Are You a Diversity Practitioner Yet?

Lake Raleigh with Park Alumni Center

Park Alumni Center, sitting on the banks of Lake Raleigh.

OIED serves NC State with three major education and training initiatives: the popular Equal Opportunity Institute (EOI) certificate program, the groundbreaking National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) prejudice reduction workshops and over thirty free individual workshops open to the campus community. EOI has already reached waitlist status for 2015-16, but there are still many opportunities for training this year.

Equal Opportunity Institute Making an Impact

Sixteen years of graduates from the Equal Opportunity Institute (EOI) have demonstrated consistent results. Participants gain knowledge, understanding and skills. Participants gain knowledge about laws, policies and procedures related to equal opportunity and equity. Participants gain an understanding of what constitutes fair and inclusive environments and how such climates are created. Participants also gain skills in how to address issues of mistreatment and how to have conversations around differences.

EOI 2015 graduatesThese reflections from recent program graduates demonstrate the impact of EOI:

  • “I have gained confidence from this program. I feel more comfortable in addressing offensive and demoralizing jokes and statements that I hear on campus. By addressing them and empowering others to do so, we can work together to create an inclusive culture on campus.”
  • “I will take more time to listen during my interactions and really hear what someone is saying – not interpret what I *feel* they are saying based on my own assumptions. So often, I realize that I listen through the lens of assumptions, and by doing so may miss important facts, details and lessons in what is being taught.”
  • “As an instructor, I learned that I could use more inclusive language in my class. I also learned how to deal with derogatory situations properly, what are the resources that I can use to protect myself and others, and the people and offices I should go to when unequal situations happen.”

The EOI is a yearlong certificate program available free to NC State University faculty, staff and students. Learn more about EOI at ncsu.edu/eoi.

National Coalition Building Institute Workshops

In 2014-15, the NC State NCBI Team conducted 43 workshops for 1,002 participants. This is remarkable when you consider that, except for program director Beverly Jones Williams from the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, the team is comprised of volunteer NC State staff members who work in departments from across the university.

The team also teaches an NC State course based on the NCBI model. The class was approved as a permanent course meeting the US Diversity GEP in summer 2014. The class is USC 240: Leadership and Coalition Building in Diverse Communities.

Course participants evaluated the course positively:

  • “Loved this class. Best GEP class I have taken.”
  • “Amazing course! Life changing!”
  • “If you would have told me that I was privileged before this class I would have probably been very upset and mad with you. I only knew the struggle from my own point of view and had never truly been exposed to what other people of different groups had to go through on a daily basis. I was sure that people who thought discrimination still existed in America were crazy and just wanted someone to blame for their shortcomings. Looking back after all I have learned about this class it really amazes me even today how blind and sheltered many people, myself included, can be when it comes to issues of diversity.”
  • ”Sometimes it is the course that we least expect that has the most profound impact on us. When I elected to take this course over an LGBT or African American Literature course for my US Diversity credit, I had a general understanding that I would learn about diversity. Little did I know that I would learn about the diversity in my own identifications, or the diversity of my class mates, or the diverse nature of the world we live in. I also did not know that I would learn so much about how to heal myself, and how doing that allows me to become an effective ally and create environments where others can feel comfortable and stand out as leaders. While I came in with a relative wealth of knowledge of certain niche groups, I have grown rich in the greater knowledge of groups outside my own, and the personal stories of others have given me new records that I can play as I continue to develop as a leader.”

NCBI workshops are scheduled throughout the year and the student course is offered annually. Learn more about NCBI at ncsu.edu/ncbi.

Open Enrollment Diversity and Equity Workshops

Nearly 700 participants attended diversity and equity workshops offered by OIED in 2014-2015. The workshops included the core offerings of Fundamentals of Equal Opportunity, Applied Skills in Equal Opportunity and the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as more varied offerings such as The EEOC, Leading a Diverse Workforce, Exploring Oppression, Fair Housing and the  Protected Class Series that includes workshops about all eleven of NC State’s protected classes. Two new workshops were added to the schedule last year: “The Crosswalk of Identity: Exploring Intersectionality in a Socio-Legal Context” and “Class Inequality and the Quest for Equal Opportunity.”

Learn more and register at oied.ncsu.edu/education.

Beverly Jones Williams is director of Education and Training in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.