Coming soon to a workshop series near you, Diversity 101 is a workshop where students can learn about what diversity means, what it entails, and what you can do to be more inclusive. Anoop Dhaliwal, international student support assistant with UFV International, shared about the workshop she organized as part of a workshop series on Friday, October 14.
“The workshop was written by my colleague, Chelsey Laird,” she said. “This workshop explores the many dimensions of diversity and aims to build a common awareness as it relates to the UFV multicultural and multidimensional community.”
Diversity has been the topic of debate for many years, reaching sectors ranging from university admissions, to workplace hiring, to the political sphere, and it remains an important topic as we near 2017.
“For me, diversity needs to extend to inclusion,” Dhaliwal continued. “Diversity is about the infinite dimensions of people. Often diversity is described as our differences. These dimensions can include gender, sexual orientation, mental ability, race, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and beyond.”
Dhaliwal noted that when thinking about diversity it is important to remember religious and political beliefs. When talking about diversity, many people think only about gender, race, and sexual preferences, but forget about intellectual diversity.
Whether people think of diversity as intellectual or not, there are many who wonder why diversity is important. Why should we worry about race or gender? Simply put, there are too many variables associated with such factors for them to be ignored.
“We are not all the same,” Dhaliwal explained. “We all come with histories — or herstories — and so I think when we come at it ‘I treat everyone the same,’ we’re missing the dynamics of those real, lived experiences of people, the real discrimination they face, and even the real socio-economic status they face. It’s about keeping an open mind.”
Alongside the Diversity 101 workshop is Positive Space, Mental Health Awareness, Self-Assessment and Development, Communications, Crisis Referrals, Setting Boundaries, Peer / Lay Counselling, Suicide Intervention, Campus Resources, and Self Care.
“This series runs a minimum of once per semester in this format, but also runs a series of individual workshop opportunities,” explains Kyle Baillie, director of student life and development, who is involved in the planning and implementation of such workshops.
“The Essential Skills Series is designed to provide a base level of skills, information, and training to a number of our peer leader groups on campus,” he said. “These are also critical life skills that people will find useful in their day-to-day life.”
The workshop skill series takes place on UFV’s Abbotsford campus on Friday, October 14. To register for these events, contact Martin Kelly at Martin.Kelly@ufv.ca.