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Values and Visions Workshop Sparks Community Conversations About Inclusivity

Event brings faculty, administrators and staff together for discussion around diversity and inclusion

An inclusive and collaborative community is a community in dialogue: To continue to grow, we must all occasionally check in to learn from and share with one another. At Dickinson, that communal dialogue is an ongoing effort that’s furthered by a series of educational programs.

The most recent such event, Values and Visions, was held March 23 in the Stern Center. It brought faculty, administrators and staff members together for meaningful conversation geared toward positive change.

Presented by the Office of Residence Life, the Landis Collective, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Inclusivity and Human Resource Services, Values and Visions challenged participants to review the values articulated in Dickinson’s 2018-21 Strategic Framework and Priorities. Then they discussed in small groups how they would respond to fictional challenging scenarios that offered opportunities to reinforce the values of inclusivity.

“This is part of a continuum, representing a culture-of-dialogue ethos that Dickinson has fostered, and it’s a way for us to bring together people from all walks of life on campus to hear how others experience and process events on campus,” said Vincent Stephens, director of the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, noting that facilitators are collecting feedback from the sessions to guide future efforts. “We’re figuring out areas where people are looking for support so we can give people skills they need to move from talking about inclusivity to acting on it.”

The event is the latest in Dickinson’s Sustained Dialogue series. Last October, 37 students took part in a Share & Shape event, offering a platform to share with and learn from peers in small group discussions. A February workshop presented by Dickinson's Bias Education & Response Team (BERT) program, More Than Words, drew 69 students, faculty and staff together to discuss the language of exclusion, and ways that language usage has changed and continues to change. The Landis Collective, Sustained Dialogue, and the Offices of Student Life and Institutional Effectiveness & Inclusivity also hosted a faculty dialogue on March 23, cosponsored by the Office of the Provost, and a staff dialogue on March 27, cosponsored by Human Resource Services. 

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Published March 29, 2019