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Awareness, inclusivity, experiential learning offered for Diversity

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The Diversity Institute is returning to the Denton campus on Friday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This all-day interactive workshop will take place in Studio two of the Fitness and Recreation Center. Although the Diversity Institute is not new to TWU, it has proven to be as important as ever in light of recent campus events. The white supremacist rhetoric that littered the Denton campus on Aug. 18 has prompted students, faculty and the administration to open up difficult dialogues.

  The Diversity Institute provides participants with the tools to do exactly that. Assistant Director of Clinical Services and Licensed Psychologist Dr. Marshall Bewley of Counseling and Psychological Services regards the Diversity Institute as an essential learning opportunity for our campus. Bewley said, “In line with the values of TWU and the Division of Student Life, CAPS wants to ensure that there is ongoing training and workshops to help increase awareness, knowledge and skills in regards to cultural diversity.”

We view it as vital to increase affirming and inclusive environments within our campus community and see Diversity Institute as one component of that mission.

Through experiential learning and small group discussions, Bewley says that participants will explore cultural and social dynamics including, but not limited to ability/disability, age, body size, citizenship, education, family system, gender identity, racial/ethnic/nationality, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, social class and privilege/marginalization.

Current TWU students are strongly encouraged to attend. Bewley said, “Our optimal learning occurs on the edge of our comfort zones, and we must take steps to think critically, understand others’ experiences, and listen to each other. We understand our own experiences and world view when we encounter others who have had different lived experiences. For those who may feel they are already well educated in diversity, Bewley said: “CAPS believes in life-long learning. Thus, anyone can continue to challenge their knowledge and better understand intersections of identities and experiences at Diversity Institute. Students may register by stopping by CAPS in West Jones Hall or calling 940-898-3801. Registration closes on Sept. 18.  Those who cannot attend may keep an eye out for Diversity Institute registration in the spring semester.

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