Rebecca Munday, Staff Writer
“Courageous Conversations” is sponsored by the President’s Student Advisory Committee (PSAC) on Inclusive Excellence.
The first of these events focused on “Privilege, Respect, and Social Responsibility” was held on Dec. 2 at the Ogeechee Theatre.
This event was hosted by Takeshia Brown, the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), and McKenzie Peterman, Assistant Director of OMA.
About three dozen people, including faculty, students and administrators, attended the event.
At the beginning of the event they handed out sticky notes and asked attendants to write their hopes and fears for the event’s conversation on the sticky note. Then, they asked the attendants to stick their sticky notes to the wall. Next, they read off some of the things that people wrote on the notes.
“The conversation and the process doesn’t end at the end of this event,” Brown said.
Then, they asked the question, “Who am I?” to the audience.
They wanted the audience to consider that question in terms of three other questions: “What communities/identity groups am I a part of?” “How has my perspective been impacted by my identity?” “How has my identity and perspective impacted the ways in which I make connections with others?”
For the third activity, the attendants were split into groups that got $200, $300, $400 and $500 to spend on privileges for sale.
Groups could buy privileges such as “sharing health insurance with your partner(s),” “Not questioning normalcy both sexually and culturally” and “Being able to feel safe in your interactions with police officers.”
The groups decided to pool their money so instead of four groups, they became two groups with $800 and $600 respectively. Finally, the entire room became one big group that got to choose 14 privileges for a $100 each.
Then, Brown and Peterman went over strategies for social responsibility: self-work, mentorship, ally ship and sponsorship, collaboration and communication.
This event will also be held on the Statesboro Campus on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Russell Union Ballroom.
In February 2020, PSAC will sponsor a town hall/panel discussion on “Social Justice” and in March 2020, the topic will be “Gender and Sexuality.”
Further information on these events will be posted on the Inclusive Excellence landing page, georgiasouthern.edu/ diversityandinclusion.
Courageous Conversations are open to students, faculty and staff.
Here is a list of goals from President Dr. Kyle Marrero for spring 2020 and beyond for the university:
- Our search for an Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, launched on August 29, 2019, is in progress. This is a senior leadership position that will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet, report directly to me, and provide organizational alignment throughout the institution to deliver our inclusive excellence plan and initiatives.
- We are working with and supporting the Student Government Association leaders to organize work groups following the open forums to translate student suggestions into an actionable plan.
- The President’s Student Advisory Council (PSAC) on Inclusive Excellence, which held its first meeting September 16, 2019, will be hosting three “Courageous Conversations” panel discussions/town halls over the next several months and will be identifying additional student organization events to develop an overall “Inclusive Excellence” series. This will be supported by marketing and communication to ensure students are aware of these opportunities and events. In addition, we will continue our “Protect Our Nest” series with a goal of continuous dialogue and relationship building with our university, city and county police officers.
- The President’s Diversity Advisory Council, led by Dr. Maxine Bryant, will finalize our Diversity Statement and will serve as a campus diversity crisis advisory team ensuring we communicate effectively and expeditiously.
- The senior leadership teamhas already established Inclusive Excellence goals specific to their divisional objectives that are presented in their performance scorecards.
- We are committed to continue our FYE curriculum.
- Each College is in the process of developing their Inclusive Excellence Planand implementation strategy.
- Faculty leaders are being encouraged to engage in discussions, forums, lectures, and presentationsconversing on difficult dialogues to educate, inform, and allow all perspectives to be heard.
- We continue to be committed to the implementation of the seven recommendations from Dr. Damon Williams Inclusive Excellence report shared with the campus on August 28, 2019.
- I and my leadership team will continue to be accessible, present, and engaged with you – committing to open dialogue with students – I will update the campus in writing on our progress.
Updates on all of these activities and initiatives will be uploaded to the Inclusive Excellence page, georgiasouthern.edu/diversityandinclusion.
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