Sights and Sounds of Diversity Education Week

Participants at Diversity Education Week: Muslim Identity

Diversity Education Week 2018 has concluded with lasting and reaching impacts. This year, DEW offered over 40 workshops, activities and speaker events to explore the focal themes of identity development, social positionality and policy and practice. A few students shared their experiences about DEW 2018 events and panels.

TJ Gill, a second-year graduate student in social work who led OIED’s DEPTH initiative in 2017-18, participated in and spoke on a panel for “Men’s Mental Health in Sports.”

“As a former OIED leader, Diversity Education Week means a lot to me. On Monday, October 15, I had the pleasure of being able to speak on the panel directly related to my personal and professional interests. “Men’s Mental Health in Sports” was an awesome event. It was refreshing to be transparent about my experience growing up in sports. We engaged in a dialogue that was not only constructive but enlightening. Diversity Education Week offers a rare opportunity for voices to be heard.”

Student leader Mia Connell, a senior in sociology and political science who helps to lead the Pack Bleeds Red initiative, attended the “Menstrual Care and the Diva Cup”  lunch and learn session.

“I really liked that people felt comfortable enough to ask in detailed questions about menstrual cups. That can be hard to create in a space sometimes. It seemed like everyone got to ask a question or help answer someone else’s, and people were learning not only from the presenter but also other participants.”

Kat Kirby, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies and women’s and gender studies and co-president of The Movement peer educators, attended “Periods Aren’t Just for Women” with speaker Cass Bliss.

“I think the event was great because it is important to recognize that menstruation is not just an issue that impacts women. Cass Bliss challenged students to reevaluate the gender binary by examining an issue typically thought of as for one gender and learning how it impacts multiple genders, including their own as a non-binary person. It’s especially impactful on our campus due to the activism that is happening surrounding menstruation through initiatives like Period@NCState and We Bleed Red, who advocate for and raise funds to support access to menstrual products on campus and in homeless populations in Wake county.”

Diversity Education Week events encourage attendees to connect the dots on how issues of social justice show up on NC State’s campus and how we can tackle them. In addition, DEW encourages us to think critically on deeply held mindsets and preconceptions and empowers students, staff and faculty to take an active role in making the NC State community more inclusive for everyone.

Leah Block is a communications intern in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.