Moving from Inclusion to Engagement

Our University has made great strides over the years to become inclusive — recruiting students, faculty and staff from varied backgrounds — while empowering them to exercise their gifts and talents within our community. Nonetheless, our work continues. 

As we strive to promote a sense of belonging for all community members, we practice respect for their beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of being.

Inclusion makes for a great university; engagement with each other capitalizes on the potential that inclusion promises.

 Indeed, engagement is the focal point of this year’s campus Diversity Forum.

 As you can see, the Forum’s program schedule will begin with a session on Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and how we can bolster our ability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity. Relationships change lives, and the ability to establish and sustain relationships with others is a skill that will endure throughout one’s lifetime. Improving our CQ will aid in this process.

 We also gain insight into the lives of students for whom our campus has served for many years:  students with disabilities. The sessions entitled “Cornerstones for Success,” and “Now You See Me:  Exploring the Lived Experiences of Persons with Visible and Invisible Disabilities” will help all of us to understand the challenges and successes encountered by our students.

 Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges in engaging others is dealing with racial discomfort. In the session, “Engaging Racial Discomfort,” faculty will facilitate small group discussions to help participants reflect on their own experiences and develop strategies to safely and productively turn moments of racial discomfort into opportunities for engagement.

 Please review the Forum’s schedule for additional information on sessions. From hearing employers’ business case for diversity and how students can prepare themselves for working in a diverse workplace, to gaining insight into how Black and multicultural fraternities and sororities facilitate the success of UW-Whitewater students, this year’s Forum provides a full measure of opportunity for learning and engagement. 

 Program Schedule

(Diversity Forum Flyer)

Tuesday,  November 1st 

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and Why UW-W Needs it!

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. in the UC - Hamilton Room

Cross-cultural interactions are hard work. And nobody behaves flawlessly in cross-cultural interactions.

Cultural Intelligence (CQ) isn't a new and improved label for cultural competence — rather, it's based on research that asked the underlying question:  Why can some individuals and organizations move in and out of varied cultures easily and effectively while others cannot? 

For those of us who work in higher education, we often face an occupational hazard — thinking that knowledge alone is transformative. But knowledge alone is no guarantee of action.  

Join us to explore how the four factors of CQ — Drive (motivation), Knowledge (cognition), Strategy (meta-cognition), and Action (behavior) — can enhance our "capability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity."  

Dr. David Livermore, Cultural Intelligence Center President and Leading Global Expert, will deliver a 90 minute presentation briefly introducing Cultural Intelligence and its relevance to our campus community.

Cornerstones for Success

11:00 a.m. - Noon in the Roseman Gym

This unique program dispels myths about persons who have a disability and demonstrates how we all can be successful in life. World-class athletes who happen to have a disability "tell it like it is" about life with a disability. The program consists of two parts: (1) a direct discussion about the lives and experiences of the student-athletes [with a “no-holds barred” question and answer period about life with a disability], and (2) a demonstration on the fundamentals of Wheelchair Basketball —with members from the audience having the opportunity to hop into a chair and test their skills at shooting, dribbling, and passing from a wheelchair. Past presentations have served as motivation for many people, and will “move you” intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. (Facilitators:  Jeremy Lade, Christina Schwab, and UW-W student athletes).

 Leading with Cultural Intelligence (CQ) at UW-W (By Invitation Only)

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the UC-Hamilton Room

Dr. David Livermore will facilitate a highly interactive half-day training seminar to increase campus leaders’ understanding of CQ, participants’ awareness of their CQ, and strategies for improving and leveraging individuals’ CQ to support our institution’s commitment to becoming a more diverse and inclusive campus. 

Sustained Learning: An Opportunity to Extend Learning about Culture and Self

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. in UC 266

Forums are great starting points, but how do we as a community sustain our collective learning beyond the Forum? This session allows participants to identify areas of study, discussion, and engagement for continued learning. By pairing faculty and staff members with students, we will shape topics for co-learning across generational and positional boundaries. The topics have not been predefined, but will be the outcomes of a fluid process. (Facilitators:  Bob Barry and Elizabeth Watson).

Now You See Me: Exploring the Lived Experiences of Persons with Visible and Invisible Disabilities

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in UC 261

Students will share their experiences at UW-Whitewater and beyond. This session allows the audience to ask questions in a safe environment without judgment. Additionally, it is an opportunity for students to share ongoing concerns and experiences related to having a disability. Students continue to encounter bias, especially if the disability is hidden. (Facilitators:  Elizabeth Watson, Sara Vogt, and UW – Whitewater students). 

Wednesday, November 2nd

Advocacy, Identity and the University

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. in UC 266

Diverse student populations often call upon faculty and staff to serve in advocacy roles on their behalf. Some individuals act as advocates within their professional roles on campus; others act through personal passion — reflecting their commitment to students. This session examines the challenges faced by those who serve as student advocates. Questions to be explored include:

  • How does one manage expectations of students and institutional leadership?
  • What happens if these expectations are in conflict?
  • What are the implications of playing an advocacy role that is an extension of personal identity? 
  • How does one manage the impact such a role has on self, perceptions of colleagues, and supervisors?
  • Where does one go for support? 

(Facilitators:  Lauren Smith, Janay Alston, Whitney Supianoski, and Brent Bilodeau) 

Engaging Racial Discomfort

10:30 a.m. - Noon in the UC - Hamilton Room

As campuses and workplaces become more racially diverse, people may sometimes feel uncomfortable as they attempt to navigate these spaces and interact with people whose identities differ from their own. Faculty members will discuss some of the sources of racial discomfort and how they approach racial discomfort in the classroom. In small groups facilitated by faculty members, attendees will reflect on their own experiences and develop strategies to safely and productively turn moments of racial discomfort into opportunities for engagement and communication about issues relating to race. (Facilitators:  Greg Jeffers, James Levy, Elizabeth Kim, Pilar Melero, and Laura Porterfield).

Stepping and Strolling One's Way to Success: How Black and Multicultural Fraternities and Sororities Facilitate the Success of College Students

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the UC - Hamilton Room

Student leaders will provide historical perspective on the unique role that Black and Multicultural fraternities and sororities play in positively shaping the college experiences and perceptions of its members. Membership in these student organizations often mediates the perceived racial climate at colleges and universities, influencing various factors including students’ social life, academics, networking opportunities, post-college preparation and sense of on-campus support. Come without any preconceived ideas about Greek Life, and you will be amazed at how these organizations support student success at UW-Whitewater. Also, be prepared to practice a bit of stepping and strolling. (Facilitators:  Kyree Brooks, Karina Tomei, and Kejuane Jennings). 

Beyond Transactions: Workplace Relationships that Endure

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the UC - Hamilton Room

When they enter the workforce, UW-Whitewater graduates must be able to form positive, productive relationships with clients and colleagues of identity backgrounds different than their own. Currently, many recruiters indicate our graduating students are unable to express how they have made themselves ready to succeed in a diverse world. During this session, recruiters who interview and hire our graduates will talk about the business case for diversity, and provide insight on what students can do during their college years to be best prepared to thrive in diverse workplaces. (Facilitator:  Ron Buchholz and Employers)