Office of inclusive excellence started fall semester with 5th annual making excellence Inclusive Day
OIE presented its Fifth Annual Making Excellence Inclusive Day on Tuesday, August 10. This year's theme was “Where Do We Go From Here? Building Community in a Challenging Time”. The event was held in the Arts and Sciences Auditorium and classrooms. The day began with a morning plenary from 9 - 11:30a.m. and concluded with concurrent afternoon breakout sessions from 1:30 - 2:45p.m. and 3 - 4:15p.m.
Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, a national diversity consultant and the founder and president of Washington Consultant Group, was the early morning keynote speaker. He began his lecture with an acapella solo of “No Man is an Island,” modifying the words to focus on the value of diversity and inclusion. He centered his lecture on the national higher education perspective as it pertained to the event's theme. Emphasizing that we must use “new technologies” for the current times, Dr. Washington made many helpful recommendations regarding how we move forward in these challenging times. We must first accept, as his opening solo indicated, that we cannot thrive alone. He also indicated that we must create safe and brave learning communities, develop a common language and a clear understanding of concepts and terms, understand that identities do matter, own and do self-work, not allow the DEI focus to be an excuse not to engage the dynamics of race and racism at the individual, group, and system levels, and we must build the capacity to experience the full range of human emotions: joy, pain, rage, excitement, confusion, and uncertainty.
Dr. TaJuan Wilson, Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and Chief Diversity Officer from Georgia Southern University, was the second keynote speaker. He addressed the theme as it related to the work we do at our own institutions. He presented a range of personal and institutional strategies that we can employ to help inclusion on our campus. Personal strategies included being proactive in educating yourself, staying open and curious, listening more, talking carefully, avoiding assumptions, and becoming a diversity champion. Institutional challenges included connecting with employees, making the unwritten rules obvious, not underestimating the power of small changes, and allocating necessary resources.
Both speakers gave the Georgia College community useful tools and strategies to continue to work toward a diverse, inclusive community even in these challenging times.
The afternoon Breakout Sessions were opportunities for faculty and staff to engage in practical applications of many of the strategies outlined during the plenary. These sessions were led by the Faculty and Staff Diversity Peer Educators. The DPEs facilitated sessions on “Developing an Inclusive Syllabus,” “Respecting Identities on Campus,” “Facilitating Difficult Discussions,” and “How to Become a Diversity Champion. The sessions were attended by faculty and staff and will be repeated during the year for those who could not attend.
dinner with 12 strangers: a new building community initiative from oie
The Office of Inclusive Excellence is pleased to announce “Dinner With 12 Strangers”, a new “building community” event at Georgia College. During the fall semester there will be three Dinners that will include a delicious meal, fun ice-breakers, personal introductions, and an engaging conversation about how we can make Georgia College a more welcoming community for all. Twelve selected individuals from all areas of campus will be invited to be one of the twelve strangers who meet for dinner. The Dinners will be hosted from 5:30pm to 7:00pm on three nights during the fall semester: September 16th (Summerlin House Lawn), October 21st (Cultural Center) and November 18th (Mayfair Hall). We hope that this new initiative will encourage more personal connections on campus and support our work to make Georgia College a welcoming community for all.
Georgia College Diversity Statement Here.
oie mission and Value statements here.