This archived article was written by: Eric Love
One of the exciting and educational prospects among the new groups introduced fall semester is the Center for Diversity and Inclusion located in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center room 213. According to their pamphlet, “The Center for Diversity and Inclusion at USU Eastern offers services for students, faculty and staff to explore issues related to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.”
“It goes under the premise of inclusive excellence,” says Evette Allen, director of student life. According to Allen, “Diversity and inclusion are two different things. Diversity is different people coming together, but inclusion is really valuing someone’s background.” This idea of inclusive excellence is evident in the various programs and services offered by the Center including: a diversity and unity retreat, an annual diversity conference, 1-on-1 trainings, global week and awareness events.
One of the events, the diversity and unity retreat, gives students an opportunity to spend a weekend learning about themselves and issues dealing with social justice. Allen said, “It will be a little in-depth work on themselves and their biases and how they can advocate for what’s considered marginalized groups in the U.S.”
Students may be familiar with awareness events, as the Center held a Hispanic Heritage Awareness event Sept. 22; these events will continue all year according to Allen, she said, “Coming up is Native American Heritage Awareness; we will do something for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and LGBTQ awareness.”
With this being the inaugural year of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the center’s goal, is to achieve awareness. “As time increases people often indicate that diversity programming is not needed; however, when looking at some of the statistics you will see that there are still several groups underrepresented.”
Allen hopes that equity can be derived from this awareness. The difference between equity and equality according to Allen is, “equality means we all arrived on the same level, whereas equity means that we help those who didn’t arrive on the same level to get to the level that other people are.”
To get involved with the center, just get into contact with Allen or diversity representative, Vivika Corona, located in the JLSC room 207. Allen said, “We definitely need anyone who wants to get involved.”