Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) August workshops

Posted: August 3, 2015

Dear faculty and staff,
Last year, the College successfully launched the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) initiative in partnership with Sustained Dialogue Campus Network and Public Conversations Project. A full report on 2014-2015 activities will post to the IDEA website in early fall, but I would like to share a snapshot of some of the most impactful programs that occurred last year:
  • Over 60 students were engaged in inclusivity leadership workshops and student moderated dialogue groups that explored issues of loneliness, class, race, and religion on campus.
  • The President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (PACDI) developed a robust set of recommendations that were presented to the president on ways to strengthen support for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Faculty and staff were invited to participate in difficult dialogue workshops; faculty heard from recent alumnae about inclusivity in our classrooms; and thought leaders came to campus to share their experiences and expertise on a variety of topics ranging from Islamophobia to White Privilege.
We heard throughout this process the need for strategies to address difficult situations in the classroom and on campus. I am pleased to announce two new skills development offerings for August – Perception and Impact: How language affects relationships and 30 Minutes: Identify, Strategize, Act.
Victoria Verlezza, who has completed training certification through Sustained Dialogues, will offer workshops on word choice and its unintentional impact August 11 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. and August 12 from 2:00 -3:00 p.m. for staff. This workshop – Perception and Impact: How language affects relationships – examines the importance of using effective communication to maintain good interpersonal relations with staff, students, and faculty.  During this highly interactive session, participants will continue to explore communication challenges, models of communication, and discuss perception and its impact on understanding relationships.  By the end of this workshop, participants will understand how to capitalize on their communication strengths and ability to adjust their style to increase understanding. They will also learn strategies for dealing with miscommunication and misunderstanding.  Please RSVP directly with Victoria at by Friday, August 7.
Rhonda Fitzgerald from Sustained Dialogues, will offer 30-minute individual and small group consultancies August 25 and 26 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The 30 Minutes: Identify, Strategize, Act consultancies are designed for individuals or small groups of faculty and staff to pose questions or share experiences encountered in the classroom or on campus and ways to discuss effective strategies.
Please click on to schedule a time. Please arrive at the session with a question or experience for discussion. A confirmation email will be sent with the location and confirmed time for your appointment.
We look forward to another year building capacity toward our shared goal of an inclusive community.
Thanks to all!
Denise Nelson Nash
Vice President/Secretary of the Board of Trustees
Convener of the IDEA Initiative


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