Participate in Diversity Partnerships in Action at St. Thomas

Participate in Diversity Partnerships in Action at St. Thomas

The Office of Institutional Diversity continues to strive for an inclusive community that fosters an open, enlightened and robust learning and working environment. A free exchange of ideas requires mutual respect and consideration for our differences. It is important to think of diversity not as a path toward uniformity, but as a way to acknowledge and value everyone’s varied experiences. The Gospel Luke reminds us that, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him (and her; my emphasis) shall much be required” (Luke 12:48 ); therefore, I encourage all university administrators, managers, supervisors, department chairs, faculty and staff organizations, and student clubs and organizations to not just talk about it, be about it – diversity! The key is not to do what others do and say; it is to know we can, believe we can and do what we can do to the best of our ability. If we know what to expect from ourselves, we will always live up to our greatest expectation.

We – the university – have a responsibility to make our campus, the Twin Cities, the state, and the world a better place to live. We must connect our intellectual resources to communities across Minnesota and offer education to those who may face the greatest challenges in accessing it. To do so, we must become more thoughtful learners and change-agents on our campuses – in classrooms, campus meeting spaces, residence halls, on the quad, within ourselves and with peers; thus, one focus of my office is to build partnerships and transport diversity beyond dialogues and individual action.

Every student and employee is strongly encouraged and invited to participate in the following diversity partnership initiatives. For more information and specific details on each, visit our Web site.

  • 2006-2007 Diversity Events Calendar –a central Web-calendar with cultural and academic events, holidays/observances, and programs happening at UST, ACTC schools and the Twin Cities. If your office or organization would like to include events, please forward them to OID. See calendar under “Diversity Resources.”
  • LOFTUS Diversity Mini-Grant Initiative – an endowment created to support programs and projects at the University of St. Thomas that will improve access to healthcare for underserved and underrepresented populations. On the whole, mini-grant funds will be made available to enhance the institutional environment, curriculum and student experience. Grant funds can enhance the student experience in a variety of areas: traditional classroom, community-based experience, or on the campus in general. First round application deadline is Dec. 8. Please visit the Web site for more descriptive information.
  • Diversity Development Workshops for Faculty, Staff and Students – an incredible opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to actively engage in dialogue about equity and inclusion in ways that produce engagement, information and leave us in a learning modality. These workshop sessions are definitely not a write-off exercise; rather, the workshops incorporate an organic means that takes time, is continuous, and can be effectively measured in terms of outcome and progress.
  • Nov. 13, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., McNeely Hall, Great Room, Room 100 – Train the Trainer: Facing Race: New Conversations About Race and Racism (facilitated by Rowzat Shipchandler, The Saint Paul Foundation)
  • Nov. 20, 1:30-4 p.m., Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center – Ally Training: Understanding Gender and Sexual Identity (facilitated by Dr. Anne Phibbs, University of Minnesota GLBT Systemwide Programs Office)
  • Dec. 4, 1-4:30 p.m., Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center – Understanding Other Peoples’ Power: A Simulation Experience (facilitated by Rev. Karen McKinney, Bethel University )
  • Faculty Development Intercultural Workshops – professional development for faculty is paramount to fostering an academic climate where these individuals can grow and thrive throughout their careers. The Offices of Faculty Development and Institutional Diversity will host a workshop for faculty geared toward understanding diversity and complexity in the classroom.
    • Nov. 13, 3-5 p.m., Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center – Strategies for Teaching in the Intercultural Classroom: A Faculty and Student Panel
  • The New Human Diversity Requirement Evaluation Form – the Office of Institutional Diversity, in collaboration with Academic Affairs and Human Diversity Review Committee, developed a standard instrument to assess impact of participation in a diversity course. The evaluation moves beyond the standard pre- and post assessments to account for the type of pedagogy and learning that students report with respect to the course’s impact.
    • Nov. 17, noon-1 p.m., McNeely Hall, Great Room, Room 100 – HDR Survey Pilot Study Evaluation Information Session. Instructors teaching HDR-designated courses are encouraged to attend this information session to find out more about the nature of this initiative and next steps in the process.

Your support of these initiatives is critical to build a greater sense of community at the University of St. Thomas. There are more exciting initiatives forthcoming and I will keep you updated as a community. Help us help you. Get involved!