Centre College’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion recently hosted a diversity and inclusion awareness week on campus that added to the success of the Building Bridges and Community Day held this past November.
Throughout the week, the office hosted Centre Community Talking Circle events, the New Horizon Scholarship presentations, its inaugural Intercultural Award Ceremony and a banner and video event.
“Overall, I think the week and all the events went well,” said Jo Teut, assistant director of diversity & inclusion programming. “We look forward to incorporating some of them more fully into the culture of Centre and growing within the next year.”
A total of 16 faculty and staff members attended the Talking Circles event and shared their experiences around diversity and inclusion on campus.
“In participating in one of the circles, I gained a deeper understanding of others in different departments across campus and renewed my passion for engaging in diversity and inclusion work despite its difficulties,” Teut explained. “I appreciate everyone who took the time to attend and participate, and I look forward to working with the team of facilitators to host more talking circles in the upcoming year.”
Teut said Centre’s New Horizon Scholars blew their capstone projects out of the water.
Students presented on topics including interfaith events, the dangers of voluntourism, cerebral palsy awareness, what inclusion looks like on campus, celebrating Muslim resilience and creating space on campus for Asian Americans.
The Office of Diversity & Inclusion also hosted its inaugural Intercultural Award Ceremony during the awareness week, and Teut said it was an amazing event. Associate Head Women’s Soccer Coach Jessica Chisley, the newest Posse mentor, gave a keynote about embracing greatness and leading the way into the future.
Two groups of students received the Kitchen Table Award for exemplified collaborative work. The recipients were international student services interns Sarah Wells ‘20 and Khan “Van” Dang Nguyen ’19, as well as Liz Chavez ’19, Katherine S. Diaz Garcia ‘21, Katherine Duarte ‘22, Juana G. Gutierrez Rodriguez ‘21 and Alex Icaza ‘22, who are all executive members of Refugees and Immigrants Speaking Up for Equality (RISE).
“It has truly been an honor to work with these students and see the amazing effort they have done for our campus,” Teut said.
During the ceremony, 11 graduating seniors were recognized for their profound impact on diversity and inclusion at Centre.
“I was proud to be able to provide these students a space to celebrate their resiliency and dedication,” Teut added. “I also look forward to engaging more students in next year’s ceremony.”
For the culminating event of the Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Week, the banner and video events engaged several students in thinking deeply about what diversity and inclusion means to them.
Watch the “Year in Review” video here.
by Kerry Steinhofer
May 14, 2019