Monthly Archives

October 2013

Diversity, Purple Bench

“You, Me, and We” ~ talking and listening to find out about each other at the SDIS purple bench…

purple benchWe are going to try a “What is YOUR story” sharing time at SDIS on Monday afternoons from  2-3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 1:30-3 p.m. We want you to share your story. SDIS is committed to an inclusive environment for all students. In order for change to occur and advocacy to be effective, it is important to know about the experiences that people have.  We invite you to please come by and share your story, both positive and negative.

Not ready to tell your story? Not sure what to share? Then just come by hang out, listen, and get to know our staff and other UST students.

We will be posting your picture (if you want) under our series #purplebench in our social media! Check out one of our other pics


SDIS at It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending YWCA’s It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race with our Interim Associate Dean of Student in Student Diversity and Inclusion Services, Patricia Conde-Brooks. I had casually worked with YWCA last year as they launched an Unfair Campaign, in Duluth, Minnesota. That campaign in itself is a whole other blog to be. I would encourage you to look it up. Regardless, I went with an open mind and was optimistic.

Yes, it is time to talk. YWCA promoted this event as the largest forum on race in the nation. And it does not stop there. This clip that was shared at the event shed some light on that message. I highly recommend viewing it. My challenge to you echoes the video, Take Action: Be the one!

I’ve returned from the forum with the following thoughts. Always, tell your story. It doesn’t have to be the hardship and depressing plot we may dread to speak. Share the land marks, the success stories and celebrations you have encountered (as a person of color). To be aware. Between 2005 and 2015, Minnesota’s population of color is projected to grow 35% compared to 7% for the white population. Now that’s a thought to hold on to. In addition, that Minnesota ranks lowest in the nation for racial disparities in both education and employment attainment. What does this say about the state in which I just relocated to? What does it say about my community and the future of the world?

Regardless, I enjoyed the Keynote Presentation by Andrés Tapia. He has been one of the leading voices in shaping a contemporary, next-generation approach to diversity and inclusion. He left me with 6 key points:

1. To be a minority, is to be a majority
2. We must own our own biases
3. Share each other’s stories
4. Inclusion is a skill not an attitude
5. Don’t let anyone take away your rights
6. Stand up for the rights of others

Before leaving, I signed up to Become a trained racial justice facilitator. Will you take your racial journey to a new level and spark the conversation of change?


National Native What?

So November is just around the corner. That means most Diversity offices on a college campus are planning for Native Heritage month. I have been working in Multicultural Affairs for over 6 years and in celebrating many heritage months, as most multicultural offices do, I found it confusing when creating a poster for this year’s celebration. In the past, Presidential proclamations have declared the month as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Today, it reads “National Native American Heritage Month.” I have found that over the years, everyone chooses a variety of ways to refer to the November celebration. So who is right? Some choose to call it National American Indian Heritage Month, while others simply prefer Native Heritage Month, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month or in some cases Alaska Native Heritage Month.

Regardless of name preference, there exists a collective understanding and sense of unity around the celebration of Native peoples during the month of November. SDIS will officially be celebrating National Native American Heritage Month on Monday November 11, 2013. With support from UST STAR, this year we have invited, Frank Bibeau to campus. He will discuss how treaties work and how treaties have shaped Minnesota today. Frank Bibeau is a Tribal Attorney with 14 years of experience in Indian Country and Tribal Governments. He primarily works in Minnesota with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.


Why do we need a “Dose of Diversity”

This new outlet will allow the SDIS staff and our students an opportunity to showcase news, updates, enhance their professional development, share what makes them unique and diverse, and provide insights which will be invaluable to our community as we aspire to progress and support SDIS’s mission and the mission of the University of St. Thomas.

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