Campus Diversity Forum: Moving from Inclusion to Engagement

October 17, 2016

Written by Alyssa Langer  

diversity forumThe University of Wisconsin-Whitewater continues a conversation of inclusivity and embracing diversity at the Nov. 1-2 annual Campus Diversity Forum. This event will be held across campus with various sessions to engage students, faculty and staff and the Whitewater community.

"The diversity forum is an opportunity for people to look at themselves, to look at others and to broaden our worldview and perspective on issues relating to this broad spectrum of diversity," said Tom Rios, vice chancellor for student affairs.

The Division of Students Affairs is hosting this year's forum and planning a wide range of topics for discussion, from cultural intelligence to advocacy to relationship building.

"Student Affairs helped shape it and a lot of the focal points came from conversations that students discussed at the Campus Culture Working Group (last semester). Many students are saying that the diversity forum has to be relevant. Relevance was the key thing," said Rios.

One of the sessions, "Now You See Me: Exploring the Lived Experiences of Persons with Visible and Invisible Disabilities," at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in University Center, room 261, will feature students sharing their experiences at UW-Whitewater and beyond.

Another session, "Engaging Racial Discomfort," at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the University Center Hamilton Room, will be led by faculty who will facilitate small groups discussions about experiences of racial discomfort and how to turn them into opportunities for positive engagement.

A panel discussion, “Beyond Transactions: Workplace Relationships that Endure” focuses on the importance of cultural literacy in the workplace. This discussion will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 2:30 p.m., also in the Hamilton Room. This panel will be facilitated by Ron Buchholz, director of Career and Leadership Development, and features professional leaders and employers from GE Healthcare, Manpower Group, Associated Bank, Deloitte and Actuant Corporation.

"I hope these events help people broaden their perspective both on themselves and others, but also to get them to think about themselves as learners and what they need to do to bolster their own learning to become equipped to navigate a world characterized by diversity," said Rios.