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 Tuesday, October 27, 2009 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Does diversity apply to you? Find out at the Diversity and Inclusion Summit, Nov. 2-3
by Allison Sylvest

What does “diversity” mean? What is “inclusion”? We may think we know the answers, but in fact there are several ways to define each of these words.

Some are commonly held perceptions: diversity is about race; diversity is something that applies only to specific groups of people. Others are nebulous ideas, without single or clear descriptions: inclusion means leaving no one out; inclusiveness is something to be monitored by those in charge.

The ways to define diversity and inclusion are nearly as many and varied as the people these concepts represent. Everyone, regardless of race, age, culture, background, ability and more, is a living, breathing definition of what it is to be diverse. How we fit in and fit together is something all of us work to resolve as we encounter new people, new ideas and new situations.

What we think we know about diversity may not be enough to help us in our everyday lives as part of a large university community filled with varying viewpoints, experiences, and needs. The 2009 Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit on Nov. 2 and 3 at the UMC, will offer ways to examine, expand and redefine diversity. “The faculty, staff and students on the summit planning committee have worked hard to present a useful, rounded program for the entire campus,” said Alphonse Keasley, associate vice chancellor for Campus Climate and Community Engagement (ODECE). “Further, we are convinced that each session will help advance our campus in becoming an inclusive, welcoming institution.”

Do you wonder what the college experience is like for students outside of the typical 18 to 24 age range? Find out at the panel presentation, “Adult Students at CU-Boulder: Benefits and Barriers” on Monday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. in UMC rooms 382-386.

Do you want to lend support to individuals and groups on campus but are unsure of how to go about it, when to offer, or in what way you can be most effective? Attend a Tuesday session on “How to become an Ally,” offered at 9 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. in UMC rooms 415-417.

Many sessions apply to our joint goals as university instructors and employees, such as “Disabilities and Digital Accessibility.” Universal Design incorporates features that are usable and effective for everyone, whether for furniture, building access, technology or other things we use and encounter on a daily basis. All who manage or use websites will gain useful information from this session, Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in UMC room 235.

Take a moment to look at the event schedule for both days, and choose one, two or more sessions to attend. Pick something that you think is applicable to your life, or choose a session that explores a subject you know little or nothing about. Take advantage of this important opportunity to become better instructors, employees, community members and individuals.

Think diversity doesn’t apply to you? Think again!

Does diversity apply to you? Find out at the Diversity Summit, Nov. 2-3

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