Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative

Oct 13: Schedule of Events

Oct. 13 Unity in Diversity -
Education, Reflection & Action

Our two-day virtual event 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. 12 schedule?

Schedule for Day Two - Tuesday, Oct. 13

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 10/13 Diversity University Zoom Meeting

10-11:15 a.m. - Open Classroom:  An Introduction to Structural Racism with Dr. Dan Herda, Associate Professor of Sociology at Merrimack College

The session will help attendees understand how racism can become embedded in a culture and therefore become part of the structure of society and shape individuals’ behaviors and attitudes.

Join 10/13 Open Classroom Zoom Meeting

10-11 a.m. - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Merrimack: A Community Conversation

Speakers: Dr. Simona Sharoni & Peter Rojas

Join 10/13 DEI Zoom Meeting

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Emotional Agility: How to Be Your Best Self in Times of Crisis, featuring Dr. Susan David

Speakers: Dr. Susan David & Dr. Michael Mobley
A President’s Speaker Series event.

Sponsored by the Office of the President and Robert McCusker ’68 & Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Inc. Kappa Omicron Chapter.

Join 10/13 Emotional Agility Zoom Meeting

noon-1:15 p.m. - Open Classroom:  An Introduction to Structural Racism with Dr. Dan Herda, Associate Professor of Sociology at Merrimack College

The session will help attendees understand how racism can become embedded in a culture and therefore become part of the structure of society and shape individuals’ behaviors and attitudes.

Join 10/13 Open Classroom Zoom Meeting

noon-1:30 p.m. - Gender, Race, and Social Justice Activism

Speaker: Melissa Denizard, Samantha (Sam) Frey & Haley Taing
In this talk, Melissa discusses her genesis in social justice, how she has connected theory to praxis, and how she has continuously and brilliantly utilized her identity as the beacon for her social justice work. Along with providing a grounding for her political ideology and praxis, Black Feminism serves as a guiding light for Melissa’s perpetual self-reflection. Ultimately, she urges listeners to consider the appropriation of the Combahee River Collective’s notion of identity politics and why we need to reclaim the phrase’s roots in the Black Radical Tradition.

Sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, the Social Justice Program and the Black Student Association (BSA). 

Join 10/13 Social Activism Zoom Meeting

1-2 p.m. - Mack Chat: Disability and Accessibility

Speakers: Rachel Conway - Junior, Athletic Training Major, Makenzie Sabourin - Junior, Communication and English with a concentration in Film double major and a Digital Media Minor & Isabel Fernandes - Senior, Moderate Disabilities Education Major
Merrimack’s 4th Annual All Abilities Awareness event falls Tuesdays in October at 1 PM. Join us to listen to Merrimack students share their stories about disability as a part of their diverse identity. They will talk about managing a disability in the college environment, how they have overcome stigma and adversity, and how they have grown. This event includes the talk from the students and an opportunity for audience Q&A. Discussion will continue on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. on October 20 and 27.

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

Join 10/13 Accessibility Zoom Meeting

2-3:30 p.m. - Transforming Masculinities: Accounting for White Privilege and Male Privilege, Moderated by Peter Rojas

Speakers: Dr. Brian Klocke, Duane De Four & Michael Senoff
The session will focus on the social construction of masculinities with particular attention to the relationship between white privilege and male privilege. Participants will discuss their personal journeys and identify strategies and challenges for disrupting practices that reflect toxic masculinity. The session will include resources and advice for men and the community at large who are interested in joining anti-racist, pro-feminist and LGBTQ affirmative efforts. 

Sponsored by One Love, Gender Equality at Merrimack (GEM), Kappa Sigma Fraternity Inc. and Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Join 10/13 Masculinities Zoom Meeting

3-4 p.m. - Becoming Anti-Racist: A Workshop for Faculty and Staff

Speakers: Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick and Dr. Lindsay Lyons
This workshop is structured for faculty and staff. The first of this four-series offering introduces the capacities needed to create space for change. Workshop facilitators will guide participants as they explore and develop four dialogic capacities for generative racial dialogue: readiness and willingness, vulnerability, adaptability, and a positive, encouraging and liberating dialogic environment. Faculty and staff will be introduced to the concepts related to creating space for change. Centered in dignity, participants will also explore and debrief scenarios, examine the need for accountability, and develop individual action plans. Participants are encouraged to read up on the four capacities on Dr. Lyons website (dialogic environment, readiness and willingness, vulnerability, and adaptability).

Sponsored by Merrimack Professional of Color (MPOC).

Join 10/13 Anti-Racist Workshop Zoom Meeting

4-5:30 p.m. Student Activism in Turbulent Times: Promise and Challenges, Moderated by Kat Everett, Samantha (Sam) Frey & Haley Taing

Speaker: Melissa Denizard
This workshop aims to have participants talk through and realize the key roles that power and privilege play in activism, as well as the actionable steps they can take to change their material realities.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and Gender Equality at Merrimack (GEM).

Join 10/13 Student Activism Zoom Meeting

6-7:30 p.m. - Beyonce Mass (Advance Registration Required)

Speaker: Rev. Yolanda M. Norton
BeyoncĂ© Mass is a womanist worship service that uses the music and life of BeyoncĂ© as a tool to cultivate an empowering conversation about Black women - their lives, their bodies and their voices. The mass creates a space of story, scripture and song that calls for the liberation of all people. Advance registration is required. Please register at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/bfa7zfr5. The password is merrimack2020. 

Sponsored by the Center for Campus Ministry.

Join 10/13 Beyonce Mass Zoom Meeting

Q & A session will follow immediately after the program.

Join the Q & A session at the conclusion of the program




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

Please click on the Zoom link at the beginning of the event to join. Tuesday’s Beyonce Mass requires advanced registration. 


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