Diversity Academy

Six-Week Series Will Examine the Importance of Diversity on Campus and in Society

Diversity Academy

Students, faculty and staff on the campus of Gardner-Webb University represent 19 countries around the world and come from 39 different states. The Office of Multicultural Affairs celebrates the unique worldview that each one brings to campus.

To facilitate cross-cultural awareness, Jackie Leach, director of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, is offering a six-week series, “The Diversity Academy.” Sessions begin on Sept. 3 and will meet on Tuesdays, from 3 to 4 p.m., in the Tucker Student Center Theater. Leach will lead all of the sessions, and Jenny Humphries, director of International Student Services, will join her for the session on Oct. 8.

Session dates and topics include:

• Sept. 3: What is Diversity?
• Sept. 17: How Diverse Am I?
• Sept. 24: What Are My Biases?
• Oct. 1: Microaggressions
• Oct. 8: Embracing Diversity
• Oct. 15: So Now What?

“Staff, faculty, and students are invited to attend,” Leach shared. “While Jenny and I will talk during the sessions, we welcome and desire feedback. We want this to be a conversational and learning experience for all. I encourage all who are available to attend. The intention is not to change your mind on views, but to encourage awareness and dialogue.”

She said understanding and embracing diversity helps individuals realize their own self-worth. “I think diversity education helps you build an awareness of yourself,” she observed. “People can get all the education they need, have all the opportunities and obtain all the money, but if they don’t have self-esteem, it’s all for naught. Knowing who you are and being okay with who you are is very important.”

Leach’s office will sponsor several other programs throughout the semester, including a panel discussion on disabilities in the workplace, book club meetings, group discussions and trips to the International Festival in Charlotte, N.C., and the Greek and HoLa Festivals in Knoxville, Tenn. For more information about the events, email jleach1@gardner-webb.edu.

Learn More About the Office of Multicultural Affairs