Over the next month, UP’s Diversity and Inclusion Programs(DIP) is holding a series of free workshops available to the UP community dedicated to exploring and discussing the different aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and their immeasurable impact on the world around us.
“When we first thought about these trainings we were like, ‘we need to talk about race, we need to talk about privilege, and we need to talk about LGBTQIA populations,’” DIP Coordinator Yuri Hernandez-Osorio said. “Just this summer, the heightened race relations and police brutality have really shaken the QTBIPOC (Queer, Transgender, Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) community and especially our Black community.”
The first of the series is called Inside and Out the Margins: Understanding and Supporting Minority Populations in Our Day-to-Day Lives. The workshop is taking place on Sept. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The workshop will explore how identity affects minority populations with the intent to make spaces more inclusive. The last day to sign up through Engage is Sept. 23.
The second training is titled Resiliency and Restoration: Collectively Healing from Our Radicalized Experiences. This workshop, taking place on Oct. 2 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. will explore the challenges that BIPOC - identifying community members face while in primarily white spaces. This workshop will highlight how resiliency, self-care and strong support systems can help to heal and advocate for change. The last day to sign up through Engage is Sept. 30.
The third workshop, Understanding One’s Own Identity and Implicit Bias, will be held on Oct. 23 from 4:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. This training will focus on the intersectionalities of personal identities as well as your own biases. It will explore the ways in which systemic and institutional racism and sexism influence personal bias in ways that perpetuate inequality. The last day to sign up through Engage is Oct. 23.
These workshops were designed by a Student Affairs Diversity subcommittee to help community members develop a basic understanding of concepts and terminology related to diversity, equity and inclusion. The subcommittee wanted the training to be proactive, but also adaptable to current issues, according to Hernandez-Osorio. As part of addressing current social issues, the committee included UP specific examples in the training.
“In our workshop on implicit bias and understanding one's own identity, we included some examples from the Black at UP Instagram account as really critical talking points to address what some of those examples were reflecting in terms of what biases were informing them,” Eduardo Contreras, subcommittee member of the Diversity and Inclusion program said.
In previous years, variations of these workshops have been implemented into residence hall staff training. This is the first year this program was made available to all members of the UP community due to the increased need for awareness and advocacy of systemic racism and injustices taking place across the US.
“People are really gravitating to it. We've already had 75 folks show up just for the couple we've already done so far,” Contreras said. “I'm excited about the other ones that we have, and we're trying to schedule at least one more this semester and then we're going to do it again in the spring.”
Will Mulligan is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.