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Respecting Religious
Diversity at NC State

The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) continues to examine ways to help increase awareness and diversity on campus. During the 2014 spring semester, the units that make up OIED will each have a programmatic focus on the importance of understanding religious diversity as a vital part of our community. Students, faculty, and staff will have opportunities to discuss issues and experience programs ranging from prayer and spaces, religious observances, world religions, religious debate, religious oppression, and spiritual expressions.

This collaborative focus on various aspects of religion will be an opportunity for us to think beyond what may traditionally be viewed as diversity and also to allow for equity considerations. We hope these interactions will be fruitful and serve as a platform for appreciating the uniqueness of our campus community. We are always working to make NC State even better.
Following are some of our past and upcoming efforts. Please see the OIED website for additional programs and services related to religion. 

Campus Religious and Spirituality Climate Survey

A campus religious and spirituality climate survey was conducted in early 2012 in partnership with Dr. Alyssa Rockenback (NC State University), Dr. Matthew Mayhew (New York University) and the Interfaith Youth Core. The survey aimed to ascertain how students perceive various spiritual and religious facets of campus life, safe spaces for diverse religious and non-religious identities, beliefs and practices, positive aspects of campus climate, challenges and opportunities for improvement as well as how students engage in curricular and co-curricular interfaith action, dialogue, and service.

Interfaith Prayer and Meditation Space Request

Based on the results of the 2012 Religious and Spirituality Survey, a formal proposal for interfaith prayer and meditation spaces was prepared and submitted to the University in 2013 by OIED’s Dr. Tracey Ray and Garry Morgan. Included in the proposal were data from many peer institutions that currently have on-campus space for interfaith prayer and/or meditation as well as photos and descriptions of existing spaces on other campuses. A temporary space has been designated on Main Campus.

OIED Workshop: The Protected Class of Religion

This two-hour workshop is offered annually through OIED’s Training and Education unit and is one of its most well-attended courses. Part of The Protected Class series, the workshop features a panel of representatives from five different religious perspectives and allows participants to learn, engage, and discuss many aspects of religion. The next offering of this workshop will be on Thursday, February 13, 2014, 1:00PM-3:00PM in Administrative Services Building II, Room 101. Please register online.

Spring Diversity Dialogue: Interfaith Encounters

Semi-annually, OIED sponsors its Diversity Dialogues for the entire campus community. The fall 2013 Dialogue brought nationally known anti-racist speaker Tim Wise to campus. The spring Dialogue is customarily more participant-focused. This year’s spring Dialogue, “Interfaith Encounters,” will occur on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 4:00PM-6:00PM in the new Talley Student Union Mountains Ballroom. The Dialogues are free and open to the public. We encourage you to participate.

Tunnel of Oppression

On March 26-27, 2014, 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM, in the new Talley Student Union State Ballroom, OIED’s Department of Multicultural Student Affairs will conduct the Tunnel of Oppression, an event that enables participants to experience dramatizations of oppressive interactions and afterwards participate in discussions on how to deal with them. The Tunnel of Oppression is performed at universities across the country to help unite diverse campus communities. Tours will be given every half hour. Please register online.

Religious Holidays Calendar

A Google Calendar overlay of the major religious holidays, along with recommendations for accommodating associated student or employee absences, is maintained on the OIED website. We hope you will find this a useful resource.
 "Build A Wall Project" for Eating Disorders Awareness
In February, the NC State Women's Center will acknowledge Eating Disorders Awareness Week through a new "Build A Wall Project." The project counters negative, unrealistic messages about body image that are propagated in the media through a montage of popular images from advertising that is covered over with bricks that contain body-positive messages.

This can be done as a display in your area or as a program that includes viewing either Dreamworlds 3 or Killing Us Softly 4 with discussion facilitated by Women's Center staff or Movement peer educators. The Women's Center is offering both options to any campus unit/group throughout the month of February. For either a display or program, fill out the request form.  We will send materials in advance, including instructions. Contact Jenn Scott at 919-515-2012 with any questions.