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Skidmore College

Diversity workshops set for March 6

February 27, 2013

Lee Mun WahNoted filmmaker, author and diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah will conduct four workshops for students, faculty and staff. The programs are part of a series of community events sponsored by the President’s Office and organized by the Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding (CIGU).

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to a series of workshops Wednesday, March 6 to be led by Lee Mun Wah, a noted Chinese-American filmmaker and author who has established a national reputation in diversity training.

The day’s programs are part of a series of community events sponsored by the President’s Office and organized by the Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding (CIGU) to address Goal II of the College’s Strategic Plan.

Focused on the theme of "Exploring Identities", the workshops “will engage with and challenge how our campus community approaches issues of diversity,” said Kristie Ford, associate professor of sociology, director of Intercultural Studies, and director of the Intergroup Relations Program. “The programs will offer faculty, staff, and students inclusive learning experiences; we hope for widespread participation so that we can continue to build meaningful collaborative relationships across and within social identity groups.”

Much of Lee Mun Wah’s work focuses on mindfulness in communication and in building healthy and authentic cross-cultural relationships.  During his visit, members of the Skidmore community will have opportunity to engage in difficult conversations about identity and diversity.

Given space limitations, CIGU asks those who wish to participate in any of these programs to RSVP by this Friday, March 1 here.

The workshop schedule follows:

  • How to Dialog Across Cultures, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the upper level of the dining hall
    This student workshop will address the challenge of beginning a discussion of diversity issues by helping participants to practice talking to those who are different from one’s self in a compassionate and honest way. Among topics to be explored: How personal stories can affect our perceptions and attitudes, ways to create a sense of community through dialogue and stories, and ways to respond openly about diversity issues.

  • Diversity Conversations in the Classroom, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Payne room of the Tang Museum. This workshop for faculty and staff will address many of the same topics as the morning session for students, but from an educator’s perspective.

  • A Cross Gender / Race Conversation, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the upper level of the dining hall. This student workshop will focus on skills necessary to develop and support an environment in which everyone feels valued and acknowledged for their uniqueness and their individual and group contributions. Participants will learn how gender and race issues affect one’s perspectives and behaviors, how to understand divergent communications styles, and how to begin conversations about gender and race.

  • If These Halls Could Talk, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the upper level of the dining hall. This film screening and discussion will focus on a film made by Mun Wah in 2010 by bringing together 11 college students from around the country to explore issues of race on their campuses. In the process of sharing their stories and different life experiences, they reveal the complexity and anguish that accompany those experiences while trying to be understood and validated in a predominantly white environment.

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