Oct. 3, 2022: Unity in Diversity Days
Our two-day virtual event kicks off on Monday, Oct. 3, and is available for Merrimack faculty, staff, students and community members. Please review the schedule below.
Schedule for Day One - Monday, Oct. 3, 2022
8-9:15 a.m. – Decolonizing Indigenous People’s Contributions
Speaker: Claudia Fix Tree
This presentation will help you understand how indigenous inventions and contributions are part of completing the story of what is now known as the United States by connecting the dots from the past to the present, and into the future. Utilizing critical and creative methods attendees will examine Indigenous inventions and contributions, and consider the relevance of this information to their own identities and lives.
9:30-10:45 a.m. – The Promise of Interfaith Dialogue
Speaker: Mohammed Abu-Nimer
Religion is often viewed as a source of conflict rather than as a foundation for peacebuilding. Drawing on decades of facilitating training on religion and peacebuilding and interfaith dialogue, in conflict zones around the world, the presentation will highlight the basics of interfaith dialogue and the urgent need for individuals and communities to pursue this avenue.
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – Confronting Ableism in Media, Popular Culture and Beyond: One Person’s Story
Speaker: Tee Franklin
As a lifelong lover of horror and comic culture, writer Tee Franklin has observed the harm that misguided tropes and slurs can inflict on marginalized communities. For decades, the lack of diversity in entertainment spaces led to damaging stereotypes. This can only be undone through conscious action at every level. No matter the business or industry, the narrative can only change when we are mindful of who is (and isn’t) included in the process. Although her experience is in popular culture and media, her message contains a simple, universal truth: if you don’t have true diversity in all elements of your organization, you are failing ALL of your customers and fans. A better world is possible when we understand the experiences of everyone in the current one.
12:30-1:45 p.m. – Joyful Radical Internationalist Solidarity: A Guide In Poems
Speaker: Shailja Patel
“Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root.’” – Angela Davis. Solidarity is how we dismantle the violent systems that create suffering and build, in their place, the life~affirming world we know is possible. Shailja Patel, whose performances have received standing ovations on four continents, will take us on a poetic journey to develop internationalist perspectives on our converging planetary crises, from pandemics to climate change.
2-3:15 p.m. – Nurturing Spaces of Belonging: The Love, Inclusion and Trust (LIT) Model
Speaker: Jamele Adams
LIT Is an acronym standing for love, inclusion and trust. These are essential ingredients for the manifestation of spaces grounded in belonging. Love, Inclusion and Trust are timeless values and cornerstones of student development, collegiality, community building and communication. Serving as the foundation for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, LIT provides absorbed levels of accountability and expectations designed to ensure that spaces feel welcoming, authentic, and safe to all members of the community. LIT is a sustainable communal commitment, not a box to check.
3:30-4:45 p.m. – Remembering Our Resilience
Speaker: Elizabeth Delgado
In this workshop, we explore the definition and embodiment of resiliency through ancestry & practice. As we continue to face uncertainty on various levels of collective care, we will network and engage together in practices and strategies to keep us resilient. Self-care, ancestral resilience and community are the keys to reducing your stress, so you stay at your best. Participants will examine personal definitions of resilience, identifying examples of embodied resilience through family and ancestry and learn accessible, effective practices for building resilience.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Distinguished Educator Certificate
The President’s Special Initiative on DEI and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) introduce a new certificate program for faculty and staff who have completed at least 25 hours of DEI education and training since January 2019. Relevant experience may include education and training on and off campus. Faculty and staff who complete the minimum hours required will be recognized publicly and receive a certificate and a LinkedIn badge. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To apply for the certificate, applicants should complete the training recognition form, listing the date, hours and nature of the training they wish to get recognized for.