Past Event: College of Liberal Arts Bystander Awareness Sessions
Shaping academic departments and organizations to be inclusive environments is a proactive and continuous effort. This year we are continuing the effort to strengthen communication through vibrant work environments. Ample research has shown that unconscious biases, micro-inequities, and differential micro-affirmations can make university life a very different experience across gender, race, and status. With training and practice, everyday allies can learn how to interrupt the practices that perpetuate inequalities and to create the kind of inclusive settings where people can learn, thrive, and excel.
This workshop series held in November 2018 within the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) built upon ongoing work at RIT. Participants learned about the conceptual background for ally work through active learning and engaged in some interactive exercises, supported by the collaboration with RIT Diversity Theater. Participants were asked to come prepared to share situations encountered and thoughts on how to create a better work climate. The staff, faculty, and academic leaders within COLA participated in these interactive, 2-hour sessions – final counts include 19 staff members, 23 faculty members, and 15 academic leaders. In response to the workshop, one participant said they would “reflect on responses to colleagues” and another added that they would “be more willing to speak up to refocus rather than challenge.”
Stay tuned for more Bystander Awareness workshops available to all full-time faculty, staff, and academic leaders on April 30, 2019.