Community Learning Days
Community Learning Days is a collection of DEIA-related workshops/education sessions held prior to the start of the spring semester over the course of two days. The training is focused on building cultural competencies through multiple discussion formats including an interdisciplinary panel and individual workshops on disability, invisible labor, and LGBTQIA+ identities.
The 2022 Community Learning Days sessions were facilitated by representatives from Inclusion Design Group, a team of DEIA educators and professional consultants with several decades of experience developing and delivering content that can support organizations in achieving their DEIA goals. Founded by Dereca Blackmon, who coined the phrase, “bias is the water, not the shark,” Inclusion Design Group sessions for CLD were crafted to help Whitman staff and faculty understand and develop an inclusive mindset.
The Spring semester will begin with valuable DEIA learning opportunities. In January of 2023, Whitman will host two outstanding scholars who will be providing valuable content and contributing to our collective growth. A special professional learning event with Dr. Kathy Obear is scheduled for January 13 and 14. In addition to Obear’s workshop, the lineup for Community Learning Days will also include two workshops on January 11 by Dr. Rema Reynolds.
Obear is nationally recognized as a Social Justice expert, training leaders and facilitators to effectively navigate through difficult dialogues and challenging equity dynamics to create lasting transformation and change. She is the founder of the Center for Transformation and Change, where she establish socially just environments where everyone feels valued and respected by way of giving speeches, facilitated training sessions, and consulted to top leaders at hundreds of universities, human services organizations, and corporations across the United States and internationally with a goal to increase the passion, competence, and commitment to create inclusive, socially just environments for all members of the organization.
She will lead a special 2-day, in-person event for faculty and staff on Deepening Capacity as White Change Agents. Inspired by our experiences at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Ed (NCORE), this event will bring together people who share a commitment to racial justice and anti-racism and who will show up in authentic and vulnerable dialogue to do the critical self-work and skill development necessary to shift racist dynamics and create racial equity and inclusion on campus.
Dr. Reynolds holds a Ph.D. in urban education from UCLA, is a professor of education leadership and policy studies at Wayne State University, and serves on the Michigan State University system Board of Trustees.
Reynolds will facilitate a morning workshop on inclusive pedagogy that will provide faculty with tangible strategies they can deploy in their classrooms to advance equity, inclusion, antiracism and student engagement. Reynolds will also provide an afternoon workshop centering the needs and concerns of staff of color and focused on strategies to navigate a white-controlled academic institution, with consideration for how best to manage their bandwidth, maintain their boundaries and advocate for the recognition of their full humanity.
We are excited to host these two exceptional and engaging scholars and will kick off 2023 with a focus on advancing inclusive excellence.