Elliott School officials launch annual event series on diversity and inclusion

Media Credit: File Photo by Lillian Bautista | Senior Photo Editor

Walker said many of the sessions from the event series will be available in the coming weeks for the public to view online.

Elliott School of International Affairs officials launched an annual event series last week focused on diversity, inclusion and equity.

Jonathan Walker, the assistant dean for student services, diversity and inclusion for the Elliott School, said the school’s “Inclusive Excellence Week” covered salient topics in international affairs, like the ongoing violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and created a space for “communities to come together around shared identity.” The three-day event series was developed by the Elliott School’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and a planning committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, campus partners and the Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

He said the event series was a part of the the school’s 2019-20 Diversity Action Plan but was postponed until this semester due to the University’s virtual operations this academic year.

“Goal 3 of our Diversity Action Plan expresses our desire to expand diversity, equity and inclusion in the curriculum and provide learning opportunities to deepen cultural competence,” he said. “Inclusive Excellence Week facilitates this learning through intentional programming and dialogue around these topics.”

Walker said more than 280 students, faculty, alumni and other community members registered for its 14 events, and more than 50 students, faculty and professionals contributed as speakers. He said attendees will be able to establish connections with the Elliott School community and apply their gained knowledge on diversity, equity and inclusion into their academic and professional journeys.

“Each session was designed to align with one of the four components of the inclusive excellence framework: access and equity, climate, learning and development and curriculum,” he said.

Walker said many of the sessions from the event series will be available in the coming weeks for the public to view online and said the structure of the program may shift next spring as the University transitions back to in-person instruction.

“It was a community effort,” he said. “While we look forward to our program evaluation feedback to learn what participants thought about the sessions and what they hope for in the future, the engagement alone was a positive first indicator for us in our first year.”

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