Western Washington University students, faculty, staff and Whatcom County community members are invited to a campus-wide dialogue about race Thursday, May 11 from 3-5 p.m. in Viking Union 565.
The spring conversation, “Still Talkin’ Race” is a continuation of the Winter 2017 session and all are welcome. It is the second year in a row that Western’s Faculty Senate Social Justice and Equity Committee will sponsor a vital conversation about racial difference on campus.
Participants are asked to register in advance by completing the form on Survey Monkey at this address: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S8RDDVT Parking for the event will be free for community members who sign up for the event ahead of time.
The format will follow the Winter quarter’s well received program, said Tim Costello, director of Western's Center for Service Learning.
“Participants will meet in small groups to respectfully explore our differences and hopefully find common ground,” Costello said.
A diverse team of facilitators from the student body, staff, faculty and the community will guide the small groups.
A WWU student participant lauded the series stating, “I think it would be great for this to be a quarterly thing…the more students that are engaged with this kind of talking and learning, the better.”
“Participating in the campus-wide dialogue about race was highly rewarding. I’m new to conversations like these and the chance to sit down for meaningful, challenging talks with a group of strangers was a transformative experience,” said Kessa Volland, a marketing and media coordinator for the Office of Communications and Marketing at Western.
Group leaders were trained by Seattle-based experts Caprice D. Hollins and Ilsa Govan, authors of “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Strategies for Facilitating Conversations on Race.” Hollins and Govan specialize in designing workshops around race for a variety of organizations.
“Interacting and listening to a variety of perspectives was the most valuable [experience] and allowed me to hear some voices that I usually don’t,” wrote a participant from last quarter’s dialogue exit survey.
The WWU community made a commitment to diversity and inclusion under the direction of former President Bruce Shepard, a mandate that current President Sabah Randhawa plans to continue.
For more information, contact: Tim Costello, director of Western's Center for Service Learning, at Timothy.Costello@wwu.edu