusion administrators across the country and around the globe. These connections occasionally provide access to resources or alerts about programs that are available at affiliate institutions. The University of Pittsburgh’s Diversity Forum is one such program. The theme for this year’s forum (Amplifying Our Voices Through Active Listening and Constructive Dialogue) is in alignment with our own efforts to build community and capacity for connection. Registration for the online event is free and more information about the forum schedule can be found here.

All of us are on our own learning journey. We want to reiterate that the name change for the division is in no way a retreat from the ongoing attack on DEI in higher education. Rather, we actually see DEIA as essential to our institutional viability and are pivoting away from using the string of different terms to describe our work and instead we are using the more succinct phrase, advanced by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, to convey our aspirational goal and our institutional destiny. We are not stepping back, but leaning in. We hope these resources will be useful to you as you work to advance inclusive excellence at Whitman. More us, more we.

Go Blues!

Published on Jan 17, 2024
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