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Upcoming Events

Black History Month

Black History Month is observed every February in the United States. Learn about the history of Black History Month, read biographies of famous African Americans, try our quizzes and crosswords, find stats and facts about African Americans, and more.

The Welcoming Circle - Conversations of Embracing Diversity, Inclusion, and Compassion

New dates to TBA

Organizer and Facilitator: Sydney Spears, Ph.D., LSCSW

This facilitated workshop will inspire you to consciously create a School of Social Welfare workplace culture that truly embraces and supports human diversity, inclusion, and compassion. A very welcoming, safe workshop space will be developed in order to explore and share various diverse narratives, realities and worldviews. This exploration will include the processes of conversation, discovery, inquiry, and reflection about these various diverse narratives and intersecting identities.

Workshop Purpose and Targeted Outcome:

Overall, the purpose of the workshop is to cultivate a greater sense of school diversity, inclusivity, awareness, and effective cross-cultural communication through dialogue, sharing and community-building among our academic staff members. This workshop experience can The Welcoming Circle enable us to respond in more culturally conscious ways when interfacing with other members, within our school, including students.

The “Welcoming Circle” may be the first of other conversational workshop opportunities to foster greater cultural awareness and cultural intelligence. We hope you come to the “Circle.”

Key benefits of embracing diversity within our school and beyond such as:

  • Improved cultural understanding and sensitivity to diverse realities of self and others
  • Increased cultural awareness, cultural skills, and cultural professionalism
  • Increased cross-cultural communication skills
  • Increased adaptability and a more expansive understanding of human diversity and the world
  • Greater innovation and creativity--diversity often affords opportunities to learn about different perspectives, ways of thinking, and experiences
  • Greater sense of school community
  • Increased engagement and productivity across staff, faculty, and students
  • Increased recruitment and retention of school members

Workshop Intentions:

  1. To explore and develop a deeper understanding of the commonalities across humanity diversity with greater compassion towards underrepresented and majority members of our school
  2. To explore and share various diverse social/intersecting identity narratives in order to develop greater awareness, knowledge and skill base when communicating with underrepresented and majority members from our school and beyond
  3. To develop an appreciation for the richness, strengths and uniqueness of various diverse social identities within our school and beyond
  4. To increase awareness and sensitivity towards the challenges that underrepresented and majority members of our school often face, especially our students
  5. To reflect upon shared discussions and diverse narratives in order to discover new perspectives, knowledge, and effective approaches in cross-cultural communication with members of our school and beyond

Past events

January 29, 2016

Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Kansas Union Ballroom

Dr. Larry Davis, Dean at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work

On behalf of the School of Social Welfare, we warmly invite you to a talk by Dr. Larry Davis, Dean at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work, about his new book, Why are They Angry with Us?. Dr. Davis is a leading scholar on race issues in America and his new book uses personal stories and years of research to understand race and racism. The book is a thought-provoking contribution to the authentic reckoning and open conversation we so need, taking a historical view on current issues, including the complexity of racial identity in an increasingly diverse society, the crisis of mass incarceration, and the connection between oppression and prejudice.

Did you miss this event? Watch it now.



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