Centre College’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion is hosting a diversity and inclusion awareness week on campus, April 30 to May 7, adding on to the success of the Building Bridges and Community Day held this past November.
On April 30, the first of two Centre Community Talking Circle events will take place in the Combs Warehouse at 11:30 a.m.
“The talking circles are spaces for members of the Centre community to share their experiences and hopes for the future of Centre,” said Jo Teut, assistant director of diversity & inclusion programming. “Eight staff members were trained on facilitating talking circles earlier this year and are excited to bring this opportunity to our campus.”
A second talking circle event will be held on May 1 at 5 p.m. in Evans-Lively.
As part of the New Horizons Scholarship, which recognizes students who are likely to provide campus leadership on issues such as diversity in race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and physical disability, the office will host the New Horizons Presentations on May 1.
The scholars have been working on capstone projects for most of the year under the direction of their co-advisors, Adriana Martin, admission counselor and coordinator of diversity recruitment; Ashley Oliver, director of diversity and inclusion programming; and Teut.
“Their capstone projects are focused on building community around diverse issues and expanding the scholars leadership skills on campus,” Teut added. “Since this is the first year the scholars have worked in this way, they will give their capstone presentations in a closed session.”
On May 2, the office will hold its inaugural Intercultural Award Ceremony at 7 p.m. in Vahlkamp Theater. The event celebrates the accomplishments of the graduating seniors around diversity and inclusion.
In addition, they will also confer a Kitchen Table Award to a student, student group or student initiative from the past year that has exemplified collaborative work and addressed intersecting oppression. This award is named after the Kitchen Table Press started by Barbara Smith and Audre Lorde in 1980.
To close out the awareness week, there will be a banner and video event held on May 7 at 11 a.m. in Cowan.
“This is a two-part awareness event,” Teut said. “The first part is asking members of the Centre Community to answer ‘What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?’ and displaying those answers on a banner hanging in Cowan. To contribute to this banner, folks should stop by our Cowan table on May 7 during lunch time.
“The second part of this event is a video recap of the diversity and inclusion work our students have been doing all year long,” Teut continued. “Several New Horizons Scholars have been working on videos about this, and we will also be sharing photos from events over the past year.”
To contribute photos to this video, please email them to Teut by May 2.
“Our office is looking forward to elevating our students’ work and giving them a platform for it to be shared with the entire campus,” Teut added. “As for me, I am most excited for the Intercultural Award Ceremony. Our seniors have been an absolute delight to work with over the past year, and I am certain they will continue to do amazing work beyond Centre. While I’ve only had a short time with them, their excellence, resilience and brilliance has certainly inspired me and the classes under them to continue diversity and inclusion work on campus.”
Teut said the awareness week would not be possible without the teamwork of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion with Associate Professor of Anthropology, Andrea Abrams, who serves as associate vice president for diversity affairs and special assistant to the president; Amanda DeWitt, sustained community dialogues VISTA member; Oliver; as well as their champions across campus.
Follow the Office of Diversity & Inclusion’s social media accounts to learn more about these events and experience some of them live, in the moment. The office is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and using #DICentre2019.
by Kerry Steinhofer
April 29, 2019
Pictured above: Participants in one of 36 workshops held as part of Building Bridges and Community Day on Nov. 1, 2018, gather in Hazelrigg Gymnasium.