Never stop learning
I have worked in higher education as a student leader since 2020. I have learned a lot. I have also learned I have more to improve upon. Part of my interest during my State Board for Community and Technical Colleges legislative internship is diversity and inclusion in the higher education landscape. The question to start my research is: What does professional development in equity, diversity and inclusion look like in higher education?
The first step in my research is figuring out what colleges are doing in Washington state and across the country. Professional development in DEI work seems to be limited to conferences and “big conversations around diversity and inclusion in higher education.” These conversations are important to support because it lifts the voices of BIPOC coworkers and gives them a support system in our working environment.
I found one service named Cultures Connecting. Cultures Connecting imagines a workplace where people respect differences, acknowledge their prejudice, challenge their assumptions, and experience discomfort. It also seeks to have coworkers raise their awareness, examine their beliefs, listen to understand, advocate, take risks, increase their knowledge, open up dialogue, name oppressions, and seek allies. They do this through professional development, keynote speaking, coaching one-on-one diversity leadership support to organizations committed to improving ability to work effectively across cultures.
Cultures Connecting’s vision is: “We believe in a world based on principles of equity and justice where all people recognize their role as change agents.” My research is slowly manifesting into a bigger project I am looking forward to updating everyone on!