Oct. 12 Unity in Diversity -
Education, Reflection & Action

Our two-day virtual event kicks off on Indigenous People’s Day and is available for Merrimack faculty, staff, students and community members. Please review the schedule below. You may click on speakers’ names to view their profiles. Looking for the Oct. 13 schedule?

Schedule for Day One - Monday, Oct. 12, Indigenous Peoples Day

8-9:30 a.m. - Diversity University 

Speakers: Dr. Julia GarciaMonti Washington & Peter Rojas
A clear and insightful introduction to how race, gender culture, and sexual orientation, among other identity constructs shape our experiences and relationships. A focus on issues related to diversity and inclusion that emerge on a college campus and the ongoing protests against racial injustice. This presentation was recorded in late August 2020 and shared with the Merrimack community in mid-September.

Join 10/12 Diversity University Zoom Meeting

9:30-10:45 a.m. - Understanding and Preventing Police Violence: A Public Health Perspective, Moderated by Dr. April Bowling

Speaker: Dr. Justin Feldman
This talk will focus on understanding police violence in the United States with an emphasis on inequality by race, place, and poverty. We will use a public health framework to explore alternatives to policing to address issues ranging from mental health crises to interpersonal violence.

Sponsored by the Social Justice Program and the Interdisciplinary Institute.

Join 10/12 Preventing Police Violence Zoom Meeting

10-11:30 a.m. - Roundtable: American Sign Language

Speakers: Jodi Rachins, Director of Accessibility Services; Karen Ryan, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts; Deb Margolis, Interim Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy; Michaele Morrow, Associate Vice President for Career Advertising and Professional Development; Isabel Fernandes, Senior, Moderate Disabilities Education Major
Currently, Merrimack does not offer American Sign Language as a course nor it is incorporated into most of our major events, unless requested. Should we have ASL classes available to students? The community? Is ASL a world language or an elective? Should we offer ASL as a normative practice? What majors would best benefit from sign language? (Hint: Probably all). Would it be a beneficial skill to add to a LinkedIn badge? 

Sponsored by Accessibility Services and Disability Rights Education Activism and Mentorship (DREAM).

Join 10/12 American Sign Language Zoom Meeting

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Roundtable: COVID-19: Ethical and Social Justice Considerations

Speakers: Dr. April Bowling, Dr. Justin Feldman, Dr. Sandra Raponi & Dr. Simona Sharoni
This roundtable discussion is part of a new interdisciplinary team-taught course titled Global Pandemics: Opportunities and Challenges. Participants will discuss health and other disparities caused by systemic inequalities, both in the US and globally.

Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Institute and the Social Justice Program.

Join 10/12 COVID-19 Zoom Meeting

12:30-1:30 p.m. - Roundtable: Mentoring First Generation College Students, Moderated by Preston Croteau, Assistant Dean of Students

Speakers: Brandi Baldock, Glynis Boyd Hughes, Jasmine Garver, James Howland, Lauren Rocha, Haley TaingOscar Zepeda & Melissa Zimdars
Faculty, staff, and students who are the first in their families to obtain a college education will reflect on their experiences. Discussion will also address how the first generation identity intersects with other dimensions of social identity and structural inequalities in higher education. Finally, roundtable participants will discuss creating resources, support, and mentoring opportunities for first generation students attending Merrimack College.

Sponsored by The First Gen faculty and Staff Affinity Group.

Join 10/12 First Generation Students Zoom Meeting

2-3:30 p.m. - Celebrating Queer Writing: A Conversation with Author Julian K. Jarboe on Voice, Truth and Resistance

Speakers: Julian K. Jarboe, Samatha (Sam) Frey, Dr. Robert Koch & Rowan Salhi
Julian K. Jarboe will read from their debut collection, Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel (Lethe Press, 2020), sixteen stories of mid-apocalyptic science fabulism and body horror fairy tales that “meld tenderness, humor, and righteous anger into insightful tales of characters navigating the margins of society” (Publishers’ Weekly). Jarboe will also discuss some of their experiences as a transgender and disabled writer, the creative and political value of pessimism, and their choice to unify the collection around marginalized experiences of labor and faith.

Sponsored by The Writers House, the LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA).

Join 10/12 Celebrating Queer Writing Zoom Meeting

3:30-4:45 p.m. - Creating Space for Change: Racial Dialogue - A Student-focused Workshop

Co-facilitated by Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick and Dr. Lindsay Lyons
This student-focused workshop is structured within the timeframe of the Merrimack student schedule. The first of this four-series offering introduces the capacities needed to create space for change. Workshop facilitators will guide students through four dialogic capacities for generative racial dialogue: readiness and willingness, vulnerability, adaptability, and a positive, encouraging and liberating dialogic environment. Students will be introduced to the concepts linked to creating space for change and will co-construct a shared agreement centered in dignity. Students are encouraged to read up on the four capacities on Dr. Lyons website (dialogic environment, readiness and willingness, vulnerability, and adaptability). 

Sponsored by the Athletic Diversity Committee.

Join 10/12 Racial Dialogue Zoom Meeting

4-5 p.m. Roundtable on community engagement in Lawrence

Speakers: Dr. Traci Alberti, Dr. Cynthia Carlson, Dr. Ellen Fitzpatrick, Dr. Luis Sáenz De Viguera, Dr. Elaine Ward, Dr. Ana Silva, CJ Wong, Rosana Urbaez & Lisbeth Valdez
Participants will be discussing the nature of their work in the community, sharing ideas and practices. They will discuss how faculty/students can work as collaborators to meet community goals, explore how we prepare students personally, how we strengthen our curriculum to give students the skills and awareness to be useful and, how we as an outside organization, can be a respectful and useful partner in the community. The ‘how’ piece is important because it demonstrates ways to work in communities where we are responding to an articulated need, not to our view of a problem.

Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Institute and the Social Justice Program.

Join 10/12 Community Engagement Zoom Meeting

5-6:30 p.m. - Transnational Indigenous Women’s Activism, Moderated by Dr. Yi-Chun Tricia Lin

Speakers: Apu’u Kaaviana, Dr. Myrian Sánchez, Ruth Garby Torres & Dr. Alex Wilson
 This roundtable brings together a distinguished panel of four Indigenous women activists, scholars, and leaders from four Indigenous nations of the Four Directions on Indigenous Peoples’ Day | Día de la Raza 2020. The program is a cross-cultural, multilingual, and transnational encounter where we learn and honor Indigenous women’s activism and their communities’ resistance in the times of pandemic. Our speakers include Apu’u Kaaviana (Kanakanvu | Taiwan); Dr. Myrian Sánchez (Kichwa | Ecuador); Ruth Garby Torres (Schaghticoke | U.S.); and Alex Wilson (Opaskwayak Cree | Canada). The program is also a first-time cross-campus collaboration.

Sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Southern Connecticut State University, the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Merrimack College, Merrimack’s Cultural Diversity Alliance (MCDA), World Languages and Cultural Studies Department and Theta Phi Alpha Sorority Inc.

Join 10/12 Indigenous Women’s Zoom Meeting

7-8:30 p.m. - Roundtable: Queer Journeys and Coming Out Stories

Speakers: Catherine ChandlerSamantha (Sam) FreyDr. Jonathan GrossmanDr. Robert KochDr. Susan Marine, Dan Roussel & Rowan Salhi
On the occasion of National Coming Out Day, Merrimack students, faculty, and staff who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community will share coming out stories and discuss their personal, professional and political journeys.

Sponsored by the LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA).

Join 10/12 Queer Journeys Zoom Meeting

Certificate Program

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.

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Looking for additional diversity training?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are an institutional priority at Merrimack College.  The special assistant to President Hopey for diversity, equity and inclusion is leading the efforts to provide additional diversity training and initiatives. We welcome your feedback and participation. Please contact us to find out how you and your team may participate in additional diversity training. 

Contact Us

Students holding up "Say their name" t-shirts. 

Contact Us

Simona Sharoni, Ph.D.
Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Professor, Women’s & Gender Studies Department

How to Tune In

Each session has a Zoom link listed. Please click on the Zoom link at the beginning of the event to join.


Need more information about the event or how to watch our sessions?