OPINION: Continue the conversation online

By Carolina Cortes , Jayla Fernandez and Peytynn Kubo | January 28, 2021 12:25pm
Carolina Cortes, Jayla Fernandez, and Peytynn Kubo are Diversity Collaborators within Diversity and Inclusion Programs. Photos courtesy of Carolina Cortes.

If you had a chance to read last year’s article on Diversity Dialogues then you have a glimpse into the roles that Diversity Collaborators play in shaping Diversity Dialogues when it happens in-person. Last year’s article touched on the importance of investment of resources to help pay for the speakers, authentic food, giveaways, and so much more. As UP has shifted to an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student clubs have made the most of online technology to continue to build community. Diversity and Inclusion Programs (DIP) was no different in this approach.

One thing must be made clear here, however. Just because organizers did not have to worry about food or in-person set ups, this did not take away the difficulty of setting up programming. Diversity Dialogues takes months of work, starting with outreach and sign-ups during November, planning during Winter Break, and launching events right after MLK Day On. And then comes the funding for hosting speakers, providing giveaways that prioritize QTBIPOC, womxn-owned, local businesses, and much more. All this work is made possible due to the tireless efforts of DIP and individual club, department, and office organizers. Just because UP will mostly continue to be online does not take away the importance of financial investments into programming that centers diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

Everyone at DIP is extremely proud of every organizer this year. Diversity Dialogues has events that have covered the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous communities, mental health, resiliency and healing, the environment, the Holocaust, and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in one’s professional development, just to name a few. Important conversations are happening, and campus leaders continue to build community in an environment where people are physically isolated from one another. 

DIP would like to conclude with an invitation to RSVP to this year’s Diversity Dialogues Keynote Speaker: Dr. Adrienne Keene. Dr. Keene (Cherokee Nation) is a Native scholar, activist, blogger, and writer and is passionate about reframing how the world sees contemporary Native cultures. To register for this webinar which starts Friday, January 29 at 6 p.m. PST, simply RSVP via Eventbrite. For ADA accommodations or questions, please contact Yuri Hernández Osorio at hernandy@up.edu. 

Carolina Cortes, Jayla Fernandez and Peytynn Kubo are Diversity Collaborators and can be reached at cortesc21@up.edu, fernajay22@up.edu, and kubo23@up.edu respectively. 

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